How to Become a Release Manager

By Syed Irfan 

Last updated on Aug 18 2021

How to Become a Release Manager

How to Become a Release Manager in 2021

 

With the evolution and growth of technology, the IT industry is expanding at a faster rate. IT offers many jobs and positions. There are many technological changes within the industry due to advanced development. Such technological changes have led to the idea of release management as an outcome. The idea of release management emerged from the sector's shift from project-based offerings to product-based ones. The individual releases were viewed as projects instead of products before the shift. Release management delivered the role of Release Manager.

 

As the process keeps getting complex with new technologies, the demand for Release manager increases. The understanding of release management is required before understanding the role and responsibilities of a release manager. Let us understand the concept of release management and how to release manager plays an important role.

 

Understanding Release Management

 

Release management has gone through extreme changes with the evolution of the IT industry. It is an engineering process to supervise software releases' scheduling, development, testing, and deployment. Acceptance Testing, Development Processes, Integration Testing, Performance Testing, and System Testing are such processes that fall under release management examples. The software systems demand such processes to operate properly. Software Release management incorporates discipline from other fields such as business-oriented project management, IT Infrastructure Library, and software development life cycle (SDLC) knowledge. DevOps, Release automation, and Continuous development require release management to optimize. The process may change depending on the variables. But the majority of the steps remain the same.

 

DevOps release management includes practices like planning, developing, controlling the system and delivery process. DevOps release management is improving its practices and tools to optimize. It also follows agile methodologies such as SCRUM, PMI, etc.

 

Agile release management is one of the processes that support gradual major releases. This type of release management can be applied depending on the team structure and size of the project. The management follows the process to be segregated into different iteration. On the other hand, GitLab release management supports self-managed release and auto-deploy.

 

Release and deployment management aims to plan, schedule, and develop to maintain the integrity of the live testing. At the same time, change and release management prioritizes the process and tools that deliver the features and services as an outcome. Although these are both different concepts, they are highly linked. The complex process needs Change Management and Release Management as they are related functions within an organization.

 

What is a Release Manager?

 

A Release Manager is an IT professional responsible for managing the complete software delivery life cycle from initial to end. They have to work with the team from the planning phase to the deployment phase throughout the development and testing phases. They possess specific skills and experience to coordinate release management activities. They have governance over automation tools and resources to conduct release management.

 

The release management job description includes them reporting to the team's manager and handling the team for operating and development. They work with business leaders, IT professional teams, and operational staff to coordinate release activities. They are responsible for every stage, from scheduling the release and coordinating between teams to release deployment. The release Manager must carry out all these duties according to the schedule and budget set by the team. Release managers are required to communicate and work with the application, development, and testing team to ensure the righteousness of each process. To summarize a release manager's job description in a sentence, a release manager is concerned with planning, testing, tracking, release, deployment, communication, and risk management in an organization.

 

Roles and Responsibilities of a Release Manager

 

Release manager's roles and responsibilities are numerous, and they are required to carry them out. It is important to understand the role and responsibilities of a release manager to understand their importance. As we are aware of release managers' challenges, let's look at the detailed list of their roles and responsibilities.

 

  1. They are required to plan the project schedule and deliver the components and requirements according to the budget.
  2. Managing the resources required depending on third-party applications, defect backlogs, planned releases, and infrastructure updates and creating a resolving solution.
  3. Communicating and conveying crucial release plans and changes such as plans, timelines, requirements, etc., between different teams.
  4. Managing and navigating risks that can delay the release and managing them is a release manager role.
  5. Release manager responsibilities include them to initiate and supervise the release process.
  6. To conduct release readiness reviews before deployment and milestone reviews after each product release. They are required to offer weekly updates on the release activities to the team.
  7. To maintain release schedules and to ensure the allocation aligns with major vendors and other stakeholders.
  8. Release managers are required to implement methodologies to ensure continual improved configuration management and development.
  9. As a release manager, one must participate in every meeting to discuss the scope of improvements and release roadblocks.
  10. Release Managers are in charge of maintaining and managing the procedures, dependencies, and requirements.
  11. They need to implement and create automation tools to integrate and deploy software releases.
  12. Researching new technologies and trends to keep up with the best methods and techniques to manage and configure according to the organization's existing needs.

 

Release manager duties involve such processes and responsibilities. These are the tasks carried out by a release manager on day to day basis. Similarly, the release manager role in agile includes segregating their processes into iteration and work through every process. Their role also involves them adapting to the unpredictable nature of software development.

 

Skills Required to Be a Release Manager

 

It's certainly not an easy job, but the required skills will make one a worthy Release manager. One needs to have this skill set to become a Release manager. Release management skills are divided into hard and soft skills. There are specific hard and soft skills to become a Release manager. Such skills include:

  1. Qualifications include B.Tech in Computer Science or an equivalent degree.
  2. Deep understanding and knowledge of Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery (abbreviated to CD/CI) pipelines.
  3. Must have some project management and risk management experience.
  4. Must understand analytical and automation tools like Application-release Automation (abbreviated to ARA), ElectricFlow, Puppet Enterprise, Buildmaster, and Visual Studio Release Management.
  5. Programming language is a must. One needs to be expertise in programming languages and Software Development Lifecycle.
  6. It is advisable to understand traditional methodologies like agile, including Scrum, PMI, Waterfall, or Kanban.
  7. Release managers need to understand application infrastructure, system architecture, operating systems, and software development.

