Should Monzo follow an iOS type release cycle?

I’ve felt over the last six months that the pace of development has slowed down quite a bit at Monzo, at least from the end user perspective. I’m sure behind the scenes there are loads of things that the staff can see that are cool but they just haven’t reached the end user yet.

As Monzo hits scale I think it becomes sensible to consider whether or not Monzo should do big annual/semi annual software releases whereby this is where the new big features are rolled out. Other minor software updates throughout the year could be used to patch bugs and optimise the app.

This would remove the ongoing joke of “sooooooon” and it would also allow for Monzo to strive towards parity. Not just parity between iOS & Android but parity between, Normal Accounts, Joint Accounts and Business Accounts.

At the moment it all seems a bit fragmented. Hidden pots coming to iOS but not sure when, lack of information around Monzo Plus. Merchant data has been an issue since as long as I can remember, originally @kieranmch was doing some work on this but he got placed onto another task that took his focus. We are used to seeing things like the ‘Big List’ or roadmaps and this all seems to have fallen off a bit. Having a major/minor release cycles ensures that Monzo isn’t bombarded with the same questions all the time, it focuses everyone’s mind on getting new feature launches right and probably gives monzo a bit more balance on the transparency front with customers.

I would accept a slow down of releases say one per quarter, if this meant users across both platforms got features at the same time. Other banks can achieve this, so I dont really get why Monzo can’t to be honest.

As others have said that’s the way that development is going, smaller iterative releases over “big bang” so I would expect Monzo to go this way

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Why would anyone (us or Monzo) want to hold back the release of feature(s) until the end of the year/quarter?

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This is kind of what Bunq do as well I think, they have ‘big releases’, I think they are currnetly on “Release 13”.

I’m not sure how well it works, as I’m not a Bunq user, but the release cycle does seem to be a good way to build in new features at a specific schedule.

I can get it for things like an iOS, or lets say major app structural updates - at least having a one off new release to work to, but if it’s the introduction of new ‘banking’ features (rather than say app structural).

I wonder though - would it actually make more or newer features, having a release cycle? I agree development since the time of The Big List has slowed down - and yes there are fixes and other things to work on - but what “extra releases” would you expect in the time between Big List and now?

Pretty much all iOS apps are now using a continuous deployment process like Monzo. Smaller releases mean less code changes between each release and therefore less opportunity for bugs to creep in!

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It’s because they employed a minimum viable product strategy. They moved fast and broke things.

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It won’t happen.

Personally, if it meant it brought parity, I’d love to see Monzo slow a little and release things at the same time but, as @Ordog has already asked, why should they do that?

I think Monzo have a couple more years of agile development to go before they’ve reached a stable MVP and the size of change slows and which point they may reconsider their approach (or not as smaller changes are even more achievable with Agile development).

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I understand, but dont :slight_smile:

I work in scrums/sprint (Agile) day to day so I understand what an MVP is and I also get that achieving parity is complexity that you wouldn’t necessarily want to begin with.

Doesn’t mean that non parity should always be the case, if they were truly agile they would be challenging the development scale (maybe they are) and continually re-evaluating where they are and when they think parity could be acheived.

That’s going off topic a little so I’ll stop - my answer on this is no, I think iterative releases duel OS would be where I’d like to see them go

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I feel like the beta testing slow rollout is better for QA and feedback especially with monzo having such an active community, why shouldn’t they use it to their advantage.

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imagine the intial monzo plus launch with a “cyclical” release plan…

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I can actually, a paid for app with a committed, regular, release schedule? Sounds good to me. Part of paying for it is knowing when the next release will be.

That’s an interestingly positive way to talk about releasing features more slowly

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Fixed that for you :laughing:

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Why is slowly bad? Why is fast better? #maybetakenthewrongway

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Couple of things to note, one is that many teams are slowing down because we’re actively moving away from Minimum Viable Products and towards shipping fewer, more complete features.

We’re also working more on back office features. A lot of you complained about customer support wait times last year, so we have been investing a lot in automating away a lot of the things support staff spent their time on and fixing core issues that caused people to get in touch with support in the first place.

Even then, there’s still a lot going on, but perhaps they’re less headline features that everyone can take advantage of. My current work focuses on card payment disputes for example. That’s something not everyone is going to be interacting with on a daily basis, but I hope that once these things start going live, it’ll make the experience better for those who do need to use it. :slightly_smiling_face:

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Thanks for the detailed reply, interesting to see a move away from MVP (And that’s not a bad thing…)

“The Biggest Lie in Software is Phase 2”

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Well I, personally, would prefer less releases on testflight with meaningful and working features, over MVP’s that in reality should be tested with a small group, got right and then released to a wider base.

I guess what I really mean is that Monzo isn’t the bank it once was, so perhaps it needs to consider how it goes about releasing. (Rika’s post seems to outline that as it happens). IF that means we as the community get fewer releases but more per release then I, personally, would be really positive about it.

Thanks for the insight @Rika much appreciate this and will definitely help with future forum discussions :wink:

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