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Author: Dalibor Siroky

Enterprise Release Manager Job Description

Enterprise Release Manager: The Only Job Description You Need to Hire the Best

Enterprise Release Manager is a new role in the enterprise. It has become critical as enterprises continue to report larger portfolios with an increased number of smaller, more independent projects. At the same time, more companies are decentralizing deployment and release responsibilities to individual development teams. With more projects releasing software to production more frequently […]

July 10th, 2017  |  Published in Release Management

You Can’t Have a True DevOps Culture Without Effective Release Management

While the DevOps movement and associated technologies have garnered much attention and fanfare, few have addressed the core issue—the handoff from development to operations. This blog post explains why Release Management is the bridge between development and operations, and how you can strengthen that bridge with the right approach, tools, teams, and processes.  The Chasm […]

June 26th, 2017  |  Published in Agile Release Management, Release Management

software testing communication

4 Reasons Why Communication Should be Your Single Most Important Software Testing Goal

Do you know why improving communication should be your single most important software testing goal? Here are four reasons why communication is so critical. 1. Spend Less Time in Meetings, on Calls, and on Email Effective and efficient communication equips you and your team to spend less time sending email, sitting in meetings, taking phone […]

May 17th, 2017  |  Published in Test Case Management

Agile and DevOps are failing in Fortune 500 companies. It should be a wake-up call to all of us.

Mistruths promoting the cure-all, Agile and DevOps, hurt everyone seeking a truly better way to deliver software. ING begun its agile transformation in 2010 with just three teams practicing agile. After seeing the success of those first three teams, ING transformed its entire development organization to Agile in 2011. While the transformation was deemed a […]

May 10th, 2017  |  Published in Test Case Management

How to Spend Less Time Providing Software Testing Status Updates in the Enterprise

Do you spend too much time providing status updates in emails, calls, and meetings? Does your testing team often not have the information they need to get the job done? Here is how you can improve communication throughout the phases of software testing. How to Improve Communication Throughout the Phases of Software Testing Review Requirements […]

May 3rd, 2017  |  Published in Test Case Management

Software Test Management and Test Environment Management

Why Treating Test Management and Test Environment Management Separately is Killing Your Efficiency

Imagine that you have hundreds of development, testing, and operations teams spread across the globe that rely on each other to execute software testing. You have 245 test environments and you release to pre-production several times a day and deploy to production once a week. How do you manage all the software tests, test data, […]

April 25th, 2017  |  Published in Test Case Management

Control Costs: Use Cloud Test Environments

There is no way that’s more effective at reducing your overall test environment spend than migrating to cloud test environments and embracing testing and infrastructure automation. The nature of test environments is inherently temporary—you set up an environment, run through an automated test suite, and then tear down the environment. If you can reduce the cycle […]

February 28th, 2017  |  Published in Test Environment Management

Metrics and KPIs for Test Environment Stability

If your testing environments are constantly unavailable and affected by outages, your release timelines will be affected. You can use Plutora to measure stability events for specific environments, so you can pinpoint and plan around events that will affect your critical path to release. How often is an environment unavailable due to factors within your project’s […]

February 26th, 2017  |  Published in Test Environment Management

Control Costs: Measure Test Environment Effort

How many people does it take to set up and tear down a test environment? If you ask this question and measure the effort required you might be surprised by the result. While organizations often focus on the hardware budget for test environments, the largest cost associated with test environment management is almost always the […]

February 19th, 2017  |  Published in Test Environment Management

Control Costs: Scale Down Test Environments

You’d be surprised how often organizations insist on running a carbon-copy of a production network for a rarely-used staging environment; this is unnecessary. You don’t need a million-dollar staging environment sitting next to your production environment. You should control your test environment costs. If you are searching for strategies to reduce the cost of your […]

February 14th, 2017  |  Published in Test Environment Management

Achieve Data-driven Releases Using Test Management Software

While developers can sprint from idea to implementation in a matter of days, QA has struggled to keep up with this rapid pace due to a lack of standard test management software tools. The ability to track software requirements across the full software development lifecycle including testing and verification is often the missing piece in […]

February 8th, 2017  |  Published in Test Case Management

Control Costs: Keep Track of Test Environments

Test environments cost money; this is the inescapable fact of test environment management. It can be difficult to justify the expense in your conversations with finance and management, especially if they lack a software development background. Businesses are often fine with dropping millions on production infrastructure because there’s a direct line between keeping production running and revenue. […]

February 5th, 2017  |  Published in Test Environment Management

Plutora is a Top 20 Influential Brand for Release Management

Plutora Release Manager, the industry-leading platform, has received a vote of confidence from the release management community, with the announcement of Electric Cloud’s Top 20 Vendors in Release Management. Release Management Professionals Agree Electric Cloud operates the Release Management Wiki, the industry’s largest compilation of release management articles and resources sourced from around the web. […]

January 31st, 2017  |  Published in Release Management

All Test Case Management Tools are not Created Equal

If you’ve used test case management tools before, you’ll understand that there are a range of products on the market. There are old standards that have been around since before the dawn of the World Wide Web, and there are relative market newcomers that offer different levels of sophistication. Here are the factors that make […]

January 30th, 2017  |  Published in Test Case Management

How Much should a Cloud-based Test Environment Cost?

