Posted by: Jeff Timmins | January 29, 2012

Releases don’t have to be difficult

Most would image that for a function is preformed on a regular basis, it should take less effort and become more efficient over time. Unfortunately that is not the case for most Technology groups when it comes to releasing new or updated code. Time after time I’ve witnessed companies have problems getting a repeated process right. This is only exacerbated with accelerated Release schedules for companies with an Internet focus.

Why is it that difficult?

Many theories exist but I would suggest that most can be traced to Relationship issues within and around Technology groups. Of course someone could present a series of lectures on this topic but here are some general Relationship problems:

  • Common are communication breakdowns between what Business wants, how Product understands it, how Engineering creates it and how the Production Team deploys it to the “live” site
  • Typical are dissatisfied customers who feel as though they are not represented or listened to after the initial sale
  • and Predictable are the battles between Management and those scheduling the Releases when it comes to what state is the code in and how quickly it is deployed.

There must be a better way, right? Yes there is a better way, and interestingly enough it starts with a Release Management.

I strongly believe that when an organization gives part of the control and responsibility to a set of Release Management processes, relationships are improved and so is code deployment. Some would argue against additional processes, saying that living by processes is not part of their DNA. That is probably true for their personal life but in the business world, work practices need to be predictable, measurable and reliable – all attributes of a set of effective processes.

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