Release Reviews: 7 Steps to Save Time and Keep Projects on Track

Your calendar is filled with release reviews, but it’s looking busy and not exactly doing much. Every time you glance at it, you cringe. You promise yourself you would free up some time so you can actually get stuff done.

But you never get around to doing that because you don’t know where to start and what to do. Heck, you don’t have the time to think about saving time.

First, figure out what mistakes you’re making that are holding your projects back. Once you have a clearer picture about the gaps, you can go ahead and fix them by following the seven steps I’m sharing below.

This proven process will course-correct your release updates, save you a ton of time, and keep projects on track.

Gather stakeholders

Sit down with all the stakeholders in the release process to decide what data they need. Create a template to document the agreed baseline.

Get information

Establish sources of information and automate distribution where possible. Keep a record of the source, owner and cycle time of updates.

Prioritize roles

Specify the people who are involved.Identify who to consult and who only needs an update when a specific change occurs.

Set timeline

Budget how much time and effort are appropriate for the review. Discuss the time and effort required to prepare, and evaluate whether it is appropriate. Track this information in a template for future comparison.

Determine key control gates

Identify the correct outcomes and metrics and make these a standard for future comparison of teams and releases.

Identify release risks

Build and review risk mitigation plans.

Define release portal

Standardize the portal for future comparison of different releases. Create multiple templates for various release impacts.

Conclusion

Followed diligently, you should start seeing improvements from the first release update.

It’s important to note, though, that this process has its limitations. But nothing you cannot overcome. The key is automation. The more automation you introduce into your release management process, the more streamlined it will become.

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