How much should you be spending on your test environments? How much is too much? How much should test environment cost? In this post, we outline a simplified model of a generic application running in the cloud. Using Amazon Web Services (AWS) on-demand prices we calculate some price points and explore the cost of QA […]

December 14th, 2016  |  Published in Test Environment Management

Test Smarter with a Test Case Management Tool

With software releases happening every week your teams need a more dynamic and intelligent test case management tool. You can’t afford to run every single test case every time a developer changes a line of code. It introduces delay, and it’s not an intelligent use of resources. The industry is full of stories of developers […]

December 12th, 2016  |  Published in Test Case Management

Why do you need all these environments?

If a project has regular releases there’s a good chance that when a development team is finished with a feature, a QA team takes over to validate that feature. During that QA process, development teams often want to move on to the next feature. In these scenarios having two QA environments make sense as features can be delayed and releases will have to be serialized if a QA environment is “tied up.”

December 7th, 2016  |  Published in Test Environment Management

How much do the environments cost?

When I talk to people about environment management I’m surprised by the number of people who don’t understand how much they cost.  In a large organization it isn’t immediately obvious just how much a particular environment costs.  It isn’t like people announce how much a VM costs every time someone spins one up to support […]

October 31st, 2016  |  Published in Test Environment Management

Reclaiming Underutilized Environments

What is an Environment? When we discuss Environment Management, we’re not thinking about simple systems.  An environment isn’t just a web server and a database.  Instead, we’re thinking about complex systems with a lot of moving parts.  For example, a large e-commerce website that generates billions in revenue may have several different environments: one for […]

October 26th, 2016  |  Published in Test Case Management, Test Environment Management

What is the difference between Release Management and Service Management?

Service management implies IT Service Management or ITSM while release management is a whole different set of roles and responsibilities and it is a term that is geared more toward a development-driven IT organization. Some organizations take an ITSM approach to release management, but many organizations are starting to decouple traditional ITSM from more agile […]

October 24th, 2016  |  Published in Release Management

How to Run Post-Release Reviews: Learning from a Release Event

A release is a highly orchestrated set of changes performed on a complex system, and, as with any change to a software system, it can introduce risks to availability and system stability. These risks are offset by the rewards of shipping updated software to customers, but you should view every release event as a trade-off […]

October 10th, 2016  |  Published in Release Management

TEST Magazine has recognized Stryka as one of the 20 Leading Testing Providers of 2016

A magazine for software testing and quality professionals, TEST Magazine is read by over 10,700 members across Europe, the US, and South Asia. TEST Magazine’s unbiased, holistic and pragmatic viewpoint has made it the leading journal in its sector. In TEST Magazine’s announcement of the 20 Leading Testing Providers of 2016, they wrote: “The software testing landscape changes rapidly, and we […]

September 26th, 2016  |  Published in Test Case Management

Tailoring Release Management to Both Operations and Development

Instead of adopting cookie-cutter solutions for release management based on static, flowchart-driven models, enterprises need purpose-built systems designed with a model that can be adapted to the needs of an individual enterprise that incorporate components from emerging DevOps-focused approaches to release management and more standard ITSM-focused approaches to IT Service Management. Your developers have their […]

September 14th, 2016  |  Published in Release Management

An Environment for Every Developer?

This trend is showing up in the enterprise and it’s starting to cause friction for TEM managers who might not yet appreciate what’s driving this transition. If you’ve run a report on environments and noticed that one or two teams has hundreds of QA environments this is a signal that you have a team that is trying to transition to cloud-based development.

July 15th, 2016  |  Published in Test Environment Management

How can I accelerate my DevOps initiative?

