Don’t Forget About Release Management

You’ve worked for weeks or maybe months on an interactive project, don’t blow it at the last-minute.

Release management is the process of pushing a project live. A good flawless release is often what clients remember . . . A bad one, and it taints the entire campaign.

  1.  Don’t forget to include a detailed launch “run-of-show” as part of your overall schedule. This should be a 15-minute by 15-minute account of the activities in the hours before going live and the hours after initial release.  The run of show should include things like:
    – QA final approval
    – a group bridge or IM session to coordinate activities
    – publishing of the content/ site
    – publishing, outreach of promotional items like email, social media, press releases etc
    – updating sites/content that link to the new one
    – removing old content
    – post-release QA
  2. Be an advocate for QA – make sure that QA is thorough and not just technical assurance testing, but a full end-to-end assessment with a test plan. Understand the prioritization of “bugs and issues” so you can help determine what gets fixed first. Stand up for QA and don’t let them get squeezed when schedules are tight.
  3. Know where your key stakeholders are and be in contact with them at time of launch. Have an open phone bridge or IM group chat with the client, QA, the tech lead and any other key stakeholders. That way if something goes wrong, you don’t have to track people down or start panicked email threads. Instead you can address the issue it in real-time.
  4. Make sure the team blocks off time after the launch in case something goes wrong.
  5. Check to make sure analytics are firing  — yes, this is part of QA but it doesn’t hurt to be vigilant.
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