As companies move to cloud-based talent management suites and look to capitalize on the new tools and functionalities offered by these suites, it is becoming increasingly important to develop a formal release management process. Often during an implementation, advanced functionalities get pushed aside as organizations work to get live and maintain their critical business processes. However, there are a lot of existing and new features that customers can use to improve and streamline their businesses. It is important to analyze and incorporate these features while ensuring that existing processes are not disrupted by a new release.
There are several key components of a successful release management process:
1. Comprehensive understanding of your environment and business processes
Understanding how your organization has structured its system and – more importantly – the business process requirements underlying that structure will allow you to identify and test relevant features effectively.
If the team involved in the initial system implementation is still available, this provides an advantage as they will already have deep knowledge of the deployment.
2. Effective testing of existing critical business processes
While the focus of release management is usually based on new software features and functionality, testing and validating your existing business processes in light of the release is equally, if not more, important. Cloud software companies carry out thorough testing processes to make sure new releases go smoothly, but you need to ensure that your business practices are not disrupted prior to a release into a production environment – particularly when working with integrations and API-based solutions or applications.
3. Detailed analysis and planning for new feature roll-outs
Release documentation can be very dense and detailed, but it is important to comb through those details to find features that are interesting and relevant. It is equally important to engage in a thoughtful process to determine how to incorporate those features into existing systems and business practices. Rolling out new functionality will impact end-users and administrators, so you need to ensure that the rollout will provide an improved user experience and workflow, and that users are prepared for the change.
It can be a challenge to keep up with cloud software releases while continuing to perform day-to-day activities, but it is imperative that your organization establishes release management practices that fit your needs. Our belief is that organizations need to be self-sufficient when it comes to cloud releases so that they continue to find innovative ways for their talent management suite to improve the lives of individual employees and overall operational health.
When organizations are self-sufficient in navigating cloud releases, they are better able to find innovative ways for their talent management suite to improve the lives of individual employees and overall operational health. If your organization is struggling to handle the release schedule of your talent management system, don’t wait until the next release to figure out a solution. Establish practices now – and start taking control of what your system has to offer.