 

Soft skills are as much as important as hard skills

 

  1. Fine communication and negotiation skills.
  2. Leadership qualities to handle a team.
  3. Must know presentation and must be a detail orientation.
  4. Analytical skills to tackle any problem.
  5. Time management skills to deliver the project in time.

 

Top Release Manager Certifications

 

Certifications can be proved to be very powerful in the competition for being the best release manager. Earning an additional certification will show the employers that you have the skills and experience required for a potential release manager. It is advised to the candidates to go for a certified certification. There are release management training available online.

 

Popular release manager training programs involve in important concepts of release management such as planning, deployment, etc., and implement it. It will let the candidates work on agile methodologies, including SCRUM, PMI, etc. These training are not expensive and can be accessed by any beginner level student. There are workshops and online boot camps that provide you with best practices and experience.

There is some best certification for release managers out there for you to choose from. However, not every certification can be as helpful as others.

 

The release manager certification list includes the following certification:

 

Here we have covered some top release manager certifications:

 

  1. Project Management Professional Certification: The Project Management Professional (PMP) is one of the renowned credentials offering training and courses for release management. It ensures that its candidates have a solid understanding of project management skills. The latest PMP certification provides waterfall, agile and hybrid approaches that employers seek. It provides placements and helps organizations find candidates with potential skills and qualifications.

 

  1. ITIL Foundation: One of the top release manager certifications provides the best IT infrastructure and architecture practices. It provides an essential understanding of the service cycle and management skills. ITIL Release and deployment management is a highly known and respected certification.

 

 

  1. PGMP Certification: This certification measures the knowledge and understanding of the candidates. It ensures essential management skills required for the candidates to complete a release within time and budget. This certification offered by PMI is mainly designed for professionals. It covers topics like Project Framework, Project Human Resources, and Communications.

 

  1. DevOps Release Manager Certification: The Certified DevOps Release Manager Certification (DevOps-RM) is a multiple-choice based online examination through which you can test your knowledge on Release Management. It contains about 50 questions that candidates from all over the world can access. Candidates need to finish the exam in 60 minutes.

 

 

To become a DevOps security manager, one must acquire DevOps security engineer certifications like Certified DevOps Information Security Engineer (DevOps-SEC). It validates candidates to operate hand on skills like development and implementation.

Release Manager courses such as Build Automation and Release Management Courses which provide Application Packaging Training and such. Release manager training course offers training in agile methodologies including SCRUM, PMI, etc.

 

About ITIL Release Management

The practice of release management incorporates the systems development lifecycle ( abbreviated to SDLC) and IT Infrastructure Library (abbreviated to ITIL) practices. It is one of the top release Manager certifications, which trainers and educators highly recommend. Release and deployment management aims to plan, schedule, and control the movement of releases to test and live environments to its candidates. It offers guidance to the students who are willing to pursue their dream as release managers. It validates the candidates to learn and experience the essential knowledge regarding release management.

 

ITIL V4 release management offers DevOps practices to candidates for the development and deployment of software systems. It lets its candidates understand the software application, application architecture, and workload composition. However, it might not be cloud-specific. The ITSM release management follows a similar release manager certification path that meets DevOps. At the same time, the latest ITIL 4 release management offers all the requirements along with the key activities in the service management practice and the technical management of deployment management. It offers the candidates a detailed study of a release build, release test, and release deployment. 

Besides, certification validates that the candidates are employed in the best companies. It adds value and weight to your resume or CV. Earning certification from prestigious credentials like ITIL would sure put a nice impression on employers.

 

Top IT Service Management Certification Courses

 

ITIL® Service Design           

ITIL® Service Strategy

ITIL® Service Transition         

ITIL® Service Operation      

ITIL® Continual Service Improvement

ITIL® Operational Support and Analysis     

ITIL® Release Control and Validation            

ITIL® Service Offerings and Agreements

 

Salary of a Release Manager

 

Release Manager is slow yet growing in demand. Release Manager's average salary is estimated to be $107,329 per year, depending on experience and skills. Release managers can even get a salary up to $149,000 per year provided they are experienced enough. Release Manager's average salary in the US is estimated to be $105,000. In India, Release Managers earn around 13 Lacs on average. The salary increases as one gain more experience.

One can work as a freelancer release manager to earn. But the income might vary depending on the infrastructure of the project and clients.

 

Conclusion

Release management offers practices and disciplines to evolve the business needs of an organization. Such management teams work together to provide the best satisfactory results and services to the customers. Release Managers are an important element of the management team whose job is to supervise the overall process while participating in it. Such management teams are adopted nowadays by companies to evolve their service.

 

For more details about top certifications for release managers, mail us at Click Here or chat with our course experts.  

About the Author

Sprintzeal   Syed Irfan 

Irfan is a technical content writer in the education niche with vast experience in creating content for certifications and training programs. He creates engaging, easy-to-understand, and valuable content for both beginners and professionals aspiring to enhance their careers. 

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