End of life

  1. Your product growth has slowed, and you have done all the analysis and testing described in the previous chapter to make sure that it has indeed reached the stage of maturity.
  2. Or, you have launched your product and are unable to bridge the chasm that lies at the end of the innovation phase, the first phase of the life cycle of your digital product.
  3. Or, you have opted for a scheduled maturity by planning the end-of-life of the current version of your software product against a new one that has been developed and released.

End of life by unscheduled maturity

This is the worst case because besides being unplanned — as is the case with end-of-life after programmed maturity — this is a difficult situation to identify. Before you decree that it is the end of life of your digital product, you need to make sure that it is not only temporary. The most common in these cases is to numb the product for a while.

  1. Set the sales end date and execute it;
  2. Check for a replacement in the company’s product portfolio or in the marketplace;
  3. If there is a substitute, define how a client can migrate to this one;
  4. Prepare communication with customers by setting deadlines for the end of the product;
  5. Test this communication with a small group of customers to assess the impact and make the necessary adjustments;
  6. Perform communication with the entire customer base;
  7. Follow up and act on time when necessary.

End of life by not crossing the chasm

If your product enters the end of life because it does not cross the chasm, although this is not a desired situation for the development team, it is an important situation that needs to be identified quickly, and the product manager plays a key role in detecting this.

End of life by scheduled maturity

This is the best of the three options for the software owner, but it will give the product manager a hard time. In the case of installed software, this happens when new versions are released. For online software, this occurs when the development team chooses to rewrite the product for some reason and decides to release a new version. This decision to rewrite a product online should be very thoughtful because the time spent rewriting your product is unused time in its evolution from the point of view of those who use it.

Concluding

We saw in detail in previous chapters the entire life cycle of a software product, going through all its phases: innovation, growth, maturity — whether it can be programmed or not — and the end of life — that can come after maturity or when the product does not cross the chasm that separates the innovation phase from the growth phase.

Product leadership advisor

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Joca Torres

Joca Torres

Digital product development advisor, coach, and board member. Also an open water swimmer and ukulelist.