Everyone has a DevOps initiative – everyone. No matter what size our client or prospective customer the term “DevOps” comes into the conversation whenever we ask someone to describe current initiatives and challenges. Most are trying transform an existing organization to take advantage of DevOps practices such as continuous delivery and deployment automation. The challenge […]

July 13th, 2016  |  Published in Release Management

How to Clean Up Polluted Test Environments in 9 Steps

Take thousands of developers, distribute them over several departments, and split them up into small teams of 10-20. Now take these 20-50 development groups and ask them to create a distributed, service-oriented architecture. Without a solid approach to test environment management your organization will end up with a real “mess” of testing environments. Test environments […]

June 3rd, 2016  |  Published in Test Environment Management

What is Test Environment Conflict?

In an environment where infrastructure is shared across several development teams test environment conflict happens when more than one project needs to use test environment resources at the same time. It can also occur when competing release trains of the same project have overlapping test environment requirements. Test environment conflict is a common cause of […]

May 16th, 2016  |  Published in Test Environment Management

How to Prepare for Test Environment Emergencies

Environment “shortages” always start with a test environment emergency – some unforeseen need for a new environment. Maybe a high-profile project has both an urgent production bug to fix and an unrealistic deadline to meet at the same time. This project’s QA and staging environments can’t be disturbed to fix production without ruining a schedule […]

May 10th, 2016  |  Published in Test Environment Management

The Definitive Hiring Guide for Deployment Managers

A deployment manager on the largest of projects is a project manager who assumes responsibility for managing deployment playbooks and making sure that the sequence of event during a release process are run properly. But, there’s more to it than that. They are also expected to be a technical assessor of risk, and they need […]

May 10th, 2016  |  Published in Release Management

How to Measure Release-related Downtime

Software releases are the single biggest factor contributing to downtime across all industries. Almost without exception whenever you hear of a high-profile outage with a bank or an airline it is almost always related to a software release or a high-risk change being made to a system. While organizations can put quality checks and governance […]

May 2nd, 2016  |  Published in Release Management

frequent software releases

Enabling Frequent Software Releases, Greater Independence

As release managers and executives, we address release complexity and complex dependencies between releases by combining software releases...

April 27th, 2016  |  Published in Deployment Management, IT Governance, Release Management, Test Case Management, Test Environment Management

Testing Against Production? Blame Your Data

Managing databases and newer, more exotic NoSQL stores is an emerging challenge in an industry under constant pressure to move faster. While the industry has perfected the art of cloud-based provisioning and configuration of application servers, databases continue to be a pain point for environment managers. There are a few factors at play. Most large […]

April 22nd, 2016  |  Published in Test Environment Management

What is Test Environment Pollution?

Test environment pollution and test environment churn are two of the biggest factors contributing to delay and inefficiency in test environment management. Test environment churn is a measure of how quickly test environments are changing and the stability of your test environments. Test environment pollution is a measure of how active, up-to-date, and relevant your […]

April 22nd, 2016  |  Published in Test Environment Management

Moving to a Continuous Delivery Model? Communication is Key

A pattern we’re noticing more and more is that technology departments are starting to get out in front of the business. All too often this creates an odd paradox: the business might be asking technology to slow down because it hasn’t adapted to a continuous delivery model. This is especially true in organizations that have […]

April 8th, 2016  |  Published in Release Management

The Time Is Now for a Holistic Approach to IT Delivery Assurance

“To truly achieve IT delivery assurance, companies must empower program managers and delivery managers with a dedicated tool for introducing orchestrated, end-to-end control of the delivery process and visibility into project statuses, delivery progress and software quality across the entire organization.” For years, project management offices have gotten by with their project portfolio management (PPM) […]

April 5th, 2016  |  Published in Release Management

Why Your DevOps Processes Need More Discipline

“To keep up with increasing demand for high quality, rapid software releases, IT organizations must shift to Disciplined DevOps — an approach to software release collaboration that blends agile delivery with risk management and governance that support delivery assurance” DevOps has become something of a buzzword in the IT community as companies craft their own […]

March 31st, 2016  |  Published in Release Management

Transparency and Communication: The Keys to More Agile Software Releases

Two decades makes a huge difference for software developers. We’ve gone from months-long development cycles to lifecycles measured in weeks or days, with some on the “bleeding edge” executing highly agile software releases even more frequently than that. At Plutora, our management team has been at the forefront of this transformation for decades. We’ve moved the […]

March 28th, 2016  |  Published in Release Management, Test Environment Management

A Look At the ROI: Is Enterprise Release Management Worth It?

