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TIP OF THE WEEK

Agile methods say that code should be "production ready" at the end of each iteration, which means that it SHOULD be capable of going into production, but not that you necessarily DO. The actual deployment decision is a business one, and may occur at the end of any iteration that makes sense. Think of it as a number of releases, each with a number of iterations within it. It is up to the business to decide how many iterations make a release "good enough" for bothering to go through independent testing and/or a production readiness assessment, etc. so that they can be fully deployed in production. The idea of "production ready" is that the software can be deployed in a QA or demo environment so that the business people can start playing with it, performing some early UAT feedback, etc. -- they don't actually have to start using it, just start assessing it and giving input.