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Topics: Communications Management, Quality
Why blame Release ?
Network:151



Release Management carries the weight of end user reception. If anything goes wrong, it is release management that takes the brunt of the release. Release Management is glamorous but carries the responsibility of customer satisfaction.

If the customer is not happy or satisfied with a production release , blame it on release management, " poor release", " bad quality" etc. Yes " if we start digging deeper into these key words, it might as well have been poor codes and tested code which just happened to jump into the bandwagon of the release.

So it is so important to coach on ownership, responsibilities. A piece of code that has not been properly tested probably should have been caught at the testing phase (whether it is system testing or user acceptance testing ) and should have been backed out at the early stages of the entire release cycle. OR if it did come through, we learn to accept and own our mistakes and be ready for a robust post production support.

One very important lesson I learnt during my tenure as a Release Manager is to be transparent about the nature of the release. Communication, communication and communication is the key success factor of any production release. If stakeholders (including internal leadership and customer) are involved early on, then communication about known defects is easier. Stakeholders understand the implication of a production release with a known effect.

So for a good release, it is good practice to ensure appropriate checkpoints e.g.

1. Completion of development phase which is supplemented with code walkthrouhg, unit testing
2. Review and approval of system test artifacts (It is good practice to involve customer in this very critical phase)
3.Having a formal UAT Go/No Go which will allow all to understand the nature of the code moving forward
4. Having a robust release readiness plan and ensuring ownership across all teams
5. Preparing for a formal post production support plan
6. Ensuring a smooth backout plan (in case of any unforeseen circumstances)

If well follow these steps, then we can ensure a good release. A good release does not necessarily mean defect free release but is good from points of communication, customer involvement, ownership and accountability. I have learnt these by following and implementing rigorous release management in our project environment.
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Network:2034



Shashwati, would you see value in organizations having a pre-prod (maybe that is UAT) environment as part of the production readiness phase or a dark-release model to allow for identifying application or downstream defects in a somewhat decoupled environment?

Organizations should invest in a robust and modular test environment strategy to bolster the teams development and delivery framework.
...
1 reply by Shashwati Roy
Jun 05, 2018 11:59 AM
Shashwati Roy
...
Absoluetly! UAT is a Must whether we do agile type of releases or we use the standard waterfall method. A Robust testing strategy which should start from Unit testing, system testing and integration testing should be adjusted well into the overall lifecyle, and those are the quality checkpoints which we must ensure. Many a times, organizations tend to crunch these timings. Regrds
Network:1160



Shashwati -

I would also suggest automating deployment and deploying frequently to avoid making the actual deployment process too manual-intensive and risky.

Kiron
...
1 reply by Shashwati Roy
Jun 05, 2018 11:57 AM
Shashwati Roy
...
Hi Kiran,

Good Point. At the same time, it is not the length of the time which will make an impact. Even if we do frequent releases, it is imperative about communication, quality checkpoints and ownnership. Thanks for your valuable thought. Regards
Network:151



Jun 05, 2018 7:59 AM
Replying to Kiron Bondale
...
Shashwati -

I would also suggest automating deployment and deploying frequently to avoid making the actual deployment process too manual-intensive and risky.

Kiron
Hi Kiran,

Good Point. At the same time, it is not the length of the time which will make an impact. Even if we do frequent releases, it is imperative about communication, quality checkpoints and ownnership. Thanks for your valuable thought. Regards
Network:151



Jun 05, 2018 6:37 AM
Replying to Andrew Craig
...
Shashwati, would you see value in organizations having a pre-prod (maybe that is UAT) environment as part of the production readiness phase or a dark-release model to allow for identifying application or downstream defects in a somewhat decoupled environment?

Organizations should invest in a robust and modular test environment strategy to bolster the teams development and delivery framework.
Absoluetly! UAT is a Must whether we do agile type of releases or we use the standard waterfall method. A Robust testing strategy which should start from Unit testing, system testing and integration testing should be adjusted well into the overall lifecyle, and those are the quality checkpoints which we must ensure. Many a times, organizations tend to crunch these timings. Regrds

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