The Agile framework has become a default mode for the majority of software development companies and companies in general that develop software for their internal needs.
Release management refers to the process of managing, coordinating, deploying, and testing new software releases. Due to its nature, release management has traditionally been done in a more waterfall-like manner, but this is beginning to change as this aspect of software development is also turning more and more to agile.
As you are about to learn, marrying the two can be challenging, often prompting the need for agile release management training.
A Match Made in Heaven
Agile methodology and release management practice are natural allies. There are several key aspects of their fruitful relationship.
First off, Agile ditches the old command-and-control philosophy. It fosters a transparent and open environment in which knowledge and information sharing can blossom. Projects and information silos are broken down into smaller, manageable bits.
Delivery teams and other stakeholders are put on the same page and united by a shared vision.
Furthermore, Agile reinforces release management in an important way. It allows teams to identify potential issues early on and improve the predictability of outcomes. Everyone can easily track release and priorities as art of the Product Backlog.
Release Management at its Finest
Features from the release plan have to be demonstrated to customers in a shippable state. The focus is on the must-have features users expect to see nowadays.
Effective release management adds value to large enterprises, startups, and everything in between. That being said, it particularly works miracles for organizations that run complex operational infrastructure. It facilitates coordination of multiple dev teams working simultaneously.
To reap these benefits, you have to set release criteria according to product and organizational specifics. Namely, a release plan is never set in stone— its gets updated on a regular basis. Developers seek immediate feedback and changes are communicated to all stakeholders.
Through it all, the Agile team is tasked with managing the flow of change over time.
In other words, it delivers a set of changes at preset intervals, based on practical insights acquired in development, as well as periodic health checkups. Incentives for change can come in the form of customer input and external market conditions.
Training Opportunities Abound
This kind of Agile transformation does not happen overnight. There are many moving parts that need to fall together seamlessly. Some of the crucial factors to keep an eye on are team capacity, duration of the release, business goals, and prior release metrics.
To navigate such a dynamic environment, Agile teams always employ various tools for managing continuous incremental delivery. They also require external help such as professional agile release management training.
This resource plays a vital role in equipping organizations for market success. And the good news is there is no shortage of educative sources to tap into.
For example, Learning Tree offers an Agile Release Management Course. It lasts one day and is tailored to advanced practitioners. For example, you learn how to apply “Definition of Done” and meet quality standards. Likewise, you become adept at minimizing risks, coordinating backlog, and making the most of the feedback.
Agile Release Management from Pluralsight teaches the basic principles of this practice. It is geared toward intermediate users wanting to move away from the traditional work environment. The focal point is the process of establishing short and effective product cycles and managing stakeholders.
Of course, Agile certification training courses exist elsewhere, on learning hubs like Coursera and Udemy.
In short, do your homework.
Furthermore, you might want to check out broader courses that touch on release management. These are official, certified programs from reputable institutions such as:
- Scrum Alliance
- Project Management Institute (PMI)
- International Consortium for Agile
Once again, you will want to do some research and make sure that these courses will provide you and the people in your company with new agile release management knowledge.
The marriage of Agile and Release management helps you live up to the expectations of increasingly demanding users. To make it happen, however, you cannot just let your instincts guide you. You are much better off obtaining hands-on experience.
Lay the groundwork for frequent integration and verification. Weed out bugs and come up with fixes and enhancements. Manage the risks and stay in full control of the process. Identify what is important from the standpoint of user value.
Leverage training resources to empower the team and delight the customers.