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ITIL 4 – Decoupling Deployment from Release Management Practice

ITIL 4 is an evolution of ITIL V3. Before we start talking about specific processes or practices, it is important to stress that the focus has shifted. ITIL 4 gives us a fresh perspective to service management and emphasizes the customer user experience, the approach to the overall service value system, the service value chain and value streams, and much more. 

Download the What is ITIL 4 document from the ITSM Academy Resource Center and be sure to read past the first few pages for more information on the new perspective that drives modern service management. The emphasis is on value from the customer user experience and integrated holistic approach. That does not mean that the processes are going away. Today we refer to a process as a "practice". Practices are broader in scope than processes and include all 4 dimensions/resources including the process. Two processes or “practices” that have been decoupled in ITIL 4 are the Deployment Management practice and the Release Management practice.

  • Deployment Management Practice
The purpose of the Deployment Management practice is to move new or changed hardware, software, documentation, processes or any other components to environments. Deploying change involves moving or installing the change to a given environment. Think of all the environments you might have in the value stream from the idea to the actual realization of value. This does NOT mean that the components or the change is visible or available for users. The Deployment Management practice occurs within the design, obtain and build value chain activities and is enabled via the Change Enablement practice (known as Change Management in ITIL V3). We deploy throughout Development, Testing, Staging, and Production!
  • Release Management Practice
The purpose of the Release Management practice is to make new and changed features available for use. These activities are distinctly different from deployment as discussed above and work in conjunction with the Change Enablement practice. The size, scope, content, and frequency of each release needs to be planned and is driven by strategy and timelines according to policy.

Decoupling Deploy and Release Management practices makes it possible to minimize the risk associated with making changes via testing before the change is made visible.

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