Release cycle management: an action research study into a software company
by Kamran Syed; Neda Barqawi; Lars Mathiassen
International Journal of Business Information Systems (IJBIS), Vol. 30, No. 2, 2019

Abstract: Software is increasingly developed in a recurrent fashion. Still, we lack theoretical knowledge and conceptual models for continuously improving software release management in such dynamic contexts. In response, we conducted an action research study to improve Software Inc.'s capability to recurrently release a specific software service, Secure-on-Request. Drawing on contextualist inquiry as theoretical frame, we addressed an initial problematic situation with a recent software acquisition, complexity of service delivery, new engineering and product management teams and low process maturity to improve the organisation's approach to software releases. As a result, we offer a detailed account of the process of, the content of and the context for transforming release management at Software Inc. through the phases of diagnosing, establishing, acting and learning. Based on these insights, we theorise release cycle management (RCM) as a key practice that integrates software process improvement into recurrent delivery of software. Moreover, we offer a conceptual model for RCM that software managers can use to implement such practices into their organisations.

Online publication date: Mon, 28-Jan-2019

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