What Exactly is a “Release”?
Israel has been working on a multi-part series for the Cutter Consortium around the question of what a release actually is in Agile Development. For as long as I’ve known Israel, he’s been obsesses with the idea of moving a release down from a monolithic bomb-drop of code to a more gentle stream of functionality – “value,” really – delivered to the customer. This series of papers wraps text and PDF around that ongoing thought-train of his, and they’re nice reads.
You can get the papers by going over to the Cutter page and using the promo code “RELEASEMYTH” to get them for free.
Here’re the summaries of each section:
In Part I, the author explains why he considers the whole release concept a myth. Like a set of nested Russian dolls, the duality of the term “release” often masks a deeper duality. You can view the end user as the primary target of a release or you can view the release as a vehicle for market development. Philosophical as this differentiation of the release might seem, it actually brings to the forefront essential questions about the nature of software and the nature of the market.
Part II of this series suggests that software that is alive and always evolving poses unique opportunities for custom-tailoring solutions directly from Research and Development. It also describes an effective way to distribute custom-tailored solutions, and it highlights partial disintermediation that transforms the traditional software value chain.
Part III identifies a third “secret sauce” ingredient that further accelerates development and deployment. The critical question then becomes, “What do we do with this ultrafast development and deployment?”