What's a release?
Releases are core to your LaunchNotes project and hold all the information for communicating any upcoming changes to your internal stakeholders or external users.
On every release you'll have the option to keep it as an internal-only release or publish it to your externally-facing hosted LaunchNotes page for users to see. Each release includes internal notes and public notes, as we understand that the comms to your internal stakeholders will likely be different from those that you choose to share with your end users.
There are a number of ways releases can be organized, and ultimately every team must decide how they will be most efficiently used within their organization. Most often we see releases being created for any change (or group of changes) that modifies the user experience for an end user or an internal team member in any way. This can range from a brand new feature release, to a monthly roundup of bug fixes, to bi-weekly updates made to critical internal tooling and systems. Perhaps not surprisingly, we also see releases in LaunchNotes often mapping very closely to how work has been organized in the team's project management tool.
Releases include key information about each release, including the release name, the status of the work, a summary of what's being done, all relevant categories, and a historical timeline of all updates that were made as the release progresses from "in planning" through to "complete".
This article will cover the following topics:
Starting a release
We recommend starting a release as soon as you've committed to work so you can start to think about which teams to bring in, and when, what they should expect, and also start to plan for communicating to your end users if they will be impacted.
To start a release, on your project home-screen under the releases tab select the "new release" button on the right hand navbar, which will bring up the "Create a new release" window, which will take you through a 3 step process to creating and adding context to your new release, including:
- Release name - we suggest making this easily identifiable such as: Time period, version number or feature title.
- Release summary - A high level overview of the release.
- Categories associated to or impacted by this release.
- Release status
- Internal or public release (you can change this later, too).
Release Status gives your users a quick glance of where your release is in its lifecycle. This appears on both the internal change feed and on the hosted LaunchNotes page, where users can filter by it.
There are three different statuses - In planning, In development, and Complete, which you can update as the change moves through the development lifecycle
When you create a release, you'll be prompted to select which status you'd like the release to start in. To change the status on a release, select the dropdown menu in the release and update the status:
💡 Changing the release status will not send a notification. You can read up more on what actions trigger notifications here.
Internal updates are updates you create on releases that are only visible to signed in project users. These are people you've specifically invited to access your internal LaunchNotes project, and can be found under the Project users tab.
Your internal users will be notified as soon as you create an Internal update based on their notification preferences, and whether you select to notify your subscribers when posting an update - this can be toggled in the notes section:
Once an internal note has been posted, it will drop down to form a historical timeline on the release.
Public updates are perfect for providing updates to your external subscribers and broadcasting to the general public as releases get closer to launch. This helps to ensure that there are no sudden surprises when your changes are pushed live as they've been following along with your public updates.
As with your internal notes, for every public note you have the option to send a notification to update your external subscribers.
Other helpful articles to do with releases: