Release management overview
Smart IT provides capabilities for planning, building, testing, and deploying controlled releases into your IT environment. This section provides an overview of the release management process in Smart IT.
The following diagram illustrates the release management process:
Smart IT helps you manage release requests through the following milestones:
The Create Release wizard in Smart IT helps you enter the essential information about the release. Some fields are filled in automatically for you, even if you do not use a template. For example, the system assumes that you are requesting the release for yourself, and the company and location information defaults to your company and location. If you have the role of Change Coordinator in your support group, you are automatically assigned as the change coordinator for the change request. If you use a template, values in the template take precedence over system defaults.
When the release must be divided into several changes and activities, you can create and schedule these in a release manifest. A manifest provides a consolidated view of the tasks that the release management team must perform to drive the completion of the change requests and the activities required to close the release.
Plan the dates and milestones for the release. After you save the initial draft, you can link the related change requests. While planning the release request, you can also create or add activities.
Before deploying the release into production, you need to make sure that all items in the release manifest and plan are built as required. During the build milestone, assemble the configuration items (CIs) needed to create the release package before the service is released.
Appropriate test must be executed before the release can be deployed. During the test milestone, you make sure that any CIs, IT Services, or processes meet their specifications and requirements. When all tests are completed satisfactorily, the release coordinator seeks approval from the Change Manager before deploying the package.
During the deployment milestone, the release is rolled out to the business. Change requests and related activities are closed during this milestone.
During the close down milestone, conduct reviews to receive feedback on the effectiveness of the release, and record metrics for deployment to make sure that the release met its service targets.
Release ticket lifecycle scenario
Calbro Services is a Houston-based IT company with over thousand employees. The company uses basic printers to perform their print jobs. The IT team of Calbro Services plans to do a major upgrade of their printing capabilities by deploying advanced printers that support Wi-Fi connectivity, in addition to an advanced print job management system.
The company has decided to track this upgrade as a release. In BMC Helix ITSM, they have set the following milestones and statuses for the release lifecycle.
Allen Allbrook is a release coordinator at Calbro Services in charge of this release. The following scenario illustrates how Allen creates a release ticket from scratch in Smart IT, and manages the release lifecycle.
On the Smart IT Dashboard, Allen selects Create New > Release. On the Create Release screen, he selects From Scratch to create the release without using a release template. Allen selects Calbro Services in the Company list and specifies the following details on the release profile:
After specifying the necessary details, Allen submits the release ticket. The release is now in Draft status.
Allen works on the following two activities marked for the Initiate milestone:
Allen moves the release to the Approval status. All the IT Executive Management representatives assigned to review the release are notified about the review.
After the representatives approve the release, the release is moved to the Registered status. This status indicates that all the stakeholders agree to the release for upgrading the printers.
2. Planning milestone
Allen moves the release to the Planning approval status. The approvers review the progress made so far, and approve it. The release is now in the In progress status. Allen does the following tasks:
Allen has a team of five members to execute the change requests. He assigns them the role of change coordinator for the various change requests listed under the release plan. Next, Allen performs the following tasks:
3. Build milestone
After the release is planned, it is moved to the Build Approval status. The IT Executive Management representatives review the release via the CAB process, approves it, and then the release moves to Build in progress.
Along with his team of developers, testers, and change coordinators, Allen carries out the following activities:
Allen also produces a proof-of-concept, and provides a demo of the upgrade process to the IT Executive Management representatives.
4. Testing milestone
Allen moves the release to the Testing Approval status. The IT Executive Management representatives review the release via the CAB process, approves it, and then the release moves to the Testing in progress status.
After receiving approval to test the upgrade, Allen and his team perform the following activities:
Along with the testing activities, they also perform the following tasks:
5. Deployment milestone
Allen moves the release to the Deployment Approval status. After reviewing the test results, the IT Executive Management representatives approve deployment of the release. The release is now in the Deployment in progress status.
The release is rolled out to the business.
|6. Close down milestone
Allen moves the release to the Close down Approval status. The IT Executive Management representatives review whether the release was deployed according to plan, and provide their approval to close the release.
Allen's team members close the change requests, activities, and tasks that they have created. Allen moves the release to the Close down Completed status, and sends out a survey to employees to get their feedback. He reviews the survey results to see whether any issues are reported. After confirming that the advanced printers are functioning properly, Allen moves the release to the Close down Closed status.