“In many real-world case studies, Plutora has resulted in returns exceeding 600%. A typical return is around 400% depending on the depth of using the Platform. Factoring additional savings from Environment reclamation and reduction in capital spending on servers or Cloud Environments, ROI can balloon to over 1000%.” Even as software release demands exceed the capacity of […]

March 24th, 2016  |  Published in Deployment Management, Release Management

How to Reduce Test Environment Conflict

Test environment conflict is when two projects or two releases require access to the same testing resources at the same time. For a Test Environment Manager this might mean that two projects need to test against the same database or deploy to the same environment at the same time, and for a release manager this […]

March 22nd, 2016  |  Published in Release Management, Test Environment Management

The Definitive Hiring Guide for Enterprise Release Managers

This is the third installment in a series on hiring considerations within a modern enterprise software environment. For the second installment, click here. An Enterprise Release Manager (ERM) is a new role in the enterprise and it is a by-product of several factors. First, enterprises continue to report larger portfolios with an increased number of smaller, more independent projects. At the […]

March 19th, 2016  |  Published in Release Management, Test Environment Management

8 Proven Practices to Strengthen Your Enterprise Release Management Processes

Your IT team has adopted DevOps approaches to enable a faster and more reliable way to move initiatives between development teams and operations. However, you’re still witnessing inconsistent results despite a concerted effort to move towards continuous delivery. Why? Automating various steps of the application development process makes life easier for players in the various […]

March 17th, 2016  |  Published in Release Management

The Definitive Hiring Guide for Test Environment Managers

This is the second installment in a series on hiring considerations within a modern enterprise software environment. For the first installment, click here. Decades ago, when software projects were larger and more monolithic projects moved very slowly. Developers didn’t build micro-service architectures in weeks using modern software tools and processes such as Agile. They worked on projects with timelines measured in […]

March 15th, 2016  |  Published in Test Environment Management

The Definitive Hiring Guide for An Application Release Manager

Of all the jobs we’ve described in our series of posts focused on hiring, the application release manager role is the role that has been the most constant over the past several years. Deployment managers and test environment managers are relatively new job roles emerging only as the number of applications and environments grew as […]

March 3rd, 2016  |  Published in Release Management

The Secret to Success: Detailed Release Planning & Preparation

When your company conducts a high-risk migration to a new platform or when you are faced with a challenge to preserve uptime on a critical day, you plan for every possible contingency and you look at every single facet of your enterprise to identify the weakest link. You prepare. Release planning requires much of the same. Whether […]

March 1st, 2016  |  Published in Deployment Management, Release Management

Complexity at Scale: Trials and Tribulations of Success

“Complexity” is often viewed as a negative. This is perhaps even more the case at scale, where some degree of complexity is unavoidable. Any unnecessary complexity, states the conventional wisdom, is public enemy number one. But does that wisdom ring true? Let’s look a little closer at the contours and implications of complexity at scale. […]

February 28th, 2016  |  Published in Release Management

7 Critical Success Factors when Establishing a Release Management Office

The executive concern regarding software development used to revolve around the choice between a waterfall approach or agile teams. Now, the development world is almost decidedly convinced that agile is the way to go. With agile projects seeing 350% to 600% greater success than waterfall development (depending on project size), who could argue with the […]

February 25th, 2016  |  Published in Release Management

Can Continuous Delivery Accommodate Legacy Software Systems?

The future of software releases is clear. Continuous delivery is here to stay. But does that mean that legacy software systems and infrastructure need to be altogether abandoned? If you polled the people busy redefining best practices today, they’d agree that in a decade we’re going to be effortlessly collaborating on highly complex systems that […]

February 24th, 2016  |  Published in Deployment Management, Release Management

How do I do DevOps at Scale? Challenges and Solutions

DevOps in a startup is defined by developer-driven automation. Instrument everything, establish a culture of automation, and enable your developers to deploy software to production frequently and you’ll be practicing DevOps. You’ll be using any number of accepted tools to achieve these goals from open source tools such as Puppet and Jenkins to public clouds […]

February 22nd, 2016  |  Published in Release Management

What Does Continuous Delivery Management Mean?

Continuous Delivery is a trend that is taking the software industry by storm, and Continuous Delivery Management (CDM) is a new approach to release management that provides both transparency and a governance structure to manage continuous delivery across a large software enterprise. CDM is a developing focus area designed to apply the benefits of continuous […]

February 18th, 2016  |  Published in Deployment Management, Release Management

I Thought DevOps Integration was Supposed to be Easy?

