By: Dan Stewart
February 25, 2023
After the feature is released, I write release notes and post them to a Google Site. I also email them to certain distribution groups and individual stakeholders. Release notes describe the feature and the business value it brings.
Why Release Notes
Release notes are like a press release for your product. They inform stakeholders on new features, enhancements, and bug fixes.
Elements of Release Notes
- Version - I like to format the product version with a name and a date in a Product-YYYY.MM.DD format. For example "StewShack-2023.02.25". This format can be sorted, and indicates how frequently we are releasing. You can add another number if you are releasing multiple times a day.
- What's New - This is the part that will require the most information. Describe the new feature, screenshots, and even a video might be needed.
- Enhancements - This section might be just a description. Sometimes I add a screenshot with a "before" and "after".
- Bug Fix - Usually a simple description is enough.
Elements of a Release Notes Item Description
I start with "what" then "why". "Who", "where", "when", and "how" can be added if the "what" and "why" are not obvious.
Here's an example.
- Added a page on release notes. This page provides information on how I write release notes. Product owners will get valuable information along with links to further information from other sources.
- A typo was fixed on the home page.
The release notes should be published on a website so that links can be made to it from several places. It should not require a login to see them. Marketing might want to create a press release. The release notes might go viral on social media. Even email could be used to certain stakeholders.