Software Release Cycle Checklist (template)

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This is a list of important things to review before and verify during a software release cycle. You may use it as-is or customize it for your situation.

This is a list of important things to review before and verify during a software release cycle. You may use it as-is or customize it for your situation:


Throughout development:

Dedicated build and install machines

Run virus check on test install machine

Archive to permanent location

Create baseline build

Run file comparisons between baseline and subsequent builds

List of known bugs and workarounds

Final build:

Build team delivers gold build on final media to QA

Install build from gold media (both CD and floppy)

Run virus check on the test install machine

Compare gold build files against the baseline build

File comparison output distributed to rest of team for management signoff

When build passes inspection, QA will release the build to manufacturing


QA signs off manual final draft

Documentation group delivers manual to QA on final media

QA verifies to Documentation that correct media is received

Documentation will deliver the media to the printer

Blueline proofs inspected by Documentation/QA before print production

Documentation and QA review final printed output

QA signs off on manual

Putting it Together

When the first "one off" product kits are complete, QA will do the following:

Inspect kit for correct labeling and enclosures against Bill of Materials. (BOM)

Install build

Run a file comparison between the kit and the gold build

Inspect the manual

Once the kit passes inspection, QA will give OK for mass production

Final file comparison and install checks

QA will keep at least three pieces of each media type from the first production run


About the author

George Hamblen's picture George Hamblen

George Hamblen is currently a director of software quality assurance for Fidelity Investments Retail Electronic Commerce group. He leads a top-notch testing organization that combines technical talent with business know-how. The organization is responsible for Fidelity customer client/server and Web site applications, which have received many prestigious awards from leading business magazines. George has over 12 years of testing experience, which run the range from mainframe to PC/Macintosh. He has done every testing tasks imaginable from compilers, to spreadsheets, to CD-ROMs, to e-commerce applications. He was given the nickname “The Finger” for his ability to crash a spreadsheet aided only by a mouse. In addition to his management duties, he has developed and presented in-house training and test process improvements. He can be reached at

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