and into production whether that is installing the deliverables onto a production server or creating the master media by which duplicate copies can be made available.
The primary role of the product manager is to focus on the product direction by establishing the product roadmap. This role also prioritizes the high level functionality that is targeted for successive project releases. The product manager may not be involved in the day-to-day tasks of a project release but will focus on acquiring the appropriate funding for product development and participate in the marketing of the product. In addition, they will solicit requirements from customers and ensure the product releases meet the satisfaction of the customers. The product manager may be involved in the high-level coordination of dependent product items which is typically limited to the coordination with other product managers to get buy-in to ensure the other products will be available. However, it is usually the release manager who handles the details of the dependent products including specific scheduling.
The good news is that there are aspects of release management already being handled today by other roles. What can make this more effective in the future is to implement a release management strategy, when there are product releases within your company that have co-dependencies to other products, whether internal or external. This should include introducing release management as a super discipline that provides context to the other engineering disciplines. The strategy should work as a mechanism for coordinating co-dependent pieces from across various product that must come together to work as an integrated release package. It should also function as a planning and communication method to ensure that future dependent product timelines come together to meet the needs of this product release schedule. Finally, it is recommended to define the specific roles within this space so the responsibilities are clear and this will promote more effective release management.
1. ITILPeople Glossary, IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL ®)), http://www.itilpeople.com/Glossary/Glossary_r.htm
2. Know-How, Templates & Checklists, Managing Software Projects, ProjectConnections.com, a service of Emprend,Inc, http://www.projectconnections.com/knowhow/template_list/phases/software.html
3. “ Release Management, Super Discipline ”, by Mario Moreira, CM Crossroads, November 2002