In the world of disruptive technology, no business can afford to delay or push half-baked releases out in the market.

But Let’s get real. Bugs. Untimely delivery. Frustrated users!

Does that sound too familiar? Did you ever think about making your software release management process more agile and aligned?

Good news, you can skip repeating the unpleasant episodes time and again. Let’s discuss How. 

To deliver value, quality work and technical expertise to your clients, you need a robust release management process and tools to keep the process transparent and visible throughout all layers of the project development hierarchy. 

Transparency will help you with accurate release estimations and making right decisions.

But how can you achieve high transparency in your team? 

To start with, this is very much possible.

Transparency is one of the three pillars of agile methods that come along with the ability to adapt and inspect.

To start with, let’s define how transparency makes things visible at the team level.

At the simplest level, it makes the metrics visible, such as:

  • Velocity
  • Hours worked 
  • Number of story points for each team member 
  • Burndown charts 
  • Number of defects fixed for each iteration 

What do you need to have a transparent release management process?

You need an intelligent dashboard which extracts all data insights from the team and prescribes what to do next. A dashboard that shows all your project management efforts at one place. Where you can actually see how the software development process is proceeding and call for action before the problems that are about to occur. This real-time visibility will help you take actions and make accurate decisions.

What is a release management?

It works as a lynchpin that connects development operations with the successful deployment of products while keeping your business strategies aligned. 

It oversees all the stages of the software development cycle until it’s executed successfully and anytime when fresh changes are required in the exciting product. 

The development phase may vary for every organization, but release management balances the following acts:

  • Value delivery and novel features to customers 
  • Prioritizing value streams as per business requirements 
  • Enhancing quality and speed of release deployments 
  • No compromise on product strength and security

Why is the release management process required?

It’s a key factor that plays a significant role in ensuring that your business strategy stays aligned with delivering value. 

How does release management help you achieve it?

It monitors the SDLC process from the inception till its deployment, while its process ensures the development phase remains agile, transparent, and real-time visible across all stages.  

How to implement the release management process?

Planning the software development process from scratch till execution is one of the fundamental processes, but good managers keep the space for alterations till the final execution of the product. 

There are four steps to implement release management: Plan release (Build Release > Test Release > Prepare Release > Deploy release).

Details follow below.

Plan release:

Every idea turns into reality not with a plan but with effective planning. Therefore, worthy planning not only builds software but executes a successful market product. 

Planning is essential to turn your ideas into real-time data, and that data creates real-time business stories to be known to the world.

Take the leap of information to decide and plan so you know you are right and you are going to succeed. For your relief, a successful plan does not turn to be a blind alley and always open for alterations. 

With the help of accurate information, you can build a robust release plan that can keep your teams on track while ensuring the standard and requirements are well met. 

The transparent workflows will help you see the process with more clarity so you can call to action before the problem occurs. As the transparent workflows must visualize how the release plan is staged and how the teams are going to play their part. 

Typically, the fundamentals of a release plan include;

  • Agendas/ Timeline 
  • Deadlines 
  • Specifications/ requirements 
  • Scope of the project

The transparent workflows are very important and play a crucial role to keep the stakeholders and teams on the same page so they can map out their tasks and responsibilities with clarity.

After sketching out the plan, there comes an important phase to analyze the gaps and receive feedback from managing leaders and stakeholders. 

Once the plan is finalized and approved, the next goal is to sail through it. 

1: Build release 

After successfully sketching down your vision on your project management canvas, now it’s time to bring art to the cart. 

In the development phase, all the planned artefacts are called issues. 

The development process is divided into several sprints and small iteration cycles to build and review the issues and analyze the project scope at the microscopic level. 

Writing it down in a short, concise sentence may show it is the world’s easiest job to do but on the contrary but it takes the month in, month out and big projects release takes up the year in, year out time.  

While micromanaging, these projects can never be headache free and effortless, but you can make your job easier by making the development process transparent, visible and agile. 

Implementing agile at team level seems effortless, but scaling it across multiple teams, platforms, departments and locations is quite challenging. Gaining buy-in and leading everyone is on board with the same mindset requires a huge undertaking.

For this, you need to get a project management platform purposefully built for scaling agile to the enterprise. It can help software organizations transform the way they plan, deliver, measure and learn across their development life cycles. By linking strategy to execution in real-time, software at scale can be made simpler. 

