If you’re in operations and you’ve never experienced this before, you can stop reading now. You probably have a great release management process...if this sounds familiar to you, read on.
A good release management process will create a bridge between the project team and operations ensuring that the design can be supported and that operations can effectively manage the solution once it is handed off to them. Operations involvement in release management and the project shouldn’t start once the project team has decided that they’re ready to deploy, or even worse at the “go-or-no-go” decision point. It should be a partnership where the level of engagement increases as the solution nears deployment.
I’ve met some project managers and developers who feel that involving operations and the whole process of release management is simply an obstacle to getting the project in on time and on budget. In their eyes, the operations team is risk adverse and a blocker to deployment; Operation is on a “need to know basis”; Release management is an onerous process that simply puts up roadblocks and stifles creativity. In fact, designing with operations in mind reduces the risk that the project is delayed in the deployment phase. Here are the top 5 benefits to the Project Team by engaging Operations as part of the entire release cycle:
So what are the critical success factors in involving operations as a key stakeholder in the release, you might ask. Here are some key considerations to take in mind:
The relationship between the project team and the operations team should collaborative and symbiotic. A solid release management process results in a smoother deployment, greater customer satisfaction and ensures that the solution is successful.
There is lots of great material on release management; however I would recommend the following two as a starting point: