Release Management, the Super Discipline


By seeing the discipline’s tasks in context with other tasks while also understanding the attributes, dependencies and the connection between the tasks of various disciplines across the project, the lifecycle becomes clearer. Tasks in the early part of a project release include identify requirements, estimate requirements, prioritize requirements by release, and approve requirements. By having these tasks identified in a lifecycle model, those involved in the test discipline who are more commonly involved in the backend of the release lifecycle, can identify where their involvement (aka the role of test) in the requirements phase may be beneficial. In some of the requirements tasks, the test role can ensure that the requirements being identified are actually testable.

Within a release management approach, the disciplines can more clearly work together to focus on the release of deliverables or functionality from requirements to production. Since the focus of release management is on the release and the tasks that support the creation of the release, this approach allows a person or project team to see the overall picture and the placement of the specific task in support of the release.

Once the context and attributes are defined within a lifecycle model, there is clear identification of the technical and tracking components of release management. The technical component includes the technology and environments needed to support a release. For example, this would include design tools, development tools, SCM tool and repository, the test environments, etc. The tracking infrastructure includes the processes and output (aka, project release artifacts) needed to define and move the project that supports the release forward. For example, this would include the requirements for the release, a project plan, various procedures used during the release, roles and responsibilities on the project that is producing the release, etc.

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