Software development is through a process that requires money, energy, time and a lot of dedication.
A lot of coordination is essential if a software release is to be successful. When you adopt good practices in the release process, you will leave your customers satisfied and establish a good reputation that will attract new customers.
Below are some practices you could adopt for release management in your business:
1. Control and coordinate your Process
To ensure proper release governance:
- Have a clear plan in place
- Schedule all activities and assign tasks
- Control the release dates
Harmonize across all concerned parties by streamlining the source of information. It should be clear who is responsible for every aspect of the release process and what their expected output should be. Information updates have to be in a timely fashion to avoid surprises and last minute rushes.
Get commitment from every team member. Their buy-in is very important to ensure success of the release.
Ensure all members of your team receive all the training that they need and that each one of them is adequately skilled to perform his or her part.
2. Only use an automated process
To successfully implement changes, you need an automated process. This will ensure timely delivery and guarantee good quality.
With automation, you can capture every step that you have taken and have a view of planned versus actual results. More so, all records of releases will be available and will be useful for reference in future releases.
Automation also minimizes the occurrence of human errors as well as saves time.
3. Have short release cycles
Simplify the release process to avoid being overwhelmed. Instead of taking on a huge project with very broad objectives, break it down into small achievable tasks, complete them and then release them. You will find that your output will be greater when you run your projects in short cyclical processes.
Having short release lifecycles also allows you to identify and rectify problems early enough. There is also faster adoption of best practices in future projects.
To better plan your release cycles, use force.com migration toolkit (https://developer.salesforce.com/page/Force.com_Migration_Tool).
4. Standardize release Processes
It is common for especially large organizations to use diverse processes for release management. It is advisable to standardize in order to improve output. This is especially important for developers who are working on the same project and want to avoid duplicating efforts.
5. Centralize the tracking for requirements
Having a single team in place to vet every request put forward by the business is important. This will allow the business to prioritize releases based on the benefits the release will have. It will also help to manage costs and increase return on investment.
The business unit and IT department should stay in touch during the whole process to ensure creation of the right software changes.
6. Regularize your release cycles
Be very exact with when you expect to release your software. Consider all factors and avoid providing estimates. A regular release cycle:
- Manages the expectations of the end users
- Makes planning for additional software capabilities easier
- Instills confidence in customers that you will meet timelines
- Allows IT and business teams to align around the same routine
By observing the above listed best practices, your software release should run a lot smoother and give your business the benefits you want.