Authors: Milena Szklarska-Behlke – Maintenance & Development Operations Manager, Agnieszka Milecka – Marketing Manager
Release Management in ServiceNow (and other cloud systems) is the key to success in implementing changes. It supports Change Management and organizes the process of uploading any modifications to the production environment.
Release Management first requires a remote session with the customer to identify customer’s needs and expectations. Based on these, we make the following decisions:
After the session with the customer and discussing all details, we can prepare a draft proposal of a process version. The customer reviews it, and either proposes own corrections or accepts the prepared plan.
We group normal changes in releases. Incident resolution and urgent changes are uploaded to production as soon as possible to fix the system failure or implement a business-relevant modification. We use our version of Release Management in ServiceNow instance which is a very convenient tool to take control over the changes and keep the customer informed.
Releases should have a consistent naming convention. Every release should have a unique name, assigned person responsible for managing it on the SPOC side and set date. Every change request record has the “Release” field on the form to provide the proper release number. All changes within a release, can be checked in the release record from Related List.
On our side, we can see release size based on changes estimates and developers involved in changes implementation. It’s good to plan releases at the beginning of the month, and organize them in the system to observe the delays that may affect the original plan.
The customer should early confirm all changes in the UAT state, to make us able to upload it properly to the production instance. In case of confirmation delay, we recommend its upload in the next planned release.
If the customer finds any bug, our Maintenance & Development Team implements fixes as soon as possible, implementing the change in the next release. The fixes application time depends on issues complexity.
We upload all the changes in maintenance windows first agreed with the customer. Thus the instance users know when they can expect system modifications. If any changes in the release are not uploaded to the production instance, we move them to another release record.
The release manager on the SPOC side provides Release Notes to the customer. The notes contain information about the implemented changes, possible conflicts or issues, and the list of unimplemented changes with the reasons.
All information is visible on the ServiceNow instance – releases have states and fields providing customer with relevant information.
Release Management brings a number of benefits to each organization: