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Establish a Right-Sized Release and Deployment Management Process

Improve the speed and success rate of your deployments.

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Your Challenge

  • ITIL provides a release and deployment process framework that is very difficult to scale.
  • Many release and deployment activities can be automated, but a high level of automation may not be necessary or valuable for every organization.
  • Without a formal process in place, deployments are too frequent and costly, and the live environment is at risk.
  • A right-sized process will minimize the frequency of deployments, protect the live environment from change-related incidents, and employ a level of automation appropriate for the organization’s needs.

Our Advice

Critical Insight

  • Regardless of your level of process investment, the process steps will remain the same; all releases must be planned for, built, tested, approved, deployed, and validated.
  • It is in the level of automation and investment in dedicated staff that you have the opportunity to right-size; the process won’t change, but with greater investment, you may be able to accomplish things faster and with fewer errors.
  • Begin by establishing effective standard operating procedures, and then invest in people and technology in a manner that matches your organization’s needs and resources.

Impact and Result

  • Determine an appropriate target state for your release and deployment management process, and identify performance gaps.
  • Fill those gaps by leveraging the experience and insights of industry peers and ITIL experts.
  • Achieve faster and more successful deployments with a release and deployment process designed to meet the needs of your organization.
  • Reduce operational costs by automating manual and resource-intensive tasks.

Research & Tools

1. Perform a gap analysis

Identify the target state, then identify gaps in performance and find out where further investment in people and technology is required in order to achieve the target state.

2. Design the release & deployment management standard operating procedure

Create release intake, planning, design, build, testing, and deployment processes.

3. Build an action plan

Formalize a roadmap to launch the new process and achieve the target state.

Guided Implementations

This guided implementation is a four call advisory process.

Call #1 - Interpret and act on the gap analysis and maturity assessment results

Understand the release and deployment process and identify your process and performance gaps. We will help you interpret the results of your gap analysis and maturity assessment and ensure that you are on the right track to establishing/optimizing a formal process.

Call #2 - Develop SOPs for planning and building releases

Have an analyst help you define roles and responsibilities, and discuss both integration with Change Management and SOPs for the plan and build phases of the release and deployment process.

Call #3 - Develop SOPs for testing and deploying releases

Have an analyst help you formalize processes for release testing, deployment, and validation.

Call #4 - Develop an action plan to fill your gaps and achieve your target state

Have an analyst review your completed SOP and suggest improvements if needed. Finalize your roadmap for launching the process and discuss toolset requirements.

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Release Management Course

Improve the speed and success rate of your deployments.
This course makes up part of the Infrastructure & Operations Certificate.

Course information:

  • Title: Release Management Course
  • Number of Course Modules: 6
  • Estimated Time to Complete: 2-2.5 hours
  • Featured Analysts:
  • Paul Brown, Sr. Research Director, CIO Practice
  • Gord Harrison, SVP of Research and Advisory
  • Now Playing: Academy: Release Management | Executive Brief

Onsite Workshop

Discuss This Workshop

Book Your Workshop

Onsite workshops offer an easy way to accelerate your project. If you are unable to do the project yourself, and a Guided Implementation isn't enough, we offer low-cost onsite delivery of our project workshops. We take you through every phase of your project and ensure that you have a roadmap in place to complete your project successfully.

Module 1: Make the Case

The Purpose

  • Identify release and deployment management pain points.
  • Assess release and deployment management process maturity.
  • Define current release and deployment management process.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Understand your process gaps so that you can target improvement initiatives.




Define workshop objectives

  • Workshop objectives

Identify pain points

  • Pain points

Define a release

  • Release definitions

Define current change and release and deployment process

  • Change and release and deployment process

Module 2: Conduct a Gap Analysis

The Purpose

  • Choose an appropriate level of investment in your new/optimized release and deployment management.
  • Learn how to close the gaps between your current state and target state.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Avoid over- or under-investing in your release and deployment process.




Define your target state

  • A target state that matches your organization’s size and level of available investment

Review your gap analysis recommendations

Module 3: Plan and Build Better Releases

The Purpose

  • Formalize a right-sized process for planning releases
  • Formalize a right-sized process for building releases
  • Decide upon an appropriate amount of release build automation

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Fewer deployments, resulting in lower costs
  • Reduced risk to the live environment
  • Less wasted investment in poorly planned changes
  • Better installation scripts, resulting in more successful deployments




Define roles and responsibilities

  • Release and Deployment Management roles and responsibilities

Choose your control points

  • Process control points

Bundle your releases

  • A process for bundling releases more affectively

Design release logic

  • SOPs for planning and building releases

Make a release plan

  • SOPs for designing release logic
  • SOPs for planning releases

Module 4: Standardize a Right-Sized Testing Process

The Purpose

  • Build test environments appropriate for your target state.
  • Implement effective testing protocols.
  • Introduce the appropriate amount of test automation for your target state.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Fewer failed deployments.
  • Fewer backed-out deployments.
  • Fewer deployments that require rework.
  • Fewer requests for change rejected by the CAB.
  • Higher user satisfaction with deployments.




Define test types

  • SOPs for testing releases

Ensure user acceptance

  • SOPs for user acceptance testing

Module 5: Execute Sound Deployment

The Purpose

  • Formalize an effective deployment process.
  • Formalize release validation protocols.
  • Introduce the appropriate amount of deployment automation for your target state.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • More successful deployments.
  • Less confusion regarding the division of duties between Change Management and Release and Deployment Management.




Make a pre-deployment checklist

  • A pre-deployment checklist

Formalize the deployment process

  • SOPs for release deployment

Validate releases

  • Protocols for release validation

Module 6: Build an Action Plan

The Purpose

  • Finalize a roadmap for implementing and optimizing a right-sized release and deployment management process.
  • Define requirements for a release and deployment management toolset.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Ability to establish/optimize your process more efficiently so that you can launch faster.
  • Avoid procuring a toolset with functionality that will not meet the demands of your target state.




Make an action plan

  • A roadmap for establishing your new right-sized release and deployment management process

Make a tool function checklist

  • A tool to track key success metrics and report them to stakeholders in order to prove the value of your process

Track metrics

Search Code: 74991
Published: June 2, 2014
Last Revised: June 2, 2014