Six Roles Key to Enterprise Release Management Success
By Dalibor Siroky
Large organizations engaged in enterprise release management seldom have a single "enterprise release manager." Instead of a single, "enterprise-wide" responsibility, most large, decentralized organizations assign responsibility for more strategic, release management functions to several existing roles.
An enterprise release management practice supports and is supported by the following enterprise release management roles:
IT Portfolio Management - An efficient ERM practice provides portfolio managers greater visibility into changes affecting multiple systems to create a consolidated status for change initiatives across an entire portfolio. By assembling data across multiple initiatives, ERM facilitates a process of continuous improvement at the portfolio level giving organizations a central mechanism to track common challenges and lessons learned. With ERM IT Portfolio Managers make strategic adjustments to both staffing and spend across departments as change initiatives evolve continuously.
Release Management - ERM creates a standard view of the end-to-end release lifecycle providing better decision support to release managers responsible for delivering software on time and under budget. Armed with a more detailed and accurate view of project status organizations practicing ERM are able to release more frequently and with greater integrity and predictability. Dependencies between systems are tracked and release managers are able to accurately assess the impact of scheduling changes to a consolidated timeline. An ERM practice maintains an up-to-date model of resources supporting a release, giving release managers the ability to gauge the capacity of an organization to support an ongoing, iterative release process by tracking organizational capacity and non-production testing environments.
Environment Management - Individuals and teams responsible for the allocation, provisioning and configuration of production and non-production environments are often at the mercy of shifting schedules and unreliable estimates of capacity requirements during the software delivery lifecycle. A comprehensive approach to Enterprise Release Management incorporates production environment, non-production testing environment, and data environment effort and requirements into an overall plan to support software delivery. Under an ERM practice environment management can use a continuously updated and more accurate status to make more efficient use of both physical and cloud-based infrastructure to support software delivery.
Quality Management - With ERM, quality assurance and quality engineering managers are able to forecast demand and allocate limited testing resources across multiple projects in response to shifting schedules. With an ERM practice QA managers have better visibility into the release pipelines and so can better prioritize and allocate resources.
IT Service Management - Service managers need clear visibility into the progress of the handling of their change requests and can now track them through the release process. Service managers gain confidence and are exposed to less risk as changes are deployed in a structured and repeatable way.
Product Management - Under a strong ERM practice project managers are no longer spending 30-40% of their time distracting key resources with meetings to measure status or maintaining manual spreadsheets tracking progress toward a release goal. Project managers benefit from an always up-to-date picture of project status and are able to manage scheduling and resource conflicts across groups as they develop.
For more information about how these roles support release management practices. Download our latest whitepaper on Enterprise Release Management.
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