Change is the defining characteristic of software. That change—that adaptation—begins with release. Release is the beginning of the software’s true life; everything before that release is gestation. Either systems grow over time, adapting to their changing environment, or they decay until their costs outweigh their benefits and then die.
We can make change cost less and hurt less by planning for releases to production as an integral part of our software. That’s in contrast to designing for change inside the software but disregarding the act of making that change live in production.