2: Test release:

Testing phase does not come in the end, actually, it’s a continuous phase of development. The more transparent development phase is, the more it is easier to discover the bottlenecks, risks and dependencies with more accuracy.

Debugging is one of the most crucial phases that determines the value of the product delivery. Building software is easier, but removing bugs is a hell of a job.

 The continuous testing phase ensures the quality and removes the doubt if certain steps or actions are going to work out or not. 

More often, testing and fixing issues engulf more of the time than the developing the product and pushing release date further than it was decided.

Going back and forth in the iterative process to identify the bugs and fixing them builds great integrity. 

3: Prepare release:

Getting feedback and finishing last touches on the product to ensure that the product meets the standard criteria. 

It is an important phase to ensure the product is working as they expect it to be, and to flush the bugs out in case they pop in. 

Planning the release will help the team to prepare the product for the deployment of release. 

4: Deploy release:

Finally, here comes the day when fantasy becomes reality and the teams’ hard work pays off. It’s the time to release your vision into the wild, to let it make its own place, and to thrive ultimately. 

Where deployment is itself important, educating your stakeholder, end-customers is also a very crucial step. For example, inform users on the changes, extra features, how the products work and what are the cautions to adopt. Ethier, they are minimalistic or significant changes; you need to provide sufficient training to make the users understand how to use the software to work efficiently for their business operations and growth. 

Here are the top 5 release management best practices

An organization needs a process to align their operations with business strategies. 

It requires a process of taking their IT services and products to be tried and tested in a suitable environment and sent it out to market. 

There is no out-of-the-box thinking is needed here but requires a process that links the development environment with the production environment in a live manner. 

Many organizations adopt DevOps to speed up the linking process of connecting their development teams and operations. 

It reduces not only the organizational challenges and to speed up the continuous integration cycle through better communications. 

1: Don’t over commit 

Although there is no surefire or silver bullet to improve IT efficiency but by delivering quality products and staying true to your words to your clients. Every organization set standards for the technical excellence they deliver to their clients. 

The wise thing to do is to build an environment that ensures that the product goals and value is being delivered effortlessly. 

2: A toolset that answers all your problems 

In the world of heterogeneous, cloud-based infrastructure and virtual IT environments, the IT market floods with the products and multiple versions of operating systems running multiple hardware platforms, but not all of them are a cure of all IT technical ills. 

Despite having a plethora of choices at your hands, nothing can act as a wonder drug until you build an environment. It creates a paradigm that requires a flexible approach to the release process so that it can be tweaked while remaining uniform in the way it manages the release cycle. 

3: Having the freedom to modify your deployments

In the presence of complexities and finding bugs and their removal can create an unexpected expansion, delaying the deployments. Therefore, a rollback in release management and code deployment is unavoidable. 

After all, one cannot take the risk of releasing code with no recourse. 

4: Avoid compliance and security at your risk

Not only is compliance mandatory for all types of industries, but it is also essential for release management.

Project managers ensure to secure the hierarchy and take measures to ensure that all team members are working on the right levels of permissions when managing the release process. 

5: Abandon ship that can’t help you automate

Taking bold steps is not easy in any industry. Especially in the IT industry, when a lot of technical dependencies and complexities are involved. 

Therefore, bringing change just once or always is not easily possible when you are dealing with manual operations, but the option of automation is always present there for you to make your job a lot easier. 

Without automation, you can’t just afford to be bold and wise at the same time.

Ideas like continuous integration. DevOps, Agile, and Scrum are not possible without automation. It’s a key ingredient for boosting agility and speed. Anything less is a total waste of your effort.

What is the agile release management process?

Agile release management oversees the SDLC process in short iterative cycles in order to overcome the lack of clarity in the defined goals, planning process, and development stages.

Very often, product managers and their teams get bogged down in fumbling software,  meetings without output, and diverse data collections, ending in miscommunication, delays, and ineffective resource allocation.

Therefore, lack of transparency and focus adds ingredients for the recipe of frustration and headaches; at worst, product releases cross over the dedicated budget, undefined delays, and poor quality.

Here comes agile release management with effective ingredients that can cook the successful product release. 

Release management in ITIL 

An organization needs a process to align its operations with business strategies. 

It requires taking their IT services and products to be tried and tested in a suitable environment and sent it out to market. 

