Release Management in ITIL 4 – Waterfall and Agile DevOps Approaches

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Release Management in ITIL 4 – Waterfall and Agile DevOps Approaches

3 0 Mark Thomas
Added by March 8, 2019

The purpose of Release Management in ITIL 4® is to make new and changed services and features available for use.

This isn’t just one change, a release is many changes that we package into a release. We’ve come a long way with how we’re looking at optimizing how we deploy releases into production, how we package these.

There are two methods for working with Release Management in ITIL 4.

  • Traditional – Waterfall Approach
  • Agile – DevOps Approach

Traditional – Waterfall Approach:

You may remember the way we used to do this thing in the old days, and some of us still do this. Some of us use a traditional Waterfall Approach where we are manufacturing releases, which fall into different steps to the process. Those different steps, by the time we get done, we deploy this complete solution. The release is how we do the build and the test and the packaging of these things.

What happens when we have these long, drawn‑out approaches is by the time we go to deployment, (which is another practice all together), it may have been weeks or months from when we first started to look at this. We need to be able to respond to changing customer needs faster, and we need to be able to do more deployments more in an iterative fashion.

The traditional waterfall approach says we have a release plan. We do this huge, design, build, test, all this training and everything, and then we do a major deployment.

What happens is, more things can go wrong in a major deployment, and it takes a lot more moving parts to make this happen.

Agile – DevOps Approach:

Now, with the help of Agile and DevOps types of techniques we now can look at still having ourselves that release plan, but instead of doing a major deployment that has to integrate so many moving parts, we do more structured changes which lets us do small releases at a time.

Now we do smaller deployments which can now end up being part of that release so that we can make course corrections and we can have quality control over smaller releases and then go through the review on the project. Release Management makes new and changed service features available for use.

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