A release allows for deliverable products or outcomes. Release management is the responsibility of a release manager--who works with a project manager--to manage release activities, also called release components. According to mks.com, a software developer, release management contributes to improved productivity, cost savings and increased efficiency of internal resources.
Improvement of Release Activities
With a focus on release activities that yield the greatest results, trials and errors of release management support continuous improvement of release activities. Release activities involve planning, designing, monitoring and configuring and testing hardware and software releases. In addition, release activities or components include scheduling, training, documenting work--such as service level agreements and requests for change--and distributing and installing releases for customers or users.
Enhanced Change Management
Change management--which regulates the life cycle of changes in a project--is one benefit of release management, because it enables positive changes to be made in the software development life cycle without negatively impacting information technology services, according to knowledgetransfer.net. A benefit of change management is that it controls configuration items in configuration management--which is also a benefit to release management.
Improved Configuration Management
Configuration items include people, buildings, hardware, software and documentation, according to knowledgetransfer.net. Since release management problems can be linked to one or more configuration items, the controlling feature of configuration management enables positive changes that support and reinforce improvement in release management, according to cmcrossroads.com. An example of control in configuration management involves tracking open bugs and new features in an active server page, a tool for making a web page.
Lean Software Development
Lean software development is a benefit of release management. Lean activities are those that focus on eliminating waste and also continuous improvement. Streamlining processes of release activities and mapping time frames of factors--such as the length of time that a change request is worked on or the length of time provided for customer reviews--supports lean thinking, lean programming and lean software development.
According to CMCrossroads.com, small releases should be practiced frequently. Through evaluation of release plans and test-driven developments, testing and code that works all the time adds predictability to releases.
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