Whenever a pair complete a story and release it to QA for integration testing we have a candidate for a User Release.
The Customer can make a decision on whether they wish to deploy it. We want it used because we want the customer to gain benefit from it and to confirm it meets their needs and to learn from it.
The learning experience may lead to changes to this Story or changes to yet-to-be implemented Stories or even more importantly may lead to innovation and new ideas. With the tools we have today to automatically “push” new releases out or with ASP based systems where there is only one operational copy of the software Releases are not such a big issue.
For packages the new features can be announced on a web site and customers can decide whether they want the new code now. New customers always get the latest features.
Remember the metaphor of crossing unknown country – at the end of each day’s march look out on the new territory we can see and decide in which direction we should march tomorrow.
But the key is shortening the feedback cycle and increasing the learning experiences.