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Plutora Blog - Agile Release Management, Release Management

How to Achieve Data-Driven Software Delivery

Reading time 4 minutes

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 strategic practices related to software development.

From source control to scrums to deployment automation, most IT departments are moving quickly and assembling a large amount of data related to software delivery.

Successes at the strategic level are not integrated into systems designed to support more strategic decisions at the portfolio level. While single projects can move quickly, using a modern toolset intended to support rapid delivery, large organizations managing risky, complex releases are still forced to manually assemble information from a heterogeneous collection of disparate IT systems. Release Management integrates information from a variety of sources to support a more continuous approach to planning and managing large-scale releases.

Integration is the Magic Word for Successful Data-Driven Software Delivery

The challenge is integrating all these systems in one place:

  1. Continuous Integration Systems
  2. Deployment Automation Systems
  3. Application Release Automation
  4. Change Management Systems
  5. Project Issue Trackers
  6. Portfolio Management Tools
  7. Monitoring and Analytics Systems
  8. Automated Testing Infrastructure
  9. Source Code Management Systems
  10. IT Portfolio Management Tools.

When these systems are integrated, Release Management dashboards become a single pane of information providing up-to-date information across the entire department. Giving management the ability to gauge progress immediately without introducing disruption in the form of status meetings. Developers working on one project can gain an immediate awareness of how the changes they are making affect the overall schedule. Managers gain fine-grained insight into the progress of a project.

Release Management serves to connect the low-level productivity tools that have come to define Agile success. The issue trackers, continuous integration systems, and distribution code repositories that are the signature of a new, more iterative approach to development, are often in conflict with the static snapshots currently captured by today’s IT management and ITSM delivery tools. With a modern Release Management solution, management tools are connected to the day-to-day realities of both IT service managers and developers. Creating a single source of truth that allows management to get the status directly from the source.

Self-service deployments, release automation, and more distributed operational responsibilities have created a situation where the remaining obstacles to efficient execution are self-imposed.
While teams can move very quickly to the overall enterprise and the organization is struggling to keep up. How can companies move faster while managing risks associated with large, interconnected software systems?

The Key: A Single System of Record

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 alongside the increasing prevalence of DevOps as a philosophy affecting the release and operational agility.

As highly competitive markets continue to reward organizations that can deliver quality software faster and more frequently, it is essential that enterprises focus on identifying opportunities for greater efficiency. It doesn’t matter how quickly an individual team can deliver if that team is constantly waiting due to environment issues or coordination problems between internal and external partners. Every software release should yield information leading to process improvements for the next iteration. Release Management is how an enterprise accelerates.

What is Release Management

Release Management supports process improvement for increasingly Agile enterprises by capturing accurate status throughout all phases of the release cycle. Release Management provides an institution with rich historical data that can be analyzed after every release cycle. Under a Release Management practice-specific, release-related metrics are captured and assessed, and a rigorous post-release analysis is performed such that improvements can be identified and modifications to release strategy can be introduced into an iterative process of continuous improvement.

Release Management is an agent of change. Organizations can start to track the performance of now isolated DevOps and Agile initiatives and establish common best practices to facilitate the transition of all projects to modern, iterative release processes.

Do you want to learn more about Release Management? Download our free white paper: What is Enterprise Release Management?