Net Promoter Score + Feature Flags for Canary Releases
Canary releases are a DevOps best practice of pushing new features to a subset of your customers. By pushing to a subset, this group can provide early feedback, verify functionality, and act as “canaries” to your entire population. Originally, canary had a negative connotation — miners took canaries down into mines, as canaries were more sensitive to bad air. If the canary stopped singing, the miners knew it was time to skedaddle.
Surprisingly, being a canary can actually make your customers even bigger fans! I heard a great use case from a LaunchDarkly customer People.ai, AI for managing sales teams, who would automatically push new features out to users who had an NPS of over a certain threshold. Net Promoter Score (NPS) rates how strongly would a customer recommend your solution, so initially, this seemed bizarre. Why risk showing your best advocates functionality that might be unstable, early, or fragile? However, the people who are happiest users (likely to recommend) are actually very excited about being the first to see new functionality. They love feeling plugged-in to new development. And in addition, with LaunchDarkly feature flag management, if a feature isn’t doing well, the team can instantly turn it off, reverting to the old, stable experience.
I love hearing stories about how customers are using LaunchDarkly’s segmentation capabilities to release better software, quicker.
Edith Harbaugh is CEO & Co-founder of LaunchDarkly. She has more than 10 years of experience in product, engineering and marketing with both consumer and enterprise startups. She was Product Director at TripIt, where she launched TripIt for Business and ExpenseIt. She holds two patents in deployment. Edith earned a BS, Engineering from Harvey Mudd College and a degree in Economics from Pomona College. She enjoys trail running distances up to 100 miles.
Originally published at blog.launchdarkly.com on February 16, 2017.