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But We Have Always Done It That Way…

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But We Have Always Done It That Way…

The way companies treat release management is often influenced by historical experience, not by metrics or best practices, and it's hurting how teams deliver software.

· Agile Zone
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The UK tax year ends on April 5th each year. Why? It hasn’t always been like this…

In 1752, Great Britain moved from using the Julian calendar to the Gregorian calendar. To do this, 11 days had to be "caught up" and the New Year moved from 25 March to 1 January. So, Wednesday, 2 September 1752 was followed by Thursday, 14 September. There was a certain level of confusion and calls for the government to ‘Give Us Back Our 11 Days!'

The City of London bankers protested at the reform and the confusion it caused to their industry by refusing to pay taxes on the usual date of 25 March. They decided to pay 11 days later on 5 April and it hasn’t changed since.   

When companies ask themselves why their release management is error prone, complex and labour intensive they frequently think that this is because that’s the way that we’ve alway done it. When something goes wrong a quick band-aid measure gets implemented, usually some additional manual check. The build-up over the years of quick fixes causes the whole release process to be more complex than needed. A steep learning curve to application deployment develops so a newbie needs to “understand the history” before becoming productive.

A review of release management practices with a concentration on application deployment will highlight the problem areas. Many companies just cannot spare the time, cost, and risk of a full scale end-to-end reorganisation. For such companies a programme of incremental improvements is more appropriate and can be almost as effective.

The choice of tooling is important. Employing a deployment tool that is designed to fit into existing release procedures can deliver deployment reliability and repeatability with reduced risk. Streamlined, standardised, simplified releases will prevent the call to ‘Give Us Back Our Weekends!'

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Topics:
automation ,devops ,deployment ,tools ,release management

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