Release Management, the Super Discipline


Have you ever wondered what is the best approach to establish the relationship and the placement of the tasks of the various software disciplines?   Have the project managers, developers, and testers been confused because they generally know what CM is but are not clear where CM tasks should occur in a project release lifecycle and how they relate to other disciplines?  

When considering the placement of tasks for engineering disciplines such as configuration management (CM), project management (also referred to as project planning and project tracking), requirements management (or requirements engineering), and testing (also referred to as QA or SQA), it can be difficult to understand the big picture of the disciplines and how they inter-relate.

This is where utilizing the concept of release management as a super discipline into an organization may be beneficial. While CM can be considered a discipline, release management can be considered a super glue discipline that holds the other disciplines together and a context discipline that provides a structure within which the engineering disciplines reside.

Introducing release management as a super discipline or structure for the engineering disciplines provides a model for establishing the context for how the disciplines can work together. By providing a context in the form of a lifecycle model, from project initiation thru release/installation, this creates a map of the process for easier understanding of the big picture of the release. Granted, this is at a high-level, but a consistent problem with performing the various engineering discipline tasks is that there is a lack of a high-level model for understanding the context of one task with another and the attributes of each task.


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