There is no out-of-the-box thinking is needed here but requires a process that links the development environment with the production environment.

Many organizations adopt DevOps to speed up the linking process of connecting their development teams and operations. 

It reduces not only the organizational challenges and to speed up the continuous integration cycle through better communications. 

When it comes to ITIL release management, it integrates the whole release management process into the live production environment that includes planning, scheduling the rollout of IT service, updates, and releases. 

It plays the principal part in bridging the gap between the project activities with teams, business operations, and strategies.

It’s a lot easier for a single project, but the real challenge comes when you have to integrate multiple projects, multiple layers of teams, and bring everything down under the same roof of a structured environment. 

ITIL release management process also ensures that new methods and features are transferred to teams and responsible for their useful performance. 

Release management in Jira 

In the DevOps world, developers have full control over changes and tracking them. The freedom to automate things makes release management better at the Jira platform. 

Knowing how the change is going to work out for you is a million-dollar question that every engineer must answer. It’s not only the developers, but the team leader must also know when his/her team can move to the next thing. 

Therefore, project managers can plan, analyze, and review the results before implementing the change. It’s the sum of the team effort. 

When working with DevOps,  you have to work with something that is merged with multiple times a day, and it’s difficult to trace the change and how it is going to sail through. Developers know well how they are going to deploy their changes to customers, and that’s why these changes are important to be tracked. 

By tracking, IT and operations teams can highlight what changes went live in a specific release to trace regressions during incident management.

Release Management in Khoji for Agile 

Disruptive technology comes with its perks and privileges that require a dynamic and agile approach within your organization. 

Khoji for Agile helps you stay focused and move ahead in the fast-moving digital economy by aligning your business operations with outcomes in real-time.

Khoji for Agile connects not only strategy, operations, and outcomes together but also adds transparency for leadership teams to view the process progress in a few minutes. You don’t have to dig into Epics and Story points to discover the bugs. Khoji will show Story Analysis and Bug Analysis on one board.

From large-scale to small-scale technology initiatives that are progressively complex are made more aligned, transparent, efficient, and agile. Khoji helps you to embrace the power of agile culture and makes your organization a competitive advantage. 

Why do most enterprises still struggle to embrace agile at scale? 

Implementing agile at the team level seems effortless, but scaling it across multiple teams, platforms, departments, and locations is quite challenging. Gaining buy-in and leading everyone is on board with the same mindset requires a huge undertaking.

All industries face the same problems that involve a novel approach of working, increased speed of innovation, and coming up to the standards of customers.  

Whether you are a large or small firm, the pressure gets amplified as you race to leverage technologies to enhance customer experiences and adapt faster to new competitors and market conditions. 

Khoji for Agile makes your project’s development phase more transparent, agile, and efficient.

Khoji for Agile is a platform purposefully built for scaling agile to the enterprise. Khoji helps software organizations transform the way they plan, deliver, measure and learn across their development life cycles. By linking strategy to execution in real-time, software at scale is made simpler. 

Khoji connects business strategy to customer outcomes at enterprises scale. It helps: 

  • Make work visible at enterprise scale 
  • Gets all teams aligned across an enterprise
  • Maximizes outcomes, driving value and speeding up digital strategy

Khoji for Agile is an interesting and exciting tool for enterprises who want to excel in the agile method.  

Why Enterprise Agility is so Important For My Organization? 

Enterprise agility creates a scope that connects all teams with strategy and technical execution to achieve valuable business outcomes. 

Scaling with agile means to move with iterative planning of shorter and quicker delivery cycles that connect technical teams with C-Suite teams throughout.

Key Outcomes 

  • More efficient and transparent delivery that aligns strategy with outcomes. 
  • The delivery cycles and operations become more efficient, agile, and transparent, which corresponds quickly to changing market standards. 
  • It improves customer satisfaction, and it makes staying aligned with rapidly changing standards of the market easier with the agile, transparent, and efficient approach of KHOJI.
  • Agile and transparent workflows at multiple platforms, multiple teams, and multiple products.

What are the challenges?

This is where Khoji for Agile can help:

  • Most C-suite teams face challenges in syncing all team layers, platforms, and products together.  
  • Creating a scope to map up technical teams with strategy and technical execution. 
  • How to connect the thread without manually aggregating the data?

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