Welcome!

Industrial IoT Authors: Elizabeth White, Stackify Blog, Yeshim Deniz, SmartBear Blog, Liz McMillan

Related Topics: @DevOpsSummit, Industrial IoT, Machine Learning

@DevOpsSummit: Blog Post

Release Management RACI Matrix By @Plutora | @DevOpsSummit [#DevOps]

In the middle of a complex, high-risk release process everyone will be looking for up-to-date information every few minutes

Release Management RACI Matrix

By Michelle Henry

Is it done yet or Why RACI is Essential

Whether you are a release manager, a release engineer, or a someone just supporting a release you understand that the intersection of software releases and instant messaging can be frustrating.  Whether you use Skype, Jabber, Slack, or any other group-based instant messaging application your experience during a release probably looks a lot like this:

Co-worker 1 (13:02): Hey, what's up?
You (13:02): Nothing, I'm running the release
Co-worker 1 (13:05): Great, how's the release going?
You (13:07): We're on step 5 of the playbook
Co-worker 1 (13:20): Is it done yet?
You (13:21): No
Co-worker 1 (17:01): How about now is it done yet?
You (17:15): Not yet, we'll let you know
Co-worker 1 (17:45): Is it done yet?
You (18:10): Did you check your email?
Co-worker 1 (18:11): Sorry, I didn't. Checking now
Co-worker 1 (18:14): So we're delayed
You (18:16): Yes, there's a SQL issue
Co-worker 1 (18:16): It's always a SQL issue
Co-worker 1 (22:32): It's done now, right?
You (22:45): You didn't check your email
You (22:46): We finished hours ago

Everyone is Awake at 3 AM Asking You about the Release

Multiply that conversation by 24 and you understand the experience of release management during a complex, multi-step release process. When you are in the middle of a release two things are true: everyone wants to know status and everyone turns into a six year-old on a long car trip asking "Are we there yet?"

  • QA might be asking if a release has entered into a specific phase where code is ready to be tested.
  • Developers who are on-call for what ITIL calls the Early Life Support phase of a Release might be asking when they can sign off on a release
  • Operations might be wondering when they should start monitoring production for spikes related to a software release
  • Managers will ping you, "Hey, how's the release?"
  • Your manager's managers will ping you on IM, "Just checking in on this release."
  • The CEO might drop into IM and not say a thing.

Needless to say when you are in the middle of a complex, high-risk release process everyone will be looking for up-to-date information every few minutes.

RACI to the Rescue

This is where a RACI matrix is useful, and this is why it is important to have a tool that allows you to track who needs to be informed about a software release.  RACI stands for "Responsible, Accountable, Consulted, and Informed", and it is one of the features in Plutora that our customers frequently identify as invaluable.  Keeping your RACI matrix up to date helps you avoid the sort of "status churn" conversations like the one shown above.

This is what a RACI matrix looks like for a software project in Plutora.   Our tool shows all the stakeholders, organizational information about each stakeholder, stakeholder location, and a contact number for each stakeholder.   Plutora tracks a RACI matrix for each System, IT Environment, Change, and Release.  This means that you can assemble a large list of people who might be affect by the systems, environments, and changes involved in a particular release.

Note: Location information is an essential piece of information in a RACI matrix. When your releases involve people in several timezones.  When your developers are in Europe, your executives are in India, your operations team is in Sydney, and your QA team is in San Francisco it helps to understand how people are going to be affected by complicated software release timelines.  During a difficult release it's essential you understand who's having breakfast and who's still awake at 4 AM.  Plutora helps you track this in the RACI matrix with location information.

Without a tool like the RACI matrix every release attracts a larger and larger audience of people interested in status. With very large releases spanning multiple teams you'll start wondering why certain people are interested in a particular release.  With RACI you'll understand not just who needs to be notified of release status and release progress but how they need to be notified.  If you track who is responsible and accountable with a RACI matrix in Plutora you'll know who needs to be notified of release issues as they occur without having to broadcast release status to a Skype chat with 300 people listening in.

The next time you run a release, use Plutora and populate your RACI matrix for each component in the release.  This way you'll be responding to far fewer IM-based status inquiries.  If people still insist on asking you about release status you can respond with a simple, "Did you see my email about Plutora?  If not, I need you to login so I can put you on the RACI matrix."

More Stories By Plutora Blog

Plutora provides Enterprise Release and Test Environment Management SaaS solutions aligning process, technology, and information to solve release orchestration challenges for the enterprise.

