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There are IT departments that can release code directly into production, but they are few and far between. Unless a development team is small, agile, excellent at communication, and the impact of defects is low, a formal release management process should be used.
What is Release Management?
Release management is the mechanics by which new applications, or modifications to existing ones, are moved into the production environment. Releases, like any change to the IT production environment, are governed by the change management process in that a release can only go into production if it has been approved by the change manager. For more information on change management, refer to the Info-Tech Advisor research note, “Keep Production Environments Safe with Solid IT Change Management.”