Introducing Freshrelease, the new age agile project management software

Written by on June 19, 2019

We are thrilled to announce the launch of Freshrelease, a refreshingly simple and intuitive agile project management product that helps teams plan, track, test, and release awesome software, all from  one place.

Our audacious vision is to be the #1 product that helps teams ship world-class software. Our mission is to enable teams, large and small, to work in an independent, iterative, goal-driven, and fast environment, like a startup.

Why did we build Freshrelease?

When Freshworks started in 2010, we were a very small team of six  founding members working relentlessly to ship a single product that customers would love. Today, we have nine products, around 2000 employees, and more than 200,000 customers. In the beginning, we were inherently agile without necessarily following a framework. Small, super-connected, and laser-focussed teams were shipping software at a breakneck pace. That’s the beauty of working in a startup  —  you are agile and nimble by default. You make decisions fast, ship things out fast, learn, and iterate fast.

However, when we started  scaling, we quickly realized that we needed to embrace a simple yet efficient framework. The kind that would help our growing teams continue to operate at startup speed, without adding any unwanted process overhead.

That’s when we introduced Freshwave  —  a product development initiative for two of our largest products. At the core of it, there was one goal: to make a large product team work like a startup, so we can continue to ship software at a great pace while also keeping our teams happy and motivated. This meant large teams being split into small autonomous squads, comprising of cross-functional folks such as product managers, developers, design, and marketing. This also meant each squad would own a few meaningful goals, with clear ownership and accountability. We focussed on lesser hierarchy, quicker decision-making, clarity, and alignment to business/product goals. With this model, we had globally prioritised items, minimal processes, and  monthly team meetings (aptly titled ‘aspirations’) to let teams showcase what they had accomplished. We took the existing agile framework and tweaked it to suit our company and culture.

We also understood that to operationalize Freshwave, teams needed an easy-to-use, no-nonsense project management tool. At the time, we were using a tool that was a market leader in issue tracking. However, it was complex, slow, and was efficient only with issue tracking. Setting up workflows, admin configurations, and understanding reports were very laborious. A lot of everyday actions were buried under 10 to 15 clicks. Non-tech folks such as design, marketing, and go-to-market found it extremely difficult to understand and use the tool. Our developers wanted to automate repetitive tasks such as updating statuses, but even the most simple automation was hard to configure. We also ended up using different tools for different phases of product development. Spreadsheets for road mapping, kanban boards for general task tracking, an issue tracking tool for bugs and features, and a test case management tool for testing. This meant broken integrations and crazy hopping back and forth between tools. We definitely did not want our creators to  waste time on tools doing shallow work, but rather focus on real product building work. That’s when we decided to take this problem into our own hands.

And thus, Freshrelease was born – as a humble internal tool to begin with.

At Freshworks, we deeply care about the world of builders. We know that builders need the right set of tools to build great things.  So it made a lot of sense to build a project management software that would help us bring world-class products to the market. Freshrelease is already helping us become more agile, efficient, and put a lot of awesomeness into our products. As our teams increasingly started loving Freshrelease, we realized that there must be other companies/teams like us out there, be it a small startup or a large enterprise, who equally care about building world-class software. Being a product company at heart, we wanted to help the entire product community build awesome products. This thought immediately resonated with almost everyone inside the company, especially with our CEO Girish. And that’s when we decided to take Freshrelease to the market as our 9th new product!

We are ardent believers of dogfooding. We never ship anything to the market unless we use them ourselves, scalably and sustainably. Today, the entirety of Freshworks is using Freshrelease for software development. Within a period of six months, we have moved 25 teams, 1100 users, 65 projects, and 80K test cases to Freshrelease. We’ve completely shut down  tools we were using earlier for progress tracking, prioritization, bug tracking, and testing.

So, how different are we from the other run-of-the-mill “issue tracking” softwares out there? Well, we don’t want to be just an issue tracking tool. We want to help our users work closer and ship software faster.

As with any other Freshworks product, having an intuitive UI/UX and an easy setup is a given with Freshrelease. Today, we have the ability to run multiple projects, create roadmaps, prioritize and track work items, set up workflows, run sprints, manage and run test cases, visualize progress on kanban, and view insights. We also have an interesting feature called workflow autopilot which will save developers from boring status updates through direct integration with github/gitlab. We are also integrated well with Freshdesk and Freshservice. We will be continuing to invest in deeper integrations with our existing suite of products.

Here is a quick sneak peak of the product.

Freshrelease-backlog-and-sprintsFreshrelease-roadmapFreshrelease-sprint-boardThis is just the beginning.  But we are committed to delivering our promise –  agile project management software that helps your teams work like startups.

We are Freshrelease and we want to change the way developers build and ship software.

If this resonates with you, sign up for a free version here.

Our love for startups only continues to grow! If you are a startup or a small team, we have a liberal, free-forever, and no strings attached plan for you!

Let us know what you like and what you don’t. We will hear you, make sure your voice counts, and we’ll iterate it quick, like a startup!

 

Karthik Kalyanasundaram

Product Head, Freshrelease