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2009/12/1 18:33:08
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Job Description: Release Manager

We have identified the need for a release manager and this is the thread to set expectations and qualifications for that position. Please add comments and suggestions for consideration.


Release Manager

Position: Nominated by management/board/community

Exclusions: Not on any current management team

Availability/Duration of Position: For an entire version release cycle (Alpha through Final)

Responsibilities:
* Monitor issue queue
-- All tickets assigned to and accepted by a developer
-- All tickets properly categorized (enhancement, task, defect)
-- All tickets properly prioritized
-- All tickets placed in the appropriate milestone
-- All tickets contain sufficient information
-- All tickets assigned the proper component

* Coordinate release phases
-- Issues addressed
-- Packages created, uploaded and tested
-- Release announcement written (Marketing Team Executes)
-- All references updated (Community, Marketing Teams execute)

* Provide regular updates to the community (at least every 2 weeks)

* Hold and lead developer meetings, when appropriate

Reports To: The ImpressCMS Management Team and Board. If the Board and Management Team finds it necessary, they can conduct a vote of 'No Confidence' and revoke this nomination before the end of the release cycle.


Edited by skenow on 2009/12/2 20:04:44
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2009/12/2 10:26:07
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Re: Job Description: Release Manager

This is a good description so far. I think it's important to mention, that the release manager should also know about the status of each ticket plus the information what the tickets are about (in detail).

It would be very helpful to have somebody doing this job for the next version

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the german icms website : www.impresscms.de

2009/12/2 11:23:32
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Re: Job Description: Release Manager

Quote:


Phoenyx wrote:
This is a good description so far. I think it's important to mention, that the release manager should also know about the status of each ticket plus the information what the tickets are about (in detail).



The relevant details should always be in the ticket, so anyone, not just the release manager can know the status.

Quote:


It would be very helpful to have somebody doing this job for the next version



It will be nice to have someone dedicated to this job, instead of it falling on someone who has other things to do.

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Steve Twitter: @skenow Facebook: Steve Kenow


2009/12/2 12:14:24
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Re: Job Description: Release Manager

Quote:

The relevant details should always be in the ticket, so anyone, not just the release manager can know the status.


This is correct but the release manager should know this without having a look at the ticket in my opinion.

Quote:

It will be nice to have someone dedicated to this job, instead of it falling on someone who has other things to do.


This is correct (I didn't say the opposite, did I?)

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the german icms website : www.impresscms.de

2009/12/2 13:42:11
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Re: Job Description: Release Manager

Since we're all on the same page here, let's move on.
So we know the requirements. We need someone who can dedicate himself to this task.
Can he still approve commits and do other tasks?
The release management should be the main task, right?


2009/12/2 20:02:14
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Re: Job Description: Release Manager

Quote:


UnderDog wrote:
Can he still approve commits and do other tasks?
The release management should be the main task, right?



Yes, the release manager can still participate in other areas, but the primary task must be managing the release. Believe me, there is plenty to keep them busy with the above outlined responsibilities.

I am updating the description to assign a Reports To item to prevent the misconception this position is untouchable and the board and management team must continue to have confidence in the person while they are performing their duties.

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Steve Twitter: @skenow Facebook: Steve Kenow


2009/12/3 2:46:14
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Re: Job Description: Release Manager

This is very nice thread and the description so far is very good. However, there is one thing I consider very important which should be clearly stated.

Looking at our history so far, the first thing I see which I would like to improve is our decision making process. We are very open, we want to please everyone, we try and sail by consensus. This has given us great things so far and a great community! Only one downside: the time to make a decision is much too long, which slows everything down...

To overcome this, I would like to propose that the Release Manager has the deciding power. Of course, he will try to get consensus, but will not allow 6 months discussions to get to it. He will listen, make everyone give their opinion, allow time-boxed debate, but at the end of the day, he'll make the decision. And the decision shall be accepted by the team. If after a Release Cycle is complete, the dev team come to the conclusion that the Release Manager took too many bad decisions, then they'll choose someone else for the next release. Simple as that.

So ultimately, the Release Manager decides what goes in, what goes out, what milestone a ticket is related to, when to release, etc... Of course, he is not a dictator who decide on his own. He talks to the team, gathers thoughts, feedback, opinion, holds debate, etc... and then makes a decision.

Thoughts ?

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Marc-André Lanciault
Founder and CEO INBOX International inc.
Co-Founder ImpressCMS

2009/12/3 9:38:34
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Re: Job Description: Release Manager

Good points Marc, good points.

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2009/12/3 16:24:12
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Re: Job Description: Release Manager

Marc, what role does the Lead Developer play in what you describe, and how does that position differ from this? This may need another thread, but these 2 are very closely related, so we'll start here.

Defining what the Release Manager is not responsible for is also important.

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Steve Twitter: @skenow Facebook: Steve Kenow


2009/12/7 7:01:32
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Re: Job Description: Release Manager

In my work environment (Banking & Insurance), we have lead developers, program managers and project managers.

The program manager is responsible for the general direction, and translating that into requirements. He/She has the view over the different releases.
The project manager's responsability is to take those requirements for a specific release, and focus on getting the requirements implemented in time.
The Lead developer is tasked with translating the requirements that are decided upon by the project manager, and transforming them into technical language.

In our case, I would say the project manager position is what is done now under the heading 'release manager' (i.e. he gets things released). The program management function is more of a concensus thing, which is cool for an open source project.

At the moment, we have no separation between what will be done in the current release (release management) and how it will be done in code (lead dev).

I'm not saying that the release manager can't be a developer, but keeping track of both the 'business side' (what) and the 'technical side' (how) is quite complicated for just one person.

Splitting those up might make some areas easier to keep track of (code review, code standards). The release manager should have the ultimate decision when things clash of course.

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Me on Ohloh


2009/12/24 20:28:16
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Re: Job Description: Release Manager

The board and management teams have selected a release manager for 1.3 - announcement coming soon (once we pass the Christmas holidays)

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Steve Twitter: @skenow Facebook: Steve Kenow


2009/12/24 20:58:20
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Re: Job Description: Release Manager

Don't make em wait...
Quote:


Dear users,
After the holiday season is over, jolly old St Nick will be out of a job until next year. Which is the downside of seasonal work.

To remedy this, we have unanimously nominated Santa Claus to lead up development for 1.3

You can all expect fresh milk and cookies with every new release from this point on. As mandated in his roadmap.



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