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I was working with a long time SAP Customer that wanted to review their release management strategy and see what best practices they could leverage to improve their process.

For help, I turned to Jim Ducker out of Canada.  Jim is one of the most experienced and sought after release management experts at SAP.

According to Jim, one of the most important elements of release management is to make sure customers have all the key roles andresponsibilities covered. 

The following are six roles and their responsibilities: 

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1) Release Coordinator

Chairs the Release Review Board and owns the SAP release management process.  Responsible for:

  • Ensuring all release requirements are met
  • Confirming all approvals are received for the change requests
  • Making certain all impacted project streams are participating in the release
  • Giving final approval for the release.
  • Defining release standards, processes and metrics

2) Quality Manager

Project level responsibility for quality checks at certain milestones including:

  • Checking if project documentation is complete
  • Verifying test cases are available and sufficient
  • Checking results of automated tests
  • Performing code inspections or managing peer code reviews
  • Confirming completeness of transports into test environments
  • Defining quality standards, processes and metrics
  • Participating in the Release Review Board in preparation for specific releases

3) Change Owners

Typically a Business Analyst that that is responsible for:

  • Gathering approvals for the change request
  • Representing the change request in the Release Review Board
  • Coordinating the business side of the change
  • Resolving any business issues the change may cause

4) Business Representatives

Responsible for:

  • Providing requirements for the change request
  • Participating in user acceptance testing
  • Providing business approval for release

5) Development Manager or Team Lead

Responsible for:

  • Creating change requests
  • Assigning change requests to developers
  • Creating transport requests
  • Releasing changes when the development is complete

6) IT Operator

Responsible for:

  • Performing transport exports and imports
  • Monitoring log files
  • Fixing technical problems during the transport process

What you can see from the roles and responsibilities is they provide a check and balance system, involve the business and IT and will ultimately lead to higher quality software.

I am curious how these roles and responsibilities match your organization?  Any other roles or additional responsibilities you have? Please comment below or contact me directly using Twitter: @SAPChampions or E-Mail:  mark.marcus@sap.com .

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