Plutora’s SaaS solution enables organizations to model release management and test environment management activities as a bridge between agile project teams and an enterprise’s ITSM initiatives. Using Plutora, you can orchestrate parallel releases from several independent DevOps groups all while giving your executives as well as change management specialists insight into overall risk.

Supporting the largest releases for the largest organizations throughout North America, EMEA, and Asia Pacific, Plutora provides proof that large companies can adopt DevOps while managing the risks that come with wider adoption of self-service and agile software development in the enterprise. Aligning process, technology, and information to solve increasingly complex release orchestration challenges, this Gartner “Cool Vendor in IT DevOps” upgrades the enterprise release management from spreadsheets, meetings, and email to an integrated dashboard giving release managers insight and control over large software releases.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


IoT & Smart Cities Stories
The challenges of aggregating data from consumer-oriented devices, such as wearable technologies and smart thermostats, are fairly well-understood. However, there are a new set of challenges for IoT devices that generate megabytes or gigabytes of data per second. Certainly, the infrastructure will have to change, as those volumes of data will likely overwhelm the available bandwidth for aggregating the data into a central repository. Ochandarena discusses a whole new way to think about your next...
DXWorldEXPO LLC announced today that Big Data Federation to Exhibit at the 22nd International CloudEXPO, colocated with DevOpsSUMMIT and DXWorldEXPO, November 12-13, 2018 in New York City. Big Data Federation, Inc. develops and applies artificial intelligence to predict financial and economic events that matter. The company uncovers patterns and precise drivers of performance and outcomes with the aid of machine-learning algorithms, big data, and fundamental analysis. Their products are deployed...
Dynatrace is an application performance management software company with products for the information technology departments and digital business owners of medium and large businesses. Building the Future of Monitoring with Artificial Intelligence. Today we can collect lots and lots of performance data. We build beautiful dashboards and even have fancy query languages to access and transform the data. Still performance data is a secret language only a couple of people understand. The more busine...
All in Mobile is a place where we continually maximize their impact by fostering understanding, empathy, insights, creativity and joy. They believe that a truly useful and desirable mobile app doesn't need the brightest idea or the most advanced technology. A great product begins with understanding people. It's easy to think that customers will love your app, but can you justify it? They make sure your final app is something that users truly want and need. The only way to do this is by ...
CloudEXPO | DevOpsSUMMIT | DXWorldEXPO are the world's most influential, independent events where Cloud Computing was coined and where technology buyers and vendors meet to experience and discuss the big picture of Digital Transformation and all of the strategies, tactics, and tools they need to realize their goals. Sponsors of DXWorldEXPO | CloudEXPO benefit from unmatched branding, profile building and lead generation opportunities.
Digital Transformation and Disruption, Amazon Style - What You Can Learn. Chris Kocher is a co-founder of Grey Heron, a management and strategic marketing consulting firm. He has 25+ years in both strategic and hands-on operating experience helping executives and investors build revenues and shareholder value. He has consulted with over 130 companies on innovating with new business models, product strategies and monetization. Chris has held management positions at HP and Symantec in addition to ...
Cell networks have the advantage of long-range communications, reaching an estimated 90% of the world. But cell networks such as 2G, 3G and LTE consume lots of power and were designed for connecting people. They are not optimized for low- or battery-powered devices or for IoT applications with infrequently transmitted data. Cell IoT modules that support narrow-band IoT and 4G cell networks will enable cell connectivity, device management, and app enablement for low-power wide-area network IoT. B...
The hierarchical architecture that distributes "compute" within the network specially at the edge can enable new services by harnessing emerging technologies. But Edge-Compute comes at increased cost that needs to be managed and potentially augmented by creative architecture solutions as there will always a catching-up with the capacity demands. Processing power in smartphones has enhanced YoY and there is increasingly spare compute capacity that can be potentially pooled. Uber has successfully ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that CrowdReviews.com has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 22nd International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 5–7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. CrowdReviews.com is a transparent online platform for determining which products and services are the best based on the opinion of the crowd. The crowd consists of Internet users that have experienced products and services first-hand and have an interest in letting other potential buye...
When talking IoT we often focus on the devices, the sensors, the hardware itself. The new smart appliances, the new smart or self-driving cars (which are amalgamations of many ‘things'). When we are looking at the world of IoT, we should take a step back, look at the big picture. What value are these devices providing. IoT is not about the devices, its about the data consumed and generated. The devices are tools, mechanisms, conduits. This paper discusses the considerations when dealing with the...