Sunsetting Software Products

Lost in all of the talk about new product development is what to do with your product when it has run its course. You may choose to refresh it, or you can sunset it. If you choose to sunset some features or your entire product, don’t just flip the switch, be intentional about it and let your customers know what you’re up to.

End of the road: How to sunset technical products. Every product has a life-cycle, and products reach the end of their usefulness in the markets they compete in. Angelo Saraceno discusses the reasons why you might need to move on from your product and how to make a plan to sunset your product. To help illustrate his points, Angelo describes some example product sunsets and discusses considerations for each strategy.

(via @ndneighbor)

End of life. Product end of life (EOL) has become a strategic tool to shift the business model or drive higher annual recurring revenue and lifetime customer value. As a product person you need to make decisions about the direction of the product portfolio, and EOLing and consolidating products plays a big part. Mike Smart explores how you can use EOL to manage your product portfolio.

(via @pragmaticmkting)

Sunsetting a Product? First Use HCD to Understand Who Uses It. There are many reasons you may consider discontinuing features and products. Your organization may want to exit a specific market, your team has developed a better solution, or your product no longer generates enough revenue. Even when one or more of these conditions are met, it’s hard to say that you’d be better off sunsetting a product. Tammy Pearson suggests that you should apply some human-centered thinking can improve the process you use to decide whether to sunset a product.

(via @atomicobject)

How to smartly sunset and deprecate APIs. The life of an API follows a predictable lifecycle – from creation to deprecation, each stage of the API lifecycle denotes an important event. API developers tend to think about the future in very positive ways but they don’t always consider what the end of that API might look like. Kristopher Sandoval describes the differences that exist between sunsetting and deprecation and what they mean for the API lifecycle. He explains how to communicate API retirement effectively, and why adopting smart support standards is important for any evergreen API management strategy.

(via @nordicapis)

Kill your darlings—how, why, and when to cut product features.  As your app evolves, you may find yourself with a lot of feature baggage. “You need to cut features that are no longer contributing to your app’s core value or risk bogging down your app’s ability to thrive. But how exactly do you determine which features to cut? And how do you go about killing a feature?” Katryna Balboni shares 3 tips for cutting features that no longer deliver value.

(via @appcues)

Kent McDonald
kentjmcdonald@gmail.com

Kent J McDonald writes about and practices software product management. He has IT and product development experience in a variety of industries including financial services, health insurance, nonprofit, and automotive. Kent currently practices his craft for a leading agriscience company and provides just in time resources for product owners and business analysts at KBP.media and Product Collective. When not writing or product managing, Kent is his family’s #ubersherpa, listens to jazz and podcasts (but not necessarily podcasts about jazz), and collects national parks.