ABCs of Release Management

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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.

Product Manager
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.

Summary
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.

References

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  

About the author

Mario  Moreira's picture Mario Moreira

<strong>Mario Moreira</strong> is a Columnist for the CM Journal, a writer for the Agile Journal, an Author, an Agile and CM expert for CA, and has worked in the CM field since 1986 and in the Agile field since 1998. He has experience with numerous CM technologies and processes and has implemented CM on over 150 applications/products, which include establishing global SCM infrastructures. He is a certified ScrumMaster in the Agile arena having implemented Scrum and XP practices. He holds an MA in Mass Communication with an emphasis on communication technologies. Mario also brings years of Project Management, Software Quality Assurance, Requirement Management, facilitation, and team building skills and experience. Mario is the author of a new book entitled “<strong><a href="http://www.amazon.com/dp/0470746637?tag=cmf06-20&amp;camp=213761&amp;cre... Configuration Management for Agile Teams</a></strong>” (via Wiley Publishing). It provides an Agile Primer and a CM Primer, and how to adapt CM practices for Agile Teams. Mario is also the author of the CM book entitled, “<strong><a href="http://www.amazon.com/Software-Configuration-Management-Implementation-R... Configuration Management Implementation Roadmap.</a></strong>” It includes step-by-step guidance for implementing SCM at the organization, application, and project level with numerous examples. Also consider visiting Mario’s blog on CM for Agile and Agile adoption at <a href="http://cmforagile.blogspot.com/">http://cmforagile.blogspot.com/</a>.
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