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ITIL :: View topic - The Value of Release Management
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The Value of Release Management

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Joined: Jul 03, 2006
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Tue Jul 04, 2006 12:27 am    Post subject: The Value of Release Management Reply with quote

My organisation are currently implementing a new Release Management (RM) process within a Networks / Infrastructure environment. A key activity in enabling uptake of the process will obviously be to communicate the value and benefits of doing RM properly.

Although there are lots generic statements that exist about the benefits of RM, I was wondering if anyone had come across some specific details or examples of benefits that have been realised by organisations that have effectively rolled out RM? Ideally, I guess I am looking for examples where metrics have been tangibly impacted in a positive way. (i.e. quantified benefits).
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Location: New Jersey

PostPosted: Wed Jul 05, 2006 12:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good Day NM,

A word of warning, ITIL is very poor when it starts to cross over into non-production and non-infrastructure areas of IT. As a result, it tends to blurr or leave out critical role related aspects that need to be accounted for in non-production environments. It also tends to forget about the fact that many development and engineering teams have already structured themselves around industry best practices such as RUP, SDLC, etc., which have conflicting definitions and responsibilities for some roles.

That being said, it is important to understand that Release Management is the process of managing a Product Release (a version of that Product) from the inception of the Release through the deployment and maintenance of that Release. In other words, it is the process of managing a Product Release through it's lifecycle.

For the purpose of this discussion, let us understand that a Release is a controlled version of a Product or subset of that Product.

Release Management is a responsibility that is delegated to the "Release Manager" by the Product Owner and the Product Manager. The Release Manager carries out the logistical work of managing the Release through it's stages. In other words, he/she makes sure everything that needs to get done does get done. Unlike a general Project Manager, a Release Manager is "technical" and understands the details of the work that needs to be done.

The Product Manager will work with stakeholders to ensure that whatever needs to go into the Release will make it in (New Requirements, Bug Fixes to address Problems/Defects, work to mitigate Risks, etc.). Once that is all decided, the Release Manager becomes the person that will ensure that the Release is:

- properly structured (he/she will ensure appropriate and necessary infrastructure for the construction of the release)
- properly configured
- properly stored
- properly packaged
- porperly builds
- properly deploys (or ships, in the case of Production being outside your infrastructure),
- properly installs
- properly instantiates
- properly runs
- meets all initial requirements (tests properly against New Requirements, Bug Fixes, etc.)
- etc.

This all needs to be done in every single environment, in a "highly repeatable manner", preferably automated, where possible. He/she will manage the logistics of the Release through all environments, from development out to production, where the Release's targeted audience exists.

Once out, he/she will work to ensure that everything in the Release meets the approval of the targeted end users.

He/she will ensure that rollback plans are in place and carried out if necessary.

He/she will coordinate Release Post Mortems to improve the quality of future Releases.

NOTE: It is the Release Manager that ensure the proper configuration of a Product Release. He/she will ensure that the configurations are appropriately tagged, frozen, repeatable, etc.

ANOTHER NOTE: All of the above work is what the Release Manager is responsible for. It doesn't mean that he or she is the one doing all of it.

Anyhow, I'm sure I've left some things out. Others will be quick to jump in add more or correct me if they think I'm wrong. I hope this helps.

So, to answer your original question, the value a Release Manager brings to an organization is that he/she controls and coordinates the logistics of managing Releases through their lifecycles.

[Edited by Admin to remove link]
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