The agile development methodology has begun to transform how developers get through their day. Agile demands that project teams become more flexible, focus on shorter project iterations and work to get solutions to market as quickly as possible. The move to agile has completely transformed development in many organizations, but it also has disrupted application release processes. The change management team needs to be able to overcome this challenge to make full use of agile, and release management tools help to make this possible.If development is made agile and operates quickly, but the operations teams are not, projects will end up facing a slow time to market. The DevOps movement is working to solve this, and release management is a key tool in this area.
There are a few noteworthy ways in which agile makes release management best practices necessary:
1. Continuous Integration
One of the core principles of agile is a focus on making ongoing changes to applications and services once they are released into production. For the most part, agile projects are defined as needing to meet certain goals in time for moving into production, another set of ideals for long-term development and be altered based on user response and glitches. This means that an application will usually have core functions available at release, but also be frequently updated and patched on an ongoing basis.
At the same time, many experts agree that internal development is rising as more companies strive to meet unique operational requirements. The end result is an environment in which companies are developing more applications and changing them more often. This means that solutions are continually being altered and released into the production environment. Time to market can suffer if operations teams are not equipped to keep up with this pace of operations. Release management eases this problem by giving IT workers the operational capabilities they need to deal with continuous integration.
2. High Volume of Glitches
Frequently updating, patching and releasing applications can lead to a situation in which glitches and similar problems become more common. Every a small change to the code in a solution can lead to a new glitch that, in turn, needs to be addressed through a patch or update. The security implications of these issues are severe. As such, glitches of this sort must also be dealt with quickly and efficiently. Agile creates frequent release cycles that can lead to a higher volume of glitches, but it also positions developers to respond to bugs much more quickly. This puts production teams in a jam, and they need release management solutions to get updated iterations out quickly and avoid security problems.
3. Dealing with DevOps
The DevOps movement is focused on integrating operations across both development and operations teams. This is incredibly difficult, as both groups have very different priorities. Development groups are focused on getting solutions out to market as quickly as possible while meeting operational demands. Production teams, on the hand, emphasize stability and are less worried about time to market. The resulting conflict of focal points is difficult to deal with in many organizational settings.
DevOps works to overcome this divide by getting development and operations teams to collaborate more effectively and find ways to support one another's priorities more effectively. Release Management is a critical tool in helping organizations achieve this goal because it gives IT teams the tools they need to eliminate the inefficient processes that can get in the way of innovation.
Agile development is among the operational schemes that are fueling change in the IT world. Supporting innovation in any organizational setting depends on finding ways to help people deal with day-to-day tasks more efficiently so they can focus on high-thinking operations, creativity and new ideas. Release management can fuel innovation by eliminating unwieldy operations processes.