We’ve said it on this blog before, and we’ll repeat the same message: Solving a software engineering problem is simple physics. It takes a set amount of energy to move a project from point A to point B, and changing the process or path doesn’t change the unavoidable fact that difficult software problems are difficult […]

February 16th, 2016  |  Published in IT Governance, Release Management, Test Environment Management

3 Steps to Efficient Enterprise DevOps

If you work for a large company, you’ll often look around and wonder if moving to a daily release cycle or automating deployments is even possible given the number of meetings and the amount of process your releases are subject to. Between the CAB meetings, the QA schedules, and the coordinated conference calls it’s tough […]

February 10th, 2016  |  Published in Release Management

How to Reduce the Cost of Managing Releases

Managing software releases across a large enterprise can be costly. Your organization has to employ several release managers and teams of people dedicated to testing and environment management. If you haven’t stepped back and thought about cost over the last several years you might want to take some time to think about how you can […]

January 22nd, 2016  |  Published in Release Management

5 Reasons Modern Software is Never “Done”

The software industry is constantly changing. Whether we’re developing for new mobile platforms, adopting the latest languages, or upgrading our methodology there are few constants when it comes to modern software. As timelines for software delivery projects tend to be shorter, more continuous approaches, we’ve compiled a list of the five reasons that software projects […]

January 16th, 2016  |  Published in Release Management, Test Environment Management

The Gold Master: Why Modern Software is Never Finished

Gone are the days of the “Golden Master”. In fact, programmers new to the industry may not even recognize the term. Let’s travel back in time, before cable modems and fast internet connections to when software was distributed on floppy disks or CD-ROMs. There was little or no opportunity to “update” software once you shipped it, and add-ons […]

January 10th, 2016  |  Published in Release Management, Test Environment Management

Testing Environment Management Resolutions for 2016

To follow up our previous post on environment management resolutions for 2016, here is a post focused on specific resolutions for Test Environment Management (TEM). Most of the challenge for TEM relates to unknowns surrounding the testing process: How long is a testing process going to take? What are the shifting data requirements for test […]

January 7th, 2016  |  Published in Test Environment Management

Enterprise Release Management Resolutions for 2016

Happy 2016. To help you think about the Environment Management year ahead, we’ve assembled a collection of resolutions for you to try out. Resolution #1 – I will plan ahead for environment requirements. Many environment managers operate in a reactive mode. They make some wildly inaccurate forecasts about future demand and they sit on excess […]

January 4th, 2016  |  Published in Deployment Management, Release Management, Test Environment Management

What is Test Environment Churn?

Test Environment Churn and Test Environment Pollution are two things that happen when you have environment managers creating hundreds of environments to support hundreds of projects across several departments. In this post I’m going to focus on Test Environment Churn: what is it? And, what does it represent in the context of Test Environment Management. […]

January 4th, 2016  |  Published in Test Environment Management

8 Ways to Improve your Enterprise Release Management Process

What is Enterprise Release Management? Whilst it is common to think of Release Management as the final promotion of a component into a production environment we take a far broader view of the release management process ranging from the strategy of establishing quarterly, monthly or fortnightly release windows, prioritising the contents of each release, understanding […]

December 11th, 2015  |  Published in Release Management

Measure the Actual vs. Planned Duration to Achieve Deployment Plans that Model Reality

A deployment plan can model anything: infrastructure changes, software releases, or configuration changes that span multiple departments.  While many of the core software deployment tasks that enterprises face today can be automated most systems still require a plan.   Most deployments still involve a coordinator to make sure that a large team is synchronized and executing […]

October 30th, 2015  |  Published in Deployment Management

Changing Your Release Process: That’s the Real Revolution

Years and years, decades: that’s how long some of the release processes we support have been running. In a sector that is so focused on the newest technologies it can be challenging to design systems that last more than a few years, but when you support software development at the largest scale you notice something: […]

October 29th, 2015  |  Published in Release Management

4 Ways to Motivate the Laggards: Managing Slow Releases to Move Faster

If you work in a large enterprise you know what I’m talking about. Some teams move fast (maybe too fast) while other teams still operate as if they are in 1985. How do you get these teams to move faster? There’s such a wide range of capabilities in today’s enterprise it can often feel like […]

October 18th, 2015  |  Published in Release Management

Agile Accountability: Do your Governance Gates have a Padlock or a Warning Sign?

Most large software enterprises are facing a tough choice: on one hand you have the control and stability of traditional ITSM, and on the other you have the self-service freedom and agility of more modern approaches such as DevOps.   As organizations move toward self-service releases and more rapid iterations change management presents a problematic bottleneck […]

October 14th, 2015  |  Published in Release Management

Managing Mixed Releases in Bimodal IT with Plutora

Bimodal IT is a trend identified by Gartner that describes a common challenge for IT departments – how to support two modes of operation within the same IT department.   According to Gartner’s definition: “Mode 1 is traditional and sequential, emphasizing safety and accuracy. Mode 2 is exploratory and nonlinear, emphasizing agility and speed.” Bimodal IT […]

