What is Release Management as-a-service?
If you know managed services in IT you probably have a good guess what IT Release Management as-a-service could be:
As you rent testers or contract project managers for a project, you can also rent release management. It could be a single senior release manager or a group of release experts providing the service.
Unlike employees, release management as-a-service is quick to get, easy to monitor and always ready to be scaled up or down.
How does this service look like?
Receiving release management as-a-service is a relatively simple 3-step process once you select a package based on your budget (or we can help you find the best mix of services for you):
We do a quick SWOT analysis of your current (or desired) release processes for free(!)
(Yes, if you you don't like our SWOT you won't be charged)
If you agree with the SWOT results and the proposed way to progress, we charge our first monthly fee and schedule training for your release stakeholders
We finalise a Release Playbook for your IT org (which will also serve as the backbone of our SLA) and we start running Release Meetings/Calls and delivering results
What type of IT organisations need Release Management as-a-service?
...most IT organisations need release management but only a handful of IT organisations need a full-time release manager...
Almost all IT orgs need release management of some sort, but only few IT orgs could afford a Release Management team made of FTEs (full-time employees). If your IT org is tight on budget or simply don't need 160 hours of senior release management a month, then for a simple monthly fee you can get the amount of release management you need, this is release management as-a-service.
Why not hire a release manager instead?
...because hiring a release manager is a higher risk of losing time and money...
If you need to fill a headcount slot to spend your opex, then go for it, you need to hire someone. In such cases we can help with training and helping to create a release playbook for easier tracking of your release manager's KPIs. (Sometimes we also helped in headhunting and/or shortlisting the top applicants.)
But if you don't have a ready made release management playbook, you don't have an onboarding release training course, then you will not solve most of your problems by hiring a release manager. You will need to work hard to create those before your new colleague can start working. You will also face the issue of seniority: to create a good release management process you will need a senior IT manager, to report to your stakeholders or board you also need a senior resource but collecting work-products, writing memos, administering changes in a ticketing system, scheduling/rescheduling calls you need juniors. Collecting test results reviewing project statuses it is best done by medior colleagues. So all in all, if you hire a release manager you will face the issue of seniority hence your new colleague can be out of his/her flow-channel most of the time. (meaning low motivation, low productivity, etc.). If you buy a release management service these issues are not your problems anymore, all you can care about is our SLA and the delivered end results.
Why would a managed service be more efficient than an employee?
...because a third-party can manage different release stakeholders with less conflicts than an employee in a position...
Efficacy goes a long way... The highest added value of a release management service is not being part of the organisation: being a third-party. This always makes us impartial and more reliable between the different silos of an IT org. Have a look at this chart below and see how many different interests could be in a release cycle. These different stakeholders can either contribute or collide. This is why it is far more efficient if a release manager is a service provider and out of the organisational structure. (read more about this here)