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Plutora Blog - Deployment Management, Release Management

Application Impact Matrix for Release Management

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The Application Impact Matrix will show interested parties all applications (or systems) that have code changes and require progression and regression testing as well as the systems that just require regression testing in an Release. The Application Impact Matrix is normally broken down to individual projects within the Release train and clearly articulates where the dependencies and risks of the release resides. A viewer of the Application Impact Matrix should be easily able to get a heat map view of all the risks across any release.

Here are 5 benefits of introducing the Application Impact Matrix to your release management framework:

1. Manage Your Testing Scope

For test managers it is important not to expose a release to extra risk by failing to regression test systems that may be impacted by code changes. Also most projects have strict timeframes and cost controls so it is important not to waste time on unnecessary regression tests on systems that live in silos or require no testing.

2. Managing Risks & Dependencies of a Release

The Application Impact Matrix gives a visual representation of the impacts and dependencies created by a release to interested parties. Comparing the Application Impact Matrix to that of previous releases should provide an indicator and benchmark of issues likely to occur during deployment and post release. If similar past releases have breached an acceptable threshold of defects then some de-scoping of projects may be required.

3. Paper Based Risk Assessments

In the event that a function of testing may not be completed, such as SVT or using a stub in a test environment, some projects in a release may not have a 100% pass. The Application Impact Matrix will help you assess the risk of individual projects and can guide you on whether a release can proceed, a project can be removed from the release or the release should be delayed.

4. Opportunities for Further Release Scope

Since most changes to a system require a suite of regression tests to be performed, if stakeholders are shown the Application Impact Matrix for a release, then there may be a backlog of small fixes and enhancements to that system that may be able to be included in a release without increasing test effort or risk.

5. Deployment and Post-Deployment Support

The Application Impact Matrix will provide stakeholders with an indication of the resources that need to be on support during a deployment. It will also show which systems are more likely to have release related defects once the release has gone live.

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