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Stabilize Release and Deployment Management

Maintain both speed and control while improving the quality of deployments and releases within the infrastructure team.

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Contributors

  • Karen Jennings – Release Manager
  • Sunil Shetty – Project Manager, HSBC
  • Jordan Liebowitz – Senior IT Manager, Verizon
  • Lori Schoenard – Software Development Manager, Proficient Learning, LLC
  • Don Loftin – Senior Project Manager, Yoh
  • Thomas Buecker – Solution Architect, Unisys
  • Vawns Murphy – Analyst, ITSM.tools
  • Jorge Silva – Vice President, IPBPM
  • Clint Abels – Risk, Security, and Compliance Manager, Distell
  • Nilesh Nimkar – Change & Release Manager
  • Saravanan Maruthappa – Manager, Cognizant Technology Solutions
  • Alex Hall – Endpoint Technology Specialist, Kenosha County, Inc
  • Caroline Fennelly – Principal Consultant, CFennelly Consulting
  • James Fielder – VP of Information Systems, Farm Credit Services of Illinois
  • Annie Carlson – IT Director, Town of Leesburg

Your Challenge

  • Lack of control over the release process
  • Poor collaboration between teams
  • Manual deployments that lead to poor quality releases at a cost to the business

Our Advice

Critical Insight

  • Manage risk. Release management should stabilize the IT environment. A poorly designed release can take down the whole business. Rushing releases out the door leads to increased risk for the business.
  • Quality processes are key. Standardized process will enable your release and deployment management teams to have a framework to deploy new releases with minimal chance of costly downtime further down the production chain.
  • Business must own the process. Release managers need oversight of the business to remain good stewards of the release management process.

Impact and Result

  • Be prepared with a release management policy. With vulnerabilities discovered and published at an alarming pace, organizations have to build a plan to address and fix them quickly. A detailed release and patch policy should map out all the logistics of the deployment in advance, so that when necessary, teams can handle rollouts like a well-oiled machine.
  • Automate your software deployment and patch management strategy. Replace tedious and time-consuming manual processes with the use of automated release and patch management tools. Some organizations have a variety of release tools for various tasks and processes to ensure all or most of the required processes are covered across a diverse development environment.
  • Test deployments and monitor your releases. Larger organizations may have the luxury of a test environment prior to deployment, but that may be cost prohibitive for smaller organizations. If resources are a constraint, roll out the patch gradually and closely monitor performance to be able to quickly revert in the event of an issue.

Research & Tools

Start here – read the Executive Brief

Read our concise Executive Brief to find out why you should control and stabilize your release and deployment management practice while improving the quality of releases and deployments, review Info-Tech’s methodology, and understand the four ways we can support you in completing this project.

2. Plan releases and deployments

Plan releases to gather all the pieces in one place and define what, why, when, and how a release will happen.

3. Build, test, deploy

Take a holistic and comprehensive approach to effectively designing and building releases. Get everything right the first time.

4. Measure, manage, improve

Determine desired goals for release management to ensure both IT and the business see the benefits of implementation.

Guided Implementations

This guided implementation is a four call advisory process.

Call #1 - Analyze the current state
Call #2 - Release and deployment planning
Call #3 - Build, test, and deploy
Call #4 - Measure, manage, and improve

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Release Management

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

Course information:

  • Title: Release Management
  • Number of Course Modules: 5
  • Estimated Time to Complete: 1.5-2 hours
  • Featured Analysts:
  • Sandi Conrad, Practice Lead, I&O Research
  • Ken Weston, Senior Research Analyst, I&O Practice
  • Now Playing: Academy: Release Management | Executive Brief

Onsite Workshop

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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: Analyze Current State

The Purpose

  • Release management improvement begins with assessment of the current state.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • A solid understanding of how core operational processes are actually functioning within the organization.

Activities

Outputs

1.1

Evaluate process maturity.

  • Maturity Assessment
1.2

Assess release management challenges.

  • Release Management Policy
1.3

Define roles and responsibilities.

  • Release Management Standard Operating Procedure
1.4

Review and rightsize existing policy suite.

  • Patch Management Policy

Module 2: Release Management Planning

The Purpose

  • In simple terms, release planning puts all the pertinent pieces in one place.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • It defines the what, why, when, and how a release will happen.

Activities

Outputs

2.1

Design target state release planning process.

  • Release Planning Workflow
2.2

Define, bundle, and categorize releases.

  • Categorization and prioritization schemes
2.3

Standardize deployment plans and models.

  • Deployment models aligned to release types

Module 3: Build, Test, and Deploy

The Purpose

  • Take a holistic and comprehensive approach to effectively designing and building releases.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Standardize build and test procedures to begin to drive consistency.

Activities

Outputs

3.1

Standardize build procedures for deployments.

  • Build procedure for hardware and software releases
3.2

Standardize test plans aligned to release types.

  • Test models aligned to deployment models

Module 4: Measure, Manage, and Improve

The Purpose

  • Determine and define the desired goals for release management as a whole.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Agree to key metrics and success criteria to start tracking progress and establish a post-deployment review process to promote continual improvement.

Activities

Outputs

4.1

Determine key metrics to track progress.

  • List of metrics and goals
4.2

Establish a post-deployment review process.

  • Post-deployment validation checklist
4.3

Understand and define continual improvement drivers.

  • Project roadmap

Member Testimonials

Unlock Sample Research

After each Info-Tech experience, we ask our members to quantify the real time savings, monetary impact, and project improvements our research helped them achieve. See our top member experiences for this Blueprint, and what our clients have to say.

Client

Experience

Impact

$ Saved

Days Saved

Town Of Oakville

Guided Implementation

9/10

$10,000

20

Donaldson Company, Inc.

Guided Implementation

10/10

$15,222

5

Dunelm Soft Furnishings Ltd

Guided Implementation

10/10

N/A

N/A

Rabobank

Guided Implementation

6/10

$1,323

N/A

Guardian Shared Services Limited

Guided Implementation

8/10

$6,618

15

Boyd Gaming

Guided Implementation

6/10

N/A

N/A

Aspect Software

Guided Implementation

6/10

$1,323

N/A

City of Nampa

Guided Implementation

6/10

$6,618

N/A

TechnipFMC

Guided Implementation

6/10

$81,391

15