With more and more businesses deploying agile software development methods, the need for software release management is becoming increasingly apparent.
But do you know what makes an effective software management release process? A lot goes behind the scenes when trying to release software effortlessly.
Release management should enable organisations to track the software creation, navigate between different stages of code, test the code or product, audit the changes made to the code, manage all tasks performed to release, and control the software update to improve the software’s quality.
Are you looking forward to improving your software release management process? If so, this article is for you. Here you will learn about the release management process, its five phases, and tips to improve it.
Table of Contents
Release Management Process – What is it?
The release management process involves overseeing the software release’s planning, development, testing, preparing, deploying, and controlling.
With the help of this process, enterprises can coordinate technical processes to launch software products quickly and efficiently.
The software release management process ensures your team is prepared with the correct information at the right time, leading to a successful software launch.
What are the Various Phases in Release Management?
The following discussed are five phases in release management:
The first phase of launching software involves planning with the key stakeholders in your development team. Generally, the planning phase includes:
- Conducting an initial meeting.
- Writing a business case.
- Breaking the work into different tasks to outline project dependencies.
Each task will help the release manager execute an efficient software development lifecycle. You should consider connecting with the operations and leadership team during planning for software creation approval and development preparation.
Phase two is when the team members start developing the software. Assigning tasks to stakeholders and communicating the project information beforehand is crucial.
Once the information is clear, it makes it easier for all team members to start building the software while simultaneously testing and improving vital features.
In addition, your team members should begin tracking the potential risks and bugs within the production environment to prepare for the testing stage.
The testing phase is extremely important to ensure your software is running properly and ready to roll out in the market. Your team members should identify and resolve bugs and start user testing during this phase.
Moreover, you should build a well-defined test data automation framework to effectively test your product. Also, perform regression testing involving double-checking the approved functionalities to verify they are still working.
This stage involves making vital changes and optimising the functionality within the staging environment. It will help you know whether every part of your software is working properly and ready to go live.
The final phase of the release management process involves using deployment management. During this phase, you must execute the initial software idea and move the functionality to a live environment.
Top Tips for Better Release Management
Here listed are some top tips for more effective software release management:
Create a corporate release strategy.
You should focus on creating an optimal release management process and a corporate release strategy.
Make sure to define the mission and goals of corporate release management clearly. Your release management goals can be related to metrics such as the number of releases, incidents attributed to releases, late releases, failed releases, etc.
Review the current release management process.
It’s the most obvious but important tip for better outcomes. So, review the processes, people, and tools employed by your current release management process. Is the process clearly defined and consistent?
Are the employees working productively? And does the employed toolset support everyone and everything involved in the release management process?
Formulate the optimal release management process
Based on your current software release management process, you must identify the following:
- Process inputs: Such as portfolio and program management (PPM) systems, IT service management (ITSM) systems, configuration management systems, and deployment solutions.
- Key activities: Such as release planning and coordination, the design, build, and configuration of releases, testing, roll-out planning, and performance measurement.
- Process outputs: Such as incident, service monitoring, change, and service level management.
Employ the right people
An optimised software release management process requires employees with in-depth knowledge, skills, and experience. You will need release, test, environment, implementation, project, and development managers to launch the software successfully.
Employ the right tools
Your enterprise will already be deployed with various development, test, and operations tools. But these tools might not be enough to carry a release management process seamlessly.
Instead, you need fit-for-purpose software release management tools with capabilities including automated workflows, a master release calendar, dashboards, and reporting. In addition, these tools must be capable of integrating with existing tools.
Optimise the test environment operations.
The release management process requires test environments with appropriate hardware, network connections, storage, software licences, user profiles, bandwidth, and access permissions to test and validate the release.
To ensure the availability of a test environment when required and eliminate testing-related bottlenecks, you should consider shifting to test data automation.
Define the controlling activities between stages.
As your software passes through the vital release process stages, it’s crucial to have integrated gates and milestones. It helps promote the work packages through various environments in a controlled manner.
Make your release metrics count.
The best way to measure release process health is by monitoring the most important release management-related metrics. Effective metrics count monitoring will help you gauge the software release’s success and identify opportunities for improvement.
Summing up it all
Release management is a helpful process for enterprises to use when planning to launch a new software product. From release planning to deploying test data automation solutions and software deployment, the efficiency of all phases determines the success of release management.
Following the above-discussed tips and tricks guarantees an improved release management process, helping you identify new release errors in real-time and ensuring your IT infrastructure is ready for software updates.
You can also work with a professional “Enterprise Intelligence” software vendor providing access to comprehensive release and test data management solutions for best results.