Posted by: Jeff Timmins | September 29, 2014

Release Manager must live in IT?

Should a Release Manager report through the IT Department?

The other day I spent some time thinking if the company would benefit if I was part of the IT Org instead. Okay, I was also thinking if my life would be a little easier as well. Anyway, I thought about past roles as a Release Manager and my Org assignment and it came up mostly IT.

Interestingly – but notably obvious I guess – is that the more “IT” my role has been and the closer I’ve been to the System Engineers, the easier it has to do my job. For those who are new to Release Management, I consider role is the connector, the glue, the facilitator, the negotiator between the Business/Customer Owners, Product Management, the Development (QA & Dev) & IT. Every job has to report to some Org and success for me has normally been IT.

That said, even though I’m not in an IT Org today I’m going to do all I can to make my role a success.

If you have an RM role, which Org do you report through?

If you are interested, listed below is a summery of my roles and how the related to IT, peers, reporting structure & how connected I was to the Production deployment team:

  • eProject/Daptiv now ChangePoint
    • small company
    • part of IT
    • team member with Support Manager, Internal IT & System Engineer Manager
    • reported to VP
    • considered a strong partner of Prod deploy team
    • football-pass away from System Engineers
  • Synacor
    • midsize company
    • part of IT
    • team member with of System Engineers & Monitoring team
    • reported to Manager of Release and Systems Engineering who reported to the VP
    • considered a strong team member with Prod deploy team
    • basketball-pass away from System Engineers
  • Verizon Cloud
    • huge company
    • part of an IT type Org but not the main IT Org – long story
    • team member with of System Engineers but not the SEs that deploy to Prod
    • reported to a VP level but not VP of IT
    • considered by the Prod deployment team as a non-trusted outsider at the start to someone earning their trust within 3 months
    • paper-airplane ride away from all the System Engineers
  • Current role
    • huge company
    • part of Product Management
    • team member with mostly Product Managers
    • reporting to the VP of Product Management
    • considered by the Prod deployment team as a non-trusted outsider at the start to someone that is still not trusted
    • 5 hour plane ride away from System Enginners
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Responses

  1. Yet again you hit the nail on the head with what I am thinking. I am a Release Manager in the UK for a mid size company. Been here for nearly 7 years and describe myself as the ‘grease in the cogs’. I have always been on the IT side (rather than business end) with first 3 years in the Dev team but then moved across to Ops which is a much better balance. I am closer to the people making the Live deployments and there is more emphasis on being cautious rather than accepting pressure from the business.

    • Thanks for the feedback and love the “grease in the cogs” description!


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