September 29th, 2015  |  Published in Release Management

Release Managers are the Heroes of Bimodal IT

Gartner has put a name on a common experience across all industries – IT departments often support two different approaches to IT.  One side is focused on agility and rapid time to market while the other is focused on stability and traditional service management.  With Bimodal IT you have one department operating in two modes: […]

September 20th, 2015  |  Published in Release Management

6 Roles Key to Enterprise Release Management Success

Large organizations engaged in enterprise release management seldom have a single “enterprise release manager.”  Instead of a single, “enterprise-wide” responsibility, most large, decentralized organizations assign responsibility for more strategic, release management functions to several existing roles. An enterprise release management practice supports and is supported by the following enterprise release management roles: IT Portfolio Management […]

September 11th, 2015  |  Published in Release Management

ERM Brings It All Together: A Single Dashboard for Enterprise Release Status

Enterprise software development has undergone a dramatic transformation in the last decade as most companies have transitioned to more iterative, agile approaches to software delivery.  This overall acceleration of the software development effort has been focused squarely on more tactical practices related to software development.  From source control to scrums to deployment automation, most IT […]

September 3rd, 2015  |  Published in Release Management

Move Faster, Get Better: ERM is Continuous Process Improvement

Across industries time to market for new software initiatives is decreasing over time and the frequency with which releases are transitioned from development to production is increasing. Put simply, every major company is turning into a software company and software is being delivered faster. This transformation is driven by the widespread adoption of agile methodologies […]

August 27th, 2015  |  Published in Release Management

3 Immediate Wins from Enterprise Release Management

With Enterprise Release Management (ERM) organizations can achieve real agility above the level of individual projects.  When management functions are informed by feeds updated continuously and when multiple departments agree upon consolidated dashboards of release progress organizations can start focusing on efficient execution and avoid interrupting productive resources just to measure progress. Unlocking the Organization: […]

August 20th, 2015  |  Published in Release Management

What Companies Benefit Most from Enterprise Release Management?

There are three characteristics that drive the need to establish a strong Release Management Process (ERM) practice and they are all related to the complications that accompany scale: Team Size – The number of people involved in an enterprise release. System Scope – The scope of an enterprise system and interdependencies between subsystems affected by an enterprise […]

August 13th, 2015  |  Published in Release Management

4 Core Practices that Define Enterprise Release Management

Enterprise Release Management (ERM) is an emerging set of practices designed to support enterprise change initiatives and software delivery across multiple projects within large organizations. ERM is the management of the software delivery lifecycle across multiple projects and departments within a large organization – the orchestration of activities and resources across multiple, interdependent software releases and […]

August 6th, 2015  |  Published in Release Management

Even with Automation You Still Need a Deployment Runbook

When you read about DevOps in the technical press you come away with the idea that infrastructure automation has solved the problem of complex releases. These images of success are backed up by vendor assertions that businesses are no longer burdened by complex releases spanning multiple teams.  We’re done.  Just start using tools like Puppet […]

July 17th, 2015  |  Published in Deployment Management, Release Management

Our Best Guess: Release Management Failure

Last week wasn’t a good week for the stability of high-profile systems.  United airlines had a ground-stop due to an “automation failure”, the New York Stock Exchange suffered a problem that caused an interruption of trading, and the Wall Street Journal had issues with site availability.  United is blaming this week’s outage on a bad router, the […]

July 10th, 2015  |  Published in Release Management

Connecting DevOps to the Business at DevOps Summit New York

This week we’re attending the Sys-con DevOps Summit in New York City.  It’s a great conference and energy behind DevOps is enormous. Thousands of attendees from every company you can imagine are focused on automation, the challenges of DevOps, and how to bring greater agility to software delivery.  But, even with the energy behind DevOps […]

June 12th, 2015  |  Published in Release Management, Test Environment Management

Plutora’s Real Benefit: Fewer Meetings

Release managers understand what it means to have a triple-booked Outlook calendar.  They have calendars subject to rapid last-minute changes as project timelines slip and environments issues cause a series of fire-drill emergencies to be solved right now. Most release managers spend all day, every day in a series of meetings trying to glean the […]

June 9th, 2015  |  Published in Release Management

Can we get another QA Environment… Tomorrow?

