An Effective Production Rollout using a Hub-N-Spoke Release Management Process

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role, which can be mitigated by following a job rotation policy. Strict adherence to the RM process by the RM team, against the pressures from the Development teams is essential.The cooperation of the Development, QA, Production Support and DBA teams in giving their approvals to the RM team for the release is very much needed. The incremental and iterative Knowledge base that the RM team would gather over a period of time w.r.t the release process can ensure faster, accurate and consistent code releases into the production environment.

The feedback mechanism to the Development QA, DBA and Production Support teams about the trends in the software release states will help them to improvise their internal approval processes.

Benefits of this RM process
a) A very consistent release process as this release function is being done by a dedicated team which is well versed in the technology and human aspects of the Software Code release process

b) A dedicated RM team ensures that an exhaustive internal check is done on the software code to be released, before being submitted to the Change Control Board. This minimizes the expensive Change Request Rejects and the associated delays in releasing the software code into production.

c) All changes to the Change Control process is communicated by the Change Control Board to only one focused group which is the RM team. This ensures that the communication is complete , accurate and latest. This again ensures that the Change Requests Rejects are minimized. Also the dedicated RM team can spend more time to educate it's Software teams about the changes to the Change Control Processes

d) The analysis and feedback about the software code release states, by the RM team to the development, QA, Production Support and DBA teams led to further constant process improvements internally within these groups.

e) The direct monetary benefit is in:

  • the reduced trouble tickets (which are raised due to poor quality software releases into the production) and hence savings in the maintenance costs
  • reduced delays in the software code releases due to consistent RM processes and hence savings in the development variances (effort and schedule)
  • The Development teams relieved of the operational aspects of the software code releases thus giving them more time to focus on the software programs and algorithms
  • The Production Support teams have to spend less time doing fire-fighting as they are involved with the software code, much early in the release process
  • The DBA teams can be better prepared for any rogue queries much earlier in the release process, thus avoiding surprises and hence expensive database downtime

Conclusion
The Hub-N-Spoke RM process can provide a cost effective, consistent, process-oriented and metrics-driven approach to software code releases into production.This is done by involving the various support teams like the QA, Production Support and DBA much earlier in the Release Process. In fact, with a strong management support the RM process can be the most effective and powerful governance mechanism in the Software Code release process evolving into a central hub for all software code releases.

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