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Release management: How to not get it wrong

Release management is more than just a process. It’s a way of streamlining the entire product lifecycle — from development to deployment. It’s about managing the whole process of updating and maintaining software on multiple environments.

So how can you get started?
Release management is an essential aspect of software development and delivery. It involves managing code handover from devs to QA (and back if needed), testing, potential DevOps release management activities, and actual deployment.

Here are some reasons to formalise your release management lifecycle.

  1. Release control is a fundamental process that improves stability and reliability. It’s good for your business and employees to get it right. A formal checklist that you can tick off keeps everyone focused on the most important tasks, helps to know where risks are and asks probing questions about every detail.

  2. Without proper release management, you may want to see what the first 10% off users think of new functionality before going through with it. Controlled feature rollout is a beautiful way to bring a new feature to market in a controlled environment. When you can’t build and maintain multiple releases, you create a controlled user experience by rolling out features slowly according to specific criteria.

  3. Release history is a great asset, even if your company is not required to have one. It simplifies potential internal audits, provides the data to improve your software development, and gives the means to quickly identify malicious or negligent updates. The release history helps an organisation track previously implemented functionality to improve it by identifying possible issues before releasing updates.

  4. Security is a significant consideration for implementing release control. It’s important to note that most sabotage attempts happen within big software companies, not smaller ones. The reason is simple: someone catches potentially hazardous code. While those in the industry are familiar with this, many companies don’t have a process.

  5. A release management system helps you meet the timeline of your project. It ensures that the product development process is collaborative and well-planned so that you can create great releases on time. An Agile methodology demands that a new build be released on time, so setting up release control using the Kanban board is easy. Try aqua — an ALM solution for Agile release management.

Learn more about the advantages of releasing on demand, its best practices and approaches in our blog post.

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