The purpose of this focus area is to describe the importance of frequent releases when using agile. It also describes what considerations to take into account when planning releases and planning the project as a whole. This focus area also addresses what to do when a release cannot go directly into the operational environment.
This focus area is closely linked to the Plans theme (see Chapter 12) and configuration management.
A fundamental concept of any agile method or approach is to frequently deliver something of use. There are many advantages associated with this such as:
- It enables an early delivery of benefit to the customer.
- It allows for feedback.
- It is likely to reduce risk (e.g. of delivering the wrong product).
- It gives confidence about how the project is proceeding through visibility and evidence.
- It fosters engagement with project stakeholders.
- It makes releasing easier and perhaps second nature.
The strategy for delivering frequently and how to plan for this needs careful consideration as there are many trade-offs that have to be taken into account.