Posted by: Jeff Timmins | May 13, 2011

Elements of RM – 5Ws + 1H

As a high school journalism student I learned that most every story should contain the 5Ws + 1H (Who, What, When, Where, Why, How).  When thinking about tracking a particular Release (part of the “services” each Release Manager provides) I found that it is helpful to document the same type of information.

  • Who – who performed the change? (i.e. what person or team did the work)
  • What – what part of the code/solution/system was changed? (i.e. was it part
  • When – when was the change made? (i.e. what time and day)
  • Where – where was the change made? (i.e. Production, Pre-Production, Test, etc.)
  • Why – why was the change made? (i.e. what defects were fixed and/or what features where added)
  • How – how was the change made and how long did it take? (i.e. any problems during the change)

If you are able to collect this type of information for each Release, your organization will be able to better understand problems introduced by Releases and collect value data that will impact future Releases created by your organization.  For example, with the data above, the following simple question will have an easy (and valuable) answer – “Ever since Tuesday evening we have been seeing a problem with XYZ, any clues on what changed and why around that time period?”


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