What is Release Management?

Seems to me that the definition of release management deserves its own page.

As I flesh out my ideas on release management, I’ll just continue to update my original post with this title

For additional info:
MSFT’s definition of release management…
Wikipedia’s definition…


24 Responses to “What is Release Management?”

  1. hoosein Says:

    Please I need some infor on release management, and the life cycles involved

  2. theReleaseGuy Says:

    What kind of info are you looking for? There’s quite a bit to it, do you have a specific question?

  3. swetha Says:

    what do Release Management Intermediate do?

  4. Akash Says:

    what are the day to day activities of a release manager and what are the smart tools that a release manager can use to facilitate them ?

  5. Release Guru Says:

    Release Management is not for the faint of heart. Every organization is doing something that is successful in getting application changes to production. How the Hero Syndrome comes into play is when there is no institutionalized approach to Release and the last 2 weeks of the project requires heroism beyond the call of duty to meet the ever present deadline.

    It doesn’t have to be this way. It’s as simple as plotting out what is happening now within each functional team throughout the SDLC and plotting that on a process map that identifies the communications channels and who is responsible for them.

    The key to managing release is the Release Manager. This person must be a Super PM of sorts that can look at the Project Managers’ plan and see if it passes the laugh test – i.e., has the PM included all the key milestones, environment requirements, deadlines for each major phase of the project and communicated the road map to the project team. If this hasn’t happened, the project will be delayed and key elements forgotten. The RM must know every aspect of the technology being implemented and know when the deliverables are coming in. They are super coordinators of all things and work in conjunction with Configuration Management, Change Management and QA.

    In essence the RM is essential for a successful Release Management program – it is the manager of the What, Where, and When. Whereas, Configuration Management is the How. If these two key teams are not working in concert with each other, there is no chance for success.

  6. theReleaseGuy Says:

    Well stated Release Guru!

    While I don’t mind being a hero, it gets tiring sometimes. And, it also tends to be a fairly thankless job.

    For some odd reason, when a production release goes perfectly (99.999% of the time), no one seems to notice much. But that .001% of the time when a release gets botched or backed out, whoa! Boy does everyone seem to notice!

    • Jeremy Beck Says:

      We are looking for a release manager for our on-premise, Java based product suite for the insurance industry. It is a new position and we are based in San mateo. The company is the leader in insurance core systems. If you know anyone who might be looking or know where we can look for good people, please let me know.


  7. Jack Says:

    don’t we mix release management with readiness? readiness is looking from customer perspective if organization is ready to change. maybe release management is looking from technical perspective on putting solution into operations?

  8. Rosie Says:

    I am trying to understand RM, but I am having a hard time.
    I understand the role of Change and Configuration Management. No probs there.
    But I am still unclear as what does RM and Project Management do exactly. For example, I understand the roles of operational and functional testing and user acceptance testing. However, what I do not understand is that. Under which management are they done?
    Then there is the build testing, what is this exactly and who actually does it, PM or RM?
    Is RM just the policy and plan writer and PM actually puts all the RM policies in practice according to the plan and RM checks that PM has complied?
    PLEASE HELP!!!!!! I need to understand this ASAP as I am sitting for an exam in a few days.
    Thanks in advance. (By the way, your site is very helpfull – THANKS!).

  9. NV Says:


    Can anyone tell me hat might be questions in an interview for a Release Manager position.?

  10. deparko Says:

    I’m curious on how people differentiate between the release management process and the SDLC. I’m assuming the SDLC is embedded in the release management process…example:

    Release Mgmt might be:

    Planning -> Construction -> Verification -> Production

    Would SDLC fall under construction?

  11. Prabhat Says:

    Here are the main elements of Release Management to have in mind:


    * To plan and manage releases to the customer successfully
    * To consider all technical and non-technical aspect of a release by taking a holistic view of implementing changes to IT services


    * To plan the successful roll-out of software and related hardware
    * To design and implement efficient procedures for the distribution and installation of changes to IT systems
    * To communicate and manage the expectations of the customer
    * To ensure implementations are traceable, secure and that only correct, authorized and tested version are installed
    * To agree the exact content and roll-out plan for the release, trough liaison with Change Management.
    * To ensure that master copies of all software are secure and that the CMDB is updated
    * To ensure that all hardware being rolled out or changed is secure and traceable, using the service of configuration management.

