Summary: This article describes the process of release management at Baylor College of Medicine.  This process includes managing, planning, scheduling and controlling a software build through different stages and environments; including testing and deploying software updates.

Last Updated: Oct. 31, 2018

Authorizing Authority: Office of Information Technology

Purpose: The purpose of this governance is to provide guidelines for software buildsThis information is intended for all College offices and departments that wish to develop applications in support of their functional needs.

Scope: As part of the software development cycle and before any release, application owners should develop and document a test plan that defines roles, responsibilities, and entry and exit criteria. The Office of Information Technology shall review and approve the plan prior to data conversion and system modifications.

Responsibilities

The test plan shall include the following components, as appropriate:

  • Unit test
  • System test
  • Integration test
  • User acceptance test (UAT)
  • Performance test
  • Stress test
  • Data conversion test
  • Operational readiness test
  • Backup and recovery tests

The IT team shall establish a test environment representative of planned business process and IT operations using representative data that has been scrubbed to obfuscate private information. If confidential information is used in the test environment, it is required to be protected at the same level that it is protected in the production environment in accordance with College policies.

Guidelines

Release Management Process

All projects, bundled changes to an existing application (releases containing multiple enhancements/fixes), and cyclical changes to an existing application must go through the Release Management process and must have received appropriate approval.

Whenever possible, changes to an existing application should be bundled together and released on a regular (e.g., monthly) basis using the Release Management process.

A single “Release Engineer” must be identified for every release. The release engineer will be responsible for the successful coordination and execution of the release, as well as ensuring all required documentation related to the release exists.

Proof that controls (initiation, testing, and approval) have been followed for all releases must be documented and retained.

Each release should be well tested and verified prior to implementation.

All implementation work on the Release should be completed by the Planned End Date/Time.

Validation that the Release has been completed successfully should be confirmed through post‐release testing.

Benefits of Release Management

Release management will deliver seven core benefits. These benefits are categorized as being aligned to the traditional benefit categories of revenue, cost and risk:

Revenue (Time to Value)

Accelerated Time to Value
Higher Release Throughput
Enhanced Agility and Flexibility

Cost (Productivity)

Increased Productivity
Eliminated Duplicate and Manual-Intensive Activities
Increased Collaboration

Risk and Uncertainty

Mitigate Release Failure

*Note: Policies cited in the Digital Governance document (approved by the Board and published in March 2019) supersede any previous agreement, policy and/or guideline.