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Sunday, June 3, 2012

What is release planning and what is the need of release planning?

Release planning forms a very important part of the whole software development life cycle and from the term itself you can make out that it is related to the release of the software product.

What is a Release Plan?

- A release plan is drawn up during the release planning meeting. 
- The purpose of the release planning meeting is to lay out the overall project plan. 
- The release plan is further used to plan the iterations and schedules for the other processes. 
- For every individual iteration, a specific iteration plan is designed keeping in mind the specifications of the release plan. 
- It is important that a balance should be maintained between the technical aspect and the business aspect of a software project else the development conflicts will arise and the developers will never be able to finish the software project on time. 
- So, to get a better release plan it is important all the technical decisions must be handled by the technicians and all the business decisions are taken up by the business people. 

How to draw a proper release plan?

- To draw out a proper release plan, it is important that these classes of the stake holders co- ordinate properly. 
- In order to facilitate the co- ordination among these two, a set of rules has been defined for the release planning.
- With these rules it has been made possible that each and every individual involved with the project is able to state his/ her own decision.
- With such a way, it gets easy to plan a release schedule to which every one can commit to. 
Otherwise, the developers will find it difficult to negotiate with the business persons. 
- The essence of the release planning meeting lies in the proper estimation of all the user stories in terms of the ideal programming weeks. 

What is an ideal programming week?

Now you must be wondering what an ideal programming week is. 
- The ideal programming week is defined as how long one can imagine regarding the implementation of a particular user story if there was nothing else to be done. 
- Here by nothing else we do not mean a total absence of the other activities! 
- It only means the absence of the dependencies and extra work but presence of tests.

Factors on which a release plan depends are:

- The importance level of a user story is decided by the customer itself.
- He/ she also decide how much priority is to be given to which user story regarding its completion. 
- There are two factors based up on which the release plan can be drawn:
  1. Scope or
  2. Time

Role of Project Velocity in Release Planning

- A measure called the “project velocity” helps with the release planning. 
- This measure proves to be a great aid in determining the number of the user stories that can be implemented before the last date of the completion of the software project.
- Or in the terms of the scope, the project velocity helps in determining the number of user stories that can be completed. 
- When the release plan is created according to the scope, the total weeks of the estimated user stories is divided by the project velocity to obtain the total number of the iterations that can be carried out till the due date of the project completion. 

Philosophy Underlining Release Planning

The philosophy that underlies the release planning is that the quantification of a software product can be done by the below mentioned 4 variables:
  1. Scope: It defines how much work is to be done.
  2. Resources: It states the number of the people available.
  3. Time: It is the time of the release of the software product and
  4. Quality: It defines how good the software is. 

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