    Release Management MindMap Picture


    * Release definition
    * Release Plans, Test plans & Acceptance Criteria
    * Copies of Installation media and instructions


    * Release Policy and planning
    * Release design, build and configuration
    * Release acceptance, sign-off for implementation
    * Roll out Planning
    * Extensive Testing
    * Communication, preparation and training
    * HW and SW audit prior to Implementation of Change
    * Installation of new or upgraded SW
    * Storage of Controlled SW
    * Release, Distribution and the Installation of SW

    Release Management Activities


    * Detailed Release & Build instructions
    * Purchase orders, licences & warranties for 3rd party HW and SW
    * Automated installation scripts and test plans
    * Master copies of install. Media and install. Instructions (stored in DSL)
    * Back-out procedures
    * Tested Install procedures, Release Components, backout procedures
    * Known errors to be carried into live env.

    DSL-CMDB Relations


    * Ability to cope with higher frequency of releases without sacrificing IT service quality
    Greater success rate of releases
    * Consistency of releases
    * Minimal disruption to service
    * Known quality of hardware and software in live use
    * Stability of test and live environment
    * Ability to set expectation with publication of an advance release Schedule
    * Reduction in Incidents caused by poor release
    * Audit trail of changes to the live environment
    * Reduced risk of unauthorized, illegal or malicious software
    * Reduced time to release and fewer delays
    * Fewer Releases to be implemented

    Possible Problems

    * Resistance from staff
    * Circumvention of procedures may be attempted
    * Staff may keep using emergency fixes
    * Reluctance to carry out a controlled build
    * New versions are not installed on time at remote locations
    * Unclear ownership and responsibilities
    * Release management procedures seen as cumbersome and expensive
    * Unavailable resources for adequate testing
    * Unavailable machine and network resources
    * A lack of understanding of the release
    * Staff may be reluctant to back out from a release
    * Poor testing environments and procedures may exist

    Roles and Responsibilities
    Roles and responsibilities of Release Management are divided between Change, Release and Test Managers

    * Roles defined centrally as required for specific Releases
    * Roles “mixed” depending on package, urgency, project…
    * ARCI Matrix (i.e. from RFC-Assessment-development-Testing-Implementing-Audit&Review Closure-CMDB update)

    Key Performance Indicators

    * Number of major Releases rolled out into production
    * Average duration of Rollouts from clearance until completion
    * Number of Release Backouts
    * Number of incidents caused by new Releases
    * Proportion of Releases finalized within the agreed schedule
    * Work effort for the Rollout of new Releases
    * Proportion of new automatically distributed Releases

  12. vijay Says:

    Good response explains every thing in crystal clear manner

  13. Ghanasham Says:

    Thanks a lot Prabhat.

  14. khuthadzo Says:

    i jst start my intern on monday on release and deployment management so i realy need help…. if you can jst tell me what im i going to work with and how do i do that i would be gratefull for that


  15. Katherin Hires Says:

    Oh my goodness! an remarkable article dude. Thank you Nevertheless I am experiencing problem with ur rss . Do not know why Unable to subscribe to it. Is there anybody obtaining identical rss challenge? Any individual who knows kindly respond. Thnkx

  16. Billie Cainglit Says:

    Visiting begin a business venture about the internet typically indicates exposing your products or services moreover provider not only to some individuals inside your town, but yet to lots of future prospects who could be more than the internet many times. effortless internet business

  17. 353 Problem management Criteria for Multi-purpose Projects – Help Desk | helpdesksurvival.com – Keep at it. Says:

    […] What is Release Management? | Release Management releasemanagement.wordpress.com/what-is-release-management […]

  18. 151 Cherwell Service Management Success Criteria – ITSECURITYSURVIVAL.COM Says:

    […] What is Release Management? | Release Management https://releasemanagement.wordpress.com/what-is-release-management […]

  19. 175 Extremely Powerful Release Management Questions You Do Not Know – ITPROFESSIONALSURVIVAL.COM Says:

    […] What is Release Management? | Release Management https://releasemanagement.wordpress.com/what-is-release-management […]

  20. 177 In-Depth Release Management Questions for Professionals – INVESTINGSURVIVAL.COM Says:

    […] What is Release Management? | Release Management https://releasemanagement.wordpress.com/what-is-release-management […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: