How to Weave Lean Thinking Into Your Release Management for Predictable Delivery

Apr 12, 2017

“The core idea of Lean is to maximize customer value.”

Lean Enterprise Institute

What is Lean?

Businesses are being driven up against the wall by continual industry disruption. Many are fighting back by adopting Lean as a means to support business transformation. The aim is simple: create more value for customers with fewer resources.

Lean thinking views the whole, not its parts. Then it identifies and eliminates waste across value streams. Here’s how you can implement Lean thinking to improve your enterprise release management:

  • View the system as a whole, not as isolated parts.

  • Introduce a culture shift by trusting people, tearing silos, and fixing communication.

  • Strive for Continuous Learning and Continuous Delivery.

  • Build quality in.

  • Create ‘pull’ - deliver only what customers want.

A Blueprint to Streamline Your Enterprise Release Function

Project and Portfolio Management

  • Clear release date and risk to support initiative planning.

  • Avoid over-engineering by prioritizing requirements with the business.

  • Handle frequent status requests from the business with project status boards.

Release Management

  • Replace redundant release reviews with live status tracking.

  • Link projects running at different speeds with Agile Release Trains.

  • Accelerate smaller releases with Agile.

  • Avoid gut calls and biases with data-driven decisions.

Environment Management

  • Avoid unnecessary environment rebuilds by tracking changes.

  • Avoid conflicts by booking environments.


  • Avoid QA waits by booking environments.

  • Only test what’s needed based on implemented requirements and changes.

  • Ensure effective system testing by understanding dependencies.


  • Reduce release failures with clear deployment plans.

  • Avoid repeating the same mistakes with post-implementation reviews.

  • Identify hot spots by tracking post-release defects.

System Level Benefits of Lean

“When an organization enters a Lean transformation, weaving the principles of efficiency and respect into a culture of continuous improvement, too often the IT department is either left out or viewed as an obstacle. Whether you are improving a manufacturing service line or adopting electronic medical records, incorporating IT into the Lean transformation can make or break it.”

Gene Kim, Chief Technology Officer, Tripwire, Inc. and co-author of The Visible Ops Handbook and Visible Ops Security

When you introduce and implement Lean in your IT organization, you will improve trust between teams and members and efficiently utilize their skills. All communication will be aligned with goals instead of plans. Finally, your enterprise release function will operate as a single system instead of silos. Together, these improvements help you control predictability and maximize value for the customer.

Ready to improve your software delivery process?

Ready to improve your software delivery process?

Experience how Plutora accelerates software production without compromising quality.

Experience how Plutora accelerates software production without compromising quality.

Deliver Better Software Faster with Plutora

Deliver Better Software Faster with Plutora

Deliver Better Software Faster with Plutora