Why the use of Release Records

This article is aimed at people who are engaged in Change Management but do not yet use Release Records.

Release Records (or Request For Deployment Records) are deliverables within the Change Management process and document:

  • the time window at which a Change is to be deployed into a particular IT environment,
  • who (typically the Teams) will deploy it,
  • the technical instructions on how to deploy
  • how to roll it back, if necessary.

By IT environment I simply mean the IT infrastructure into which the release is made - such as your Development Environment, Test or Production Environments (see our 'About IT environments' post for more information).

Each Release Record documents the progress of the Release through your different Environments and they are concerned with the technicalities of the actual deployment step, recording the exact date and time that this is planned to be made.

Here’s an example of the information held within the Release Records produced for a particular Change.

Change Ref No 829932 829932
Change description Patch SQL Server Management Studio Patch SQL Server Management Studio
Release environment Testing Production
Release Ref No 645 646
Teams involved Infrastructure, Networks Operations, Infrastructure, Networks
Release window / Start 13/04/2019 20:00 14/04/2019 20:00
Release window / End 14/04/2019 09:00 14/04/2019 21:00
Instructions [some technical instructions here] [some technical instructions here]
Rollback plan [some technical instructions to roll back, if nacessary, here] [some technical instructions to roll back, if nacessary, here]

Thinking about the Change as a whole, the Release Records associated with it are deliverables at each stage. Using Release Records to document a Change at each stage allows for businesses to refer to these records at later points in time and to improve the service continuously.