“Hey, can we get another QA environment?” That question can ruin an environment manager’s day. A large organization plans for capacity, purchases enough infrastructure to support as many environments as the organization needs at once, and even “on the cloud” resources have a price. Several teams asking for new environments “out-of-band” force environment managers to […]

June 5th, 2015  |  Published in Test Environment Management

Avoid the Test Environment Management Penalty Box

We’ve compared release managers to air traffic controllers in previous blog posts. For test environment managers we use a different analogy, instead of air traffic controllers a test environment manager job’s is more akin to assigning and preparing gates for flights arriving to and taking off from a busy airport. An environment manager’s job is […]

June 1st, 2015  |  Published in Test Environment Management

DevOps Trust and Transparency with Plutora

When Forrester analysts Amy DeMartine and Kurt Bittner wrote “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective DevOps” the habit I focused on was habit number one: “Establish trust and transparency between Dev and Ops.” This is at the core of release management: DevOps Trust and Transparency – ensuring that both sides of this equation agree when […]

May 30th, 2015  |  Published in Release Management

VPs to Release Managers: “Do We Have a Plan?”

This post could have also been titled “Questions Release Managers should be Prepared to Answer.”  Imagine you report to a VP who is asking you questions about how prepared you are for releases and how you are addressing a set of emerging issues. Everyone who has participated in release management understands that software change is […]

May 26th, 2015  |  Published in Release Management

Production Deployments Don’t have to be a High Wire Act

It’s 3 AM in California, and you are still awake trying to sort through a release process that has been delayed by several hours. The deployment to the main application cluster took several extra hours due to an unanticipated problem with the servers, and now everyone is waiting on the lead database administrator to call […]

May 21st, 2015  |  Published in Deployment Management, Release Management

Release Management at Scale Means Integration with Every Tool

How many issue trackers does your organization run?  How about change management systems?  If you are a large organization, the answer’s probably more than a handful due to the way business grows through mergers and acquisitions. When managing a release driven by projects using separate issue trackers most retreat to spreadsheets to create a common […]

May 16th, 2015  |  Published in Release Management

How Agile Release Managers Skip Change Control

Do you think development teams really update those BMC Remedy tickets with all the changes contained in a release?  They don’t.  Most of them just “check the box” and move on.  They choose a Risk Level that won’t raise questions from the Change Control managers and they work around the checks and balances.  The alternative […]

May 11th, 2015  |  Published in Release Management

Using Plutora to Support the Scaled Agile Framework

Effective development teams understand incremental development and value lightweight process, and most developers working in 2015 deliver software in iterations punctuated by iteration planning meetings or Scrums. Gone are the days of waterfall development and projects that take months-and-months to deliver results. While most effective organizations have transitioned software development to some form of Agile […]

May 3rd, 2015  |  Published in Release Management

Reduce CAPEX for Testing Environments with Plutora

Almost every large enterprise faces a similar challenge: you’ve moved to cloud-based environments, now how do you achieve some level of elasticity? How do you squeeze more results out of the hardware resources you have? How do you reduce CAPEX for testing environments? Whether you are using a public cloud or a private cloud the ability to […]

April 25th, 2015  |  Published in Test Environment Management

The Link Between Change Management and Release Management

Change Management and Release Management are different but related functions within organizations. At a high level, Change activities relate to the process of requesting changes, assessing changes, authorizing changes and reviewing changes. Release activities include planning, designing, configuration, rollout planning, testing communication and deployment. The Release Management function provides the schedule and execution whilst the […]

April 5th, 2015  |  Published in IT Governance, Release Management

Adapt Environment Management to Cloud Deployments with Plutora

Despite the prevalence of public and private clouds in the enterprise, most IT departments still adhere to operational models designed for physical infrastructure and servers that involve complex environment setup processes.  As a result, organizations miss opportunities to take advantage of dynamic cloud-based deployments for non-production environments. There are a number of reasons why it […]

March 8th, 2015  |  Published in Test Environment Management

What’s Your Release Management Risk Factor? in 5 Questions

Here are a few questions to help you assess the scope of your release management challenges. Based on the answers to these questions, you can calculate your Release Management risk factor.  This will help you understand what steps you need to take today to mitigate release management risks that accompany software development at scale. Release […]

March 7th, 2015  |  Published in Release Management

Assessing Your Maturity: Plutora’s CMM for Release Management

The Capability Maturity Model (CMM) has become an essential tool for assessing IT initiatives.  Originally developed to assess the capabilities of government subcontractors in the 1990s, the CMM is now used by IT management to define best practices in a particular practice area.  From Application Development to Database Management every practice in the IT department […]

March 1st, 2015  |  Published in Release Management, Test Environment Management

5 Surefire Ways to Make Your Enterprise DevOps Initiative Fail Miserably

5 Surefire Ways to Make Your Enterprise DevOps Initiative Fail Miserably 2014 was the year that DevOps arrived in large enterprises, and we’re seeing several large corporations moving to more agile software delivery and more frequent releases. We’ve helped many companies move toward DevOps practices using Plutora to provide necessary transparency to manage risk and […]

January 19th, 2015  |  Published in Release Management, Test Environment Management

Plutora is the necessary “Air Traffic Control” for an increasingly Agile Enterprise.

