Enterprise Release Management is a relatively new IT governance framework that large corporations use when introducing new software solutions of changing the existing ones.
For someone from the outside, the amount of software that is used within a certain large company such as eBay or Amazon would be simply staggering. The end users do not even see 99% of it, but since the company they do business with depends on all this software, so do their experiences with these companies.
Enterprise release management ensures that all of the new software and changes to existing one is released as quickly, cheaply and smoothly as possible, without compromising the efficiency of the company or causing problems in the day-to-day operation.
Even though ERM is a relatively new phenomenon, there are plenty of lessons that small business owners can take away from this practice.
Continuity is Everything
The ultimate goal of enterprise release management is to prevent any cases of a large company being stopped in tracks because the latest update of one of their core IT releases was not tested properly. In fact, smart ERM will always involve specialized test management tools that will ensure all software is thoroughly tested.
There are innumerable decisions that small business owners can make which can lead to them closing the door for a few days or even more. And just as large corporations would suffer from downtime, so would a small business, perhaps even more so. A small business cannot afford to stay closed because of something new that was implemented and that didn’t work.
For example, a small business owner might purchase new computers for the office, only to find out that the software the company has been using for years cannot run on these computers. This will cause the company to cease to work for at least a day. This is a lost day. And this is just a single example.
No Resources are Wasted
Another reason why big companies use enterprise release management is that it allows them to better use their resources and prevent waste. With a well planned and executed ERM, key IT teams work on just the right thing at the right time, testing environments are utilized perfectly and similar releases are combined in order to preserve resources.
Small business owners can learn a lot from this. If there is a way to combine certain tasks in order to get them done more quickly, do this. If an employee is wasting their time on something that does not have to be done at that particular moment and might actually be better done later, make sure they are not wasting their time. There are innumerable ways in which SMBs waste man-hours and assets which can be prevented by improved oversight and planning.
Importance of Communication in Enterprise Release management
In order for an enterprise release manager to do their work, they will require a constant influx of information from the different teams, individual employees, business decision makers and everyone in between. Only by having a crystal clear big picture in front of them can do their job properly. Of course, they also have to send their message across very clearly in order for their work to have an effect.
In any small business, communication is also key. It is important that your employees understand what you want from them, but it is equally as important that you get input from them. They need to know they can come to you and you always need to stay on top of things within the company. This way, you will always know where to direct people and resources.