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Plutora Blog - Release Management, Test Environment Management

Driving Culture Change in Release Management

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The goal of any organization should be to have clearly defined release phases, where all parties are aware of the phase activities and key gates/milestones. The absence of purpose built collaboration tools has caused barriers in communication, information sharing and tracking of these activities across teams involved in the many moving parts of an enterprise release portfolio. As a result, the culture towards release management can be silo or project focused with little understanding or visibility of enterprise release management as a whole.

As your Enterprise Releases grow more and more complex your release management needs to also adapt and improve. If not, as complexity grows a number of issues will impact your releases and further reinforce a culture of silo thinking. Such issues can be:

  • Lack of knowledge and visibility of other teams and their activities in a release.

  • Different teams using manually updated spreadsheets, intranets and wiki pages.

  • Inability to produce real time release management status reports.

  • Test environment clashes.

  • Time consuming effort in trying to gain a single view of how a managed release is tracking.

  • Unknown ownership of various release tasks.

If these issues plague your release management processes, it can lead to deployment delays and failed releases as well as a higher incidence of issues in production. Overcoming these issues will require a culture change but implementing a tool like Plutora can help empower your staff to drive the change through your release management processes and help address these issues in the following ways.

Lack of knowledge and visibility of other teams activities in a release

All stakeholders can be granted visibility to see how activities in a phase of a release are tracking, being able to see in real time how a project is tracking before it gets to you will increase communication and collaboration between teams and give early warning to downstream teams about any changes or delays.

Different teams using manually updated spreadsheets, intranets and wiki pages

Plutora can be used by all teams to track all activities and milestones from pre-development stages through to deployment.  Plutora is a central repository for all projects, changes and defect fixes that form part of a release and will highlight for all users the systems/applications that are impacted. Having all this information in a central repository will reduce the reliance on spreadsheets and highlights all release activities in a consistent manner.

Inability to produce real time release management status reports

Plutora offers out of the box enterprise release tracking reports that give a real time update. As well as this Plutora can customize reports specifically for your business needs.

Test environment clashes

Without proper transparency across an organization, many projects may be unaware of environment availability or the version of code and config in the environment at a given time. Plutora allows any stakeholder visibility across any environment, and can show them the version of code and config at a future period of time.

Time consuming effort in trying to gain a single view of how a managed release is tracking

Gaining a current view from multiple teams using disparate spreadsheets, power-point packs and uncontrolled macros can be time consuming and out of date once finally collated. Plutora as a central repository will allow users to gain an overall view instantly.

Unknown ownership of various release tasks

While the people responsible for a task in a release are aware of their role, it may not always be entirely clear what everyone else’s roles and tasks are. Plutora uses the RACI Matrix to show who is Responsible, Accountable, Consulted & Informed for all aspects of a release from environment, test, release and deployment management through to who is responsible for activities and approving gates/milestones.

Key benefits of collaboration tools:

  • Transparency of release activities across teams within the enterprise
  • Single source of truth for all release management information
  • Produce status reports, schedules and impact assessments in real time
  • Get a clear view on the usage and configuration of test environments, and highlight clashes when things change
  • Track IT and business stakeholders and their roles across all aspects of a release.

Delivering these benefits with a collaboration tool like Plutora will drive culture change in release management within your organisation, towards openness, transparency and accountability across all aspects of your enterprise release portfolio.

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