Reading Time: 2 minutes

This is the fourth in a series of blogs that gives IT leaders a better understanding into the realm of possibilities enabled by an effective IT Service Management (ITSM) strategy. Each of these blogs offers ITSM best practices that can help you innovate and improve your IT processes and strategies so that they align to the needs of the business. 

The focus of your DevOps team should center on building an Agile Continuous Delivery model and to promote a culture of collaboration. One of the key areas of focus is with process excellence in aligning Change Management with Release Management. Where there are boundaries between the Development community and IT Operations, alignment between Change and Release Management allows the DevOps movement within the organization to truly thrive collaboratively.

As you align Change Management and Release Management, the phase gates in your Release Management process will help you establish standards as code is tested and validated. The phase gates can also streamline the process of aligning Release Management with Service Validation and Testing.

The Release Management team should own the process for collecting all the build artifacts in order to manage them effectively at the day-to-day level and to ensure a clear Service Transition flow.

From the perspective of the Change Management team, they should work closely with the Release Management team to identify the proper release windows for the required black-out downtime during code deployments. This makes change approvals and communication much easier.

This approach also makes it easier for the Release Management team to provide a final “go 66or no-go’” decision—based on the change scheduling and sign-off on the artifacts that are needed to finalize the release package. