Welcome!

Agile Computing Authors: Pat Romanski, Zakia Bouachraoui, Elizabeth White, William Schmarzo, Liz McMillan

Related Topics: @DevOpsSummit, Agile Computing, @CloudExpo

@DevOpsSummit: Blog Post

Signs of a Dysfunctional Release Process By @Plutora | @DevOpsSummit [#DevOps]

If you let your releases continue to be broken for many months - people will quit

Five Signs of a Dysfunctional Release Process
By Michelle Henry

It's easy to fall into a pattern of dysfunctional releases, release processes that are characterized by delay, inefficiency, and endless meetings that encourage people to view releases as a problem. These are the kinds of meetings that inspire references to the movie Office Space or emails that include clippings of the cartoon Dilbert - repetitive meetings to answer the same questions over and over again all because people lack the tools to connect the issue tracker with the change management systems.

In organizations without a reliable process a release is also a time for production system outages and support calls that last well into the night as people try to diagnose errors that could have been anticipated with better communication and coordination. In short, if it's not managed correctly a release can sap morale from entire departments and distract critical technical employees from being productive.

If your IT department is constantly viewing a release as an emergency to be avoided then there's going to be a problem in an industry that is only focused on accelerating software delivery through increasingly agile approaches to development. Here are some signs that your release process is broken:

Sign 1: "Do we have to have another meeting about this release?"
Repetitive Meetings to Reconcile Release Spreadsheets - Release managers who require regular daily meetings with critical IT personnel from both IT support and application development distract from the effort of software creation and act as a drag on productive resources who should be focused on value creation.

The specific financial impact of overly frequent meetings to support a manual release process reduces the efficiency of critical personnel by at least 20% (and that's a low estimate.) In a department that already uses a tool like JIRA to track status and a tool like BMC Remedy to track service requests much of this coordination could be automated and that's exactly what Plutora's Release Manager provides.

Sign 2: "How come we weren't notified of this change to production?"
Unplanned Outages Due to Miscommunication - When a release process lacks sufficient predictability to anticipate and address problems in production due to miscommunication the effective costs and risks associated with even the simplest of releases can be dramatically increased.

Your developers and your sysadmins will be on the phone until 2 AM trying to diagnose some difficult to detect problem caused by the fact that no one kept track of upstream and downstream system dependencies. It isn't just the time lost that is a problem, it's all the developers and administrators you'll be waking up in the middle of the night just because you didn't have a tool like Plutora available to help you model system-level dependencies. This is a great way to make everyone in the organization see your project and your group as a problem to be fixed.

Sign 3: "That change will have to wait until next week."
Limited Ability to Deliver Multiple, Simultaneous Releases - An organization without a consolidated and comprehensive view of release status across the organization is forced to simplify release management and serialize releases. This artificial serialization of releases increases time to value dramatically making it more difficult for the enterprise to react quickly to rapidly changing market conditions.

If you constantly have to tell people that a simple one-line bug fix has to wait multiple weeks to go to production because of your release management process then your release management process is broken. With Plutora you can track multiple releases at the same time with confidence that you won't be missing critical details. Don't oversimplify your approach to releases because you don't have the right tools.

Sign 4: "Wait, you never said you needed a QA environment."
Inability to Anticipate Environment Contention Issues - When an organization fails to adequately account for environment management in a release process it forces teams responsible for testing and qualification to fight over limited resources. If you've been in an environment with limited testing resources you'll understand how frustrating it can be when an entire project has to stop and wait for a testing environment to be rebuilt at the last minute.

Sign 5: "We're doing a release on Friday so don't make any plans this weekend."
A General Sense of Resignation to Inefficiency and Low Morale - Organizations that lack a mature and developed approach to release management are full of individuals who view releases as events that are impossible to manage. A "release" becomes an opportunity for the expression of frustration and illustrates deep disconnects between departments both within and external to an IT organization.

If you let your releases continue to be broken for many months - people will quit. This sense of defeat related to releases can affect general morale within an IT organization and increase personnel churn in senior development and operations staff affected by systemic failures associated with a broken release process. If you are constantly asking people to sacrifice weekends because of your broken release process, it's time to invest in Plutora and mark weekends as off-limits.

With Plutora your work months have 20-days because you predict problems before they happen.

More Stories By Plutora Blog

Plutora provides Enterprise Release and Test Environment Management SaaS solutions aligning process, technology, and information to solve release orchestration challenges for the enterprise.

