Release Notes: how to test technical accuracy

release-notes

Grasshopper, what do you after you’ve written your release notes?

Test it.

Here are four ways to check if the bugs, issues and enhancements are written correctly:

1. Can you reproduce the issue?

Have you reproduced the issue on a local machine?

Note that you’ll need the same version of the application that the bug occurred on to reproduce it.

The version you may have could be the ‘fixed’ version if it’s been updated in the meantime, so make sure you have the correct version in order to reproduce.

2. Where is the location of the issue?

Have you checked where the issue occurs in the user interface?

Is it possible to create the issue from more than one place?

If the window has tabs, identify the specific tab where the issue occurs.

If the issue occurs on a specific pane on the window, and this may not be obvious to the user, highlight this to the reader.

3. How does it affect users?

Have you explained the impact on the user, for example, what they cannot perform, any limitations because of the bug, or other issues that need to be highlighted, such as related to performance?

Have you identified critical issues and other problems that may occur as a result of the primary issue?

4. How to resolve the issue?

If necessary, provide background on why this occurred, for example, if a setting was configured incorrectly. This will help the user to resolve the issue by themselves and also highlight where these settings can be modified.

Summary

Make sure to test the issue before you write the release note.

If this is not practical, make sure the QA testers review the text and approve it.