Plutora Blog - Release Management, Test Environment Management
Release Management Pain Points and Essential CapabilitiesReading time 3 minutes
Release Management Pain Points and Essential Capabilities
Release and Deployment Management aims to plan, schedule and control the movement of releases to test and live environments. The primary goal of Release Management and Deployment Management is to ensure that the integrity of the live environment is protected and that the correct components are released.
We have seen many large enterprises with complex system portfolios grappling with release management. In this blog we articulate the four common pain points these enterprises experienced as well as how we designed Plutora to address these pain points.
Management Transparency and Control
Problem 1 for successful Release Management is that there is insufficient management transparency and control over the process to ensure consistent and repeatable releases. Often the scope of release management is not sufficiently broad to cover all non-production environments leading up to the production release. This prevents an important set of baselines and processes being established along the chain resulting in key lessons not being learnt and key risks not highlighted. Often this information exists but is buried in silos and not easily accessible by decision makers.
As a divisional CIO I was extremely uncomfortable when I inherited the accountability for delivering a complex software product without transparency into the moving parts that made up all stages of the release. From my perspective, if I didn’t have transparency of the health of the release as it moved through the various stages I wasn’t in control of achieving a successful outcome.
Plutora is build from the ground up to provide the necessary transparency and control to ensure you can have a clear understanding of the health of each and every release and take remedial action if there are any challenges along the way.
Intuitive User Interface
Problem 2 for successful Release Management is that the process should be centrally codified but people don’t want to use any tools because they are not user friendly or duplicate the amount of effort people need to do to use their job. People naturally revert to the path of least resistance so even when a process is established and tool selected to support it they revert to the ease of spreadsheets, email and powerpoint slides. Problem 2 then reinforces Problem 1.
Plutora’s user experience and user interface was designed on basis that we would like to use the application all day to the exclusion of disparate spreadsheets and emails. A successful release management process requires good people, process and tools. Most of the tools we saw in the enterprise space were dated and bloated. Not the tools we wanted to use. We designed a tool that people want to use and are continually refining the user interface to make it easier for people to do their job.
Process Automation and Integration
Problem 3 for successful release management is the ability to automated the process and integrated with upstream and downstream activities. In this context we call out process automation and integration as being distinct from the automating physical code deployment.