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Release Management Best Practices

Improve quality with David Bowman’s information management guidelines for release management best practices

This site is designed for Information Technology professionals who need to improve efficiency and require guidance and direction to help teams  consistently produce error free results.

It provides information management guidelines for release management best practices.

What is Release Management?

Release management is a key component of the change management process, which provides a disciplined process for introducing changes into the production environment with minimal disruption to ongoing operations.

Release Management Process
  • Should plan production changes resulting from approved change requests;
  • Should build effective release packages for the deployment of one or many changes into production;
  • Should test release mechanisms to ensure minimum disruption to the production environment;
  • Should review preparation for the release to ensure maximum successful deployments; and
  • Should deploy the change in line with structured implementation guidelines.
Release Manager
  • Should plan for the change;
  • Should manage the release;
  • Should ensure user acceptance tests have been completed; 
  • Should verify training has been provided to the affected user community;
  • Should validate the back-out plan;
  • Should stage the pilot tests; and 
  • Should implement the full deployment of the release.
Release Process

Deploying a release into the production environment involves risks to the availability and reliability of that environment. All stakeholders need to be aware of the potential risks involved in the deployment.

Recognizing this, the release manager should ensure that the appropriate managers agree on, and sign off on, the release delivery document before the release moves into the design and build phase.

Release Planning
  • Should define release objectives;
  • Should define release roles and responsibilities;
  • Should define release tasks, activities; and deliverables;
  • Should define communication and training plans; and
  • Should define release schedule.
Build Release
  • Should select a suitable release mechanism for the change that is a strategic fit, is repeatable, and is consistent;
  • Should design and build a release package for the change that allows it to be successfully deployed;
  • Should test that the release package delivers the change effectively in line with requirements; and
  • Should update the configuration item control database with appropriate release documentation.
Release Acceptance Testing
  • Should test the release process to ensure that all components can be migrated correctly;
  • Should test user functionality to ensure that the release meets user specified requirements;
  • Should perform controlled pilot testing in the production environment where necessary; and
  • Should evaluate acceptance-testing results to make a confident decision to move toward release preparation.
Release Preparation Process
  • Should ensure that adequate resources are available for deployment of the release;
  • Should ensure that release communications plans have been executed;
  • Should ensure all training has been completed;
  • Should confirm the production environment readiness for receiving the release;
  • Should review the preparation of the release for deployment into the production environment; and
  • Should ensure the change management process has handled all related changes. 
Release Deployment
  • Should involve the physical migration of objects into the production environment using the procedures defined in the Release Package.
  • Should only occur if the Change Management team authorizes Readiness.
Summary...

Release management is a key component of the change management process, which provides a disciplined process for introducing changes into the production environment with minimal disruption to ongoing operations.

This site provided information management guidelines for release management best practices.