Your organization’s software release cycle time is one of the primary indicators of the health of your entire software delivery operation. Ask yourself how long it takes your entire organization to make a software release from the time that a developer checks in that change – any change, even the simplest – until it goes into production.
No shortcuts, now! This release must be one that your enterprise will fully support, so testing and quality assurance is needed.
This is your release cycle time. Is your answer measured in minutes, hours, days, weeks, months or even years? Most organizations that I’ve seen measure their release cycle in days or weeks. But there are some organisations with release cycles at either end of the spectrum.
Why is this important? The reality is that your enterprise relies on software releases to fulfil some critical business need. It might be needed to generate business income, it might be needed to fix a defect that is affecting your customers. For these reasons, the shorter your release time, the quicker you can derive a business benefit. The smartest companies will create a competitive advantage from the speed of their software release cycle.
In a future post I’ll be writing about what your organisation can do to improve your release cycle.