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When development teams are ready to launch a new product or feature, it’s imaginable that they are completely aware of the capabilities and value of what they have built. However, the development team’s feelings toward the product that they built will not be the ruling influence of whether or not the product or feature is successful among users. It is crucial to put a new product or service in the hands of the people it’s intended for to ensure that it will really solve a problem or substantially improve a process, and further, be successful in the market.

A great way to learn how a new product or feature will preform in a genuine environment is to implement a beta test. Allowing room for feedback from real users is extremely valuable for verifying the product’s readiness for the market; positive feedback provides insight to what features are solid and will perform well in the market, and negative feedback is beneficial for making adjustments to better suit users. This article shares best practices for successful beta testing from 13 members of Forbes Technology Council.

Don’t Beta Test—Deploy ‘Real’ Products As Quickly As Possible

“In my close to 40 years of software development, I’ve never seen a beta program work effectively. I think beta testing is an outdated holdover from waterfall development. Instead, I recommend an agile approach of deploying a ‘real’ minimum viable product into production as fast as possible. Deliver early, get feedback from real users and use that information to guide future development.” – Dave Todaro, Ascendle

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