Feature flags are a great way to release features quickly with very low risk — they allow software teams to make changes without re-deploying code. They have the power to make an organization’s DevOps practices more efficient, enabling testing in production. They can help developers, operations, QA, product, customer success, sales, and marketing teams deliver higher-quality features, faster.

But like many powerful tools, feature flags need to be used with care. When an organization adopts feature flags, it needs to simultaneously adopt a set of best practices for using them effectively and safely. This article goes beyond a technical “how-to” guide for implementing feature flags, and into the realm of process and culture. Sure, you can start using them today as an individual or a small team, but to truly realize the benefits of feature flags, the entire organization needs to embrace them — and without the necessary process and cultural shifts, you can accumulate a very large load of technical debt very quickly. At best, you’ll end up with bloated code, and at worst, the bloated code can lead to catastrophic events.

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