Monthly Tempo of Change

Gitlab and Telegram

There are two SAAS companies that provide a significant tempo of change worth of emulation: Telegram and Gitlab. Both have large scale and use, and provide monthly updates. This tempo is something that even small companies can emulate and manage. Monthly updates provide discipline and expectations both from customers and endusers, as well as employees and partners.

Change Tempo and Change Quality

Any organization providing digital services whatsoever can improve quality by an increase in tempo. The sooner better services are provided, the higher quality the experience becomes. And a regular tempo increases the reliability of a functioning team. This applies to any digital property, be it a website, app, email newsletter, etc.

Of course content can follow a different schedule than that of monthly, based on the needs of a given organization, their content strategy, and their audience. Nonetheless, functional, service-oriented change should have both priority and a consistent deliverable schedule.

Monthly Release Schedules of Gitlab and Telegram

For Gitlab, all changes are shipped on the 22nd of the month. There are also incremental patches released as needed during the month. For Telegram, releases coincide with a particular feature completion, though multiple features are shipped together. In 2020 there were 12 releases for Telegram.

Their examples are illuminating best-in-class as they outpace their competitors.

Monthly, Six Weeks, Quarterly Goals

According to Jim Doerr in Measure what Matters, quarterly goals are more common in medium to large organizations, though any thought-out schedule can work, depending on organization and context. A six-week schedule is common for certain types of software engineering using agile teams. Six weeks is a cadence, not a sprint, though again there is no magic number but rather common practices. Two-week sprints are a good place to start in agile development, a time-box that is not too-long and not too-short a timeframe. Something meaningful can get done while focus can be maintained.

For client-focused work, a monthly tempo coincides with generally preferred reporting timelines. Using OKRs (Objectives and Key Results) in goal planning and execution are a good fit for monthly, six-weekly, and quarterly timeframes, depending on context and organization.