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Plutora Blog - Release Management

Your Release Schedule is an important part of the Release process

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Release Schedule is an important part of the Release process

In most enterprises the concept of having a reliable release schedule which represents what is going on in the development arm of your IT shop is quite foreign. Why, its very simple, the currency of the release schedule can’t be relied on or in some cases doesn’t even exist.

A classic case of bad practise is receiving weekly email updates or Sharepoint alerts iterating that the release schedule is updated, something along the lines of “attached is Version 12”.  Lets face it, we all hate receiving updated documents and release schedules are no exception.

A Release Schedule is important and is required in landscapes where you have multiple teams working on multiple systems delivering Projects or BAU changes. What this important artifact provides is a evident approach that planning for the delivery of releases and changes has occurred (to which extent solely comes down to the product or release manager and their experience). It graphically shows you immediately the contentions and dependencies around releases and gives you the mechanism to make decisions around release dates and test environment allocations.

I wanted to mention a few points around some of the key issues that owners of release schedules need to improve on:

The stakeholders

Your release schedule should be shared with the following people:

  • CIO/CTOs (they’ll use it as a release roadmap)
  • All IT resources involved in IT Dev and IT Ops. 
  • Business stakeholders will require it as well to gain insights into what changes are occurring to their systems. 
  • Vendors, yes vendors. The amount of times we have seen vendors overlooked from accessing the release schedule is absurd. Your vendors need to know your release dates and major milestones. They need it for there planning to ensure they can deliver what they are on the hook for.

Communication

There is no use having a release schedule if no-one knows about it or can’t access it. Having lots of different schedule versions in a file share or sharepoint somewhere is no good either. You need to ensure that whether your release schedule is in Plutora or in some other location that stakeholders know where it is and can easily access it.

Using Plutora has many advantages such as the release schedule is always the latest and greatest version of the real world. How you ask because managers of Plutora are coordinating all there activities from Plutora in real time.

A viewer of a release schedule always needs to know what they are viewing is latest and greatest version. For some stakeholders they might use it as a roadmap or IT pipeline reference point while others might use it for day to day delivery such as Product and Test managers.

Confidence

Ok, so you have a great looking release schedule but how achievable is the delivery of each line item. Have you ensured that the dependencies and any potential risky release date are addressed? Do you have all the activities and milestones identified. Ensuring you have as much detail as possible in your release schedule is extremely important.

Plutora Release Manager

 was originally conceived due to the frustration experienced around visibility into the release pipeline. Regardless if your an enterprise release management team following the waterfall methodology or a single software line running a Scrum or Agile dev process the need to see the release pipeline is equally the same. Basically you need to know what is happening and when to make decisions around various factors.

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