Release Management, the Super Discipline


For example, CM tends to be thought of as a collection of tasks found within the development phase of a release, but typically lacks a context when it is being utilized earlier in the lifecycle. This tends to lead to CM being viewed as just a tool or just version control task. It would be better for CM tasks like establishing a change control board or problem management function or preparation of a configuration management plan (CMP) to be visible at the beginning of a project. The indication of where tasks should be introduced, gives those on the project team a more clear understanding of where the task occurs and gives project team members an opportunity to participate. Release Management provides the context which (when used effectively) allows CM to be visible in all parts of the lifecycle.

Equally important to establishing the context of tasks are defining the task attributes which include the task name, role, procedure, technology that support the task, and the output of the task. A brief example of this is the task named “check-out code.” The role is the developer; the procedure is the check-out/check-in procedure; the technology is the CM tool; and the output is the checked out code module.

The benefits of the identifying the attributes for each task provide:

·         Identification of the technology that support the creation of the release

·         Processes needed to manage all aspects of the release

·         Roles and responsibilities that improve accountability and reduce confusion

·         Identification of expected output

·         A common understanding and terminology for the project team of the engineering disciplines across the release lifecycle

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