If you want to release software for use in your company, you will need a tool to help you manage the whole project. This process is release management and the choice of the right tool will ultimately determine the success of the software after its deployment.
Release management takes the following steps:
Planning and designing of the software take place. This stage could involve designing new software or making improvements to existing software.
Here the software undergoes review and its quality improved to make it acceptable.
You release the software for use.
Monitoring of the software’s performance and collection of reports happens at this time. This stage is important as it forms the background of future designs and releases.
Questions to ask when choosing a release management tool
1. Does the tool give you the benefits automation?
You want the migration to be smooth and affect business continuity as little as possible. • The tool should allow you to deliver the software to the end-users as fast as possible.
• Allowing deployment to take place without impacting productivity.
• Flexibility and faster response: Adapt to changing needs of the users and keep ahead of competing brands.
• Improved efficiency
• Eliminate duplication of efforts occasioned by manual processes.
• Ensure all stakeholders collaborate in the release process.
• Minimize risk through real-time tracking and mitigation of failures during deployment.
2. Does your organization have an already existing tool that has been used before?
Before you decide to buy a release management tool confirm that none exists within your business. Teams in big organizations tend to work independently and so you might not be aware that there’s a tool in your organization that you can use. Ask around in your internal communication platform
3. Does the tool require extensive training
Avoid software that requires you to train your team as this will only delay the process and force you to push your deadlines.
The end user can even carry out some stages of the release process if you use uncomplicated software such as force.com migration toolkit.
4. How much does it Cost
Only buy what your budget allows. If you determine that the value you will get from the software you want to deploy is substantial, make a business case to present to your finance manager to approve the purchase of a release management tool. .
5. Regulates roles and release guidelines
End users should deploy only approved changes. The tool you choose should allow for better regulation of your team and infrastructure to ensure stability and avoid confusing the users.
6. Does it have an embedded tool for reporting?
A reporting tool allows you to track progress and capture user problems. Having a separate tool will create inefficiencies in the release process.
Is the tool for release management customizable?
You should be able to create new or recreate existing templates to meet your needs. Otherwise, it will cost you in both time and money to get other tools.
7. Track and store releases
All released versions should be available and easy to track to make it easier to audit all changes made and quickly provide solutions to errors and bugs.
Vivek Jobanputra is a technology professional with 7 years’ experience in CRM and cloud computing. He now specializes in Salesforce Release management and has valuable insights to offer on force.com migration toolkit. Visit his site to read more.