Plutora’s SaaS solution enables organizations to model release management and test environment management activities as a bridge between agile project teams and an enterprise’s ITSM initiatives. Using Plutora, you can orchestrate parallel releases from several independent DevOps groups all while giving your executives as well as change management specialists insight into overall risk.

Supporting the largest releases for the largest organizations throughout North America, EMEA, and Asia Pacific, Plutora provides proof that large companies can adopt DevOps while managing the risks that come with wider adoption of self-service and agile software development in the enterprise. Aligning process, technology, and information to solve increasingly complex release orchestration challenges, this Gartner “Cool Vendor in IT DevOps” upgrades the enterprise release management from spreadsheets, meetings, and email to an integrated dashboard giving release managers insight and control over large software releases.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


IoT & Smart Cities Stories
Dion Hinchcliffe is an internationally recognized digital expert, bestselling book author, frequent keynote speaker, analyst, futurist, and transformation expert based in Washington, DC. He is currently Chief Strategy Officer at the industry-leading digital strategy and online community solutions firm, 7Summits.
Digital Transformation is much more than a buzzword. The radical shift to digital mechanisms for almost every process is evident across all industries and verticals. This is often especially true in financial services, where the legacy environment is many times unable to keep up with the rapidly shifting demands of the consumer. The constant pressure to provide complete, omnichannel delivery of customer-facing solutions to meet both regulatory and customer demands is putting enormous pressure on...
IoT is rapidly becoming mainstream as more and more investments are made into the platforms and technology. As this movement continues to expand and gain momentum it creates a massive wall of noise that can be difficult to sift through. Unfortunately, this inevitably makes IoT less approachable for people to get started with and can hamper efforts to integrate this key technology into your own portfolio. There are so many connected products already in place today with many hundreds more on the h...
The standardization of container runtimes and images has sparked the creation of an almost overwhelming number of new open source projects that build on and otherwise work with these specifications. Of course, there's Kubernetes, which orchestrates and manages collections of containers. It was one of the first and best-known examples of projects that make containers truly useful for production use. However, more recently, the container ecosystem has truly exploded. A service mesh like Istio addr...
Digital Transformation: Preparing Cloud & IoT Security for the Age of Artificial Intelligence. As automation and artificial intelligence (AI) power solution development and delivery, many businesses need to build backend cloud capabilities. Well-poised organizations, marketing smart devices with AI and BlockChain capabilities prepare to refine compliance and regulatory capabilities in 2018. Volumes of health, financial, technical and privacy data, along with tightening compliance requirements by...
Charles Araujo is an industry analyst, internationally recognized authority on the Digital Enterprise and author of The Quantum Age of IT: Why Everything You Know About IT is About to Change. As Principal Analyst with Intellyx, he writes, speaks and advises organizations on how to navigate through this time of disruption. He is also the founder of The Institute for Digital Transformation and a sought after keynote speaker. He has been a regular contributor to both InformationWeek and CIO Insight...
Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life settlement products to hedge funds and investment banks. After, he co-founded a revenue cycle management company where he learned about Bitcoin and eventually Ethereal. Andrew's role at ConsenSys Enterprise is a mul...
To Really Work for Enterprises, MultiCloud Adoption Requires Far Better and Inclusive Cloud Monitoring and Cost Management … But How? Overwhelmingly, even as enterprises have adopted cloud computing and are expanding to multi-cloud computing, IT leaders remain concerned about how to monitor, manage and control costs across hybrid and multi-cloud deployments. It’s clear that traditional IT monitoring and management approaches, designed after all for on-premises data centers, are falling short in ...
In his general session at 19th Cloud Expo, Manish Dixit, VP of Product and Engineering at Dice, discussed how Dice leverages data insights and tools to help both tech professionals and recruiters better understand how skills relate to each other and which skills are in high demand using interactive visualizations and salary indicator tools to maximize earning potential. Manish Dixit is VP of Product and Engineering at Dice. As the leader of the Product, Engineering and Data Sciences team at D...
Dynatrace is an application performance management software company with products for the information technology departments and digital business owners of medium and large businesses. Building the Future of Monitoring with Artificial Intelligence. Today we can collect lots and lots of performance data. We build beautiful dashboards and even have fancy query languages to access and transform the data. Still performance data is a secret language only a couple of people understand. The more busine...