The purpose of Release and Deployment Management is to maintain the integrity of an organization's production environment when deploying releases. Effective Release and Deployment processes allow your service organization to deliver change faster and with minimal risk to the business. It provides consistency in implementation approach and assures customers that they can use a new or changed service in line with business requirements.
Part of the Service Transition phase of the Service Lifecycle, Release is responsible for planning, scheduling and controlling changes and updates from Test to Live environments. It ensures the integrity of the Live Environment is protected and that the correct components are released. While Deployment includes the activities or tasks responsible for moving new or changed hardware, software, documentation and process to the Live Environment.
This process is overseen by the Release Manager, whose role is paramount to the success of a release and a required member of a Release Team. The Release Manager directs the process using all information presented to help assess release readiness, and to efficiently identify deployment targets for the deployment phases of a release. This level of control guarantees the Release Manager can deliver updates to the live environment successfully, to all relevant parties, on time.
The capability to leverage relationship maps defined within the embedded CMDB allows the Release Manager to assess the impact of a release, as all related Items can be easily associated with a release package. The extensive use of CIs to represent all aspects of a release and the capability to directly associate any category of CI with the release itself provides a complete picture of how a release will impact the organization before any tasks are undertaken. The Release Manager can identify CI Types impacted by the deployment and CMDB information details users, organizational units and specific infrastructure affected by a release.
Complex and generally a lengthy process, large scale deployments require project management to ensure success. To this end, Release Management includes related activities that require scheduling in and around the internal activities of the service desk. The Release Manager can readily achieve this by exporting release package information to Microsoft Project and administering the full process using a dedicated project management tool.
Exported project files contain all related Change Requests for a Release, providing all relevant parties with an end-to-end schedule of change. The export can also be filtered to include deployment activities that can be merged into the final schedule once the Implementation of Changes is completed, resulting in a full historical account of the release cycle.
Within the system the Release Manager creates and manages the Release within the Change > Release tab. Within the Deploy tab of a Release, the Deployment Tasks are generated and made available as groups within the Change > Deployment tab, while the individual activities are available within the Change > Deployment Tasks tab.