Plutora is the necessary “Air Traffic Control” for an increasingly Agile Enterprise. I keep coming back to this analogy because it’s the most apt description of what Plutora provides for the Enterprise.  We provide the software that you need to manage a busy release schedule.  Without Plutora you are forced to use manual methods to […]

January 8th, 2015  |  Published in Release Management

How to Support Agility through Enterprise Release Management

How to Support Agility through Enterprise Release The challenge facing today’s project management professionals is supporting a more agile approach to software releases while managing orderly governance and production controls that are necessary.  Project managers have become air traffic controllers landing more projects more frequently on more runways, and as the skies become more crowded […]

December 10th, 2014  |  Published in Release Management, Test Environment Management

Here’s a Project that Demands Real Release Management Governance

Release Risk and Release Management Governance Continuous integration, continuous deployment pipelines, automated configuration and deployment tools such as Puppet and Chef all of these systems contribute to an IT department that understands that agility in software releases means more automation and finding smarter ways to manage risk without introducing needless process. But, what if you […]

December 8th, 2014  |  Published in IT Governance, Release Management

Enterprise DevOps Portfolio View

Enterprise DevOps Portfolio View Considers Risks When a CIO or a CTO thinks of the applications they support it is almost always in terms of a “portfolio”  When a research company named Gleanster poll executives about agile data management they discovered an interesting trend. Companies are reporting an increase in portfolio sizes with just over […]

November 5th, 2014  |  Published in Release Management

Enterprise DevOps Governance Gates

Which side of the wall of confusion are your governance gates on? Whenever people discuss DevOps they always speak of a “Wall of Confusion” between development and operations, and while there is certainly a barrier to understanding it’s more than just a “wall.”  I see it more as a “canyon of distrust” or a “gulf […]

October 29th, 2014  |  Published in IT Governance, Release Management

What is Enterprise DevOps?

DevOps was created to reduce many of these same conflicts and while DevOps has had several high-profile successes it still presents a challenge for larger organizations. Large enterprises managing mission critical systems still have separate silos for development and operations. In this post I discuss how DevOps fits into the enterprise and what release managers […]

September 10th, 2014  |  Published in Deployment Management, Release Management, Test Environment Management

Release Management vs Release Engineering

Release Management vs Release Engineering This blog post focuses on the difference between “Release Engineers” and “Release Managers,” and I’m writing it because I’ve talked to people who don’t see what separates the two roles. It’s an important distinction, and an organization’s view of the difference is an indicator of how mature its enterprise release […]

September 9th, 2014  |  Published in Release Management

release management metrics

12 Essential Release Management Metrics

Previously on this blog we’ve talked about how release-reporting metrics is an art rather than a science, and we’ve also outlined some core release metrics our customers use to track progress. In this first follow-up post, I’ll provide more detail on three of the 10 key metrics previously discussed: • Total Release Downtime in Hours […]

September 3rd, 2014  |  Published in Release Management

Test Environment Management Metrics

Test Environment Management Metrics When it comes to testing and quality assurance, providing the right incentives and metrics is critical. Your release plan shouldn’t reward quality assurance and quality engineering teams for rushing systems through the QA process, and you shouldn’t create systems that penalize anyone for identifying bugs or other issues that will affect […]

August 27th, 2014  |  Published in Release Management, Test Environment Management

Release Managers at a DevOps Divide

Release Managers at a DevOps Divide If you’ve been a release manager you’ll understand that you sit between two groups: An operations group tasked with accepting and supporting a software release. This group wants a predictable process, they view releases as incidents to be managed, and they answer to a business that wants predictability and […]

August 25th, 2014  |  Published in Release Management, Test Environment Management

Plutora Aviods 4 Common Erorrs

Who’s on first, what’s on second? 4 comedy of error routines Plutora avoids

Abbott and Costello’s classic baseball routine celebrates 75 years this year. It’s simply timeless comedy that is still just as funny today. When talking with clients about their processes and pain points, referencing “who’s on first, what’s on second?” all too often gets a knowing smile from Release Managers and Test Environment Managers alike. So […]

December 9th, 2013  |  Published in Release Management, Test Environment Management

5 key elements of an effective release management process

An Effective Release Management Process: 5 Key Elements

Whilst onsite to roll out Plutora within a government client recently, we had the opportunity to sit through one of their release management meetings. The meeting was well attended, so well attended that some even volunteered to sit on the floor. When we entered the room, we heard someone ask “did you bring your helmet?” […]

November 26th, 2013  |  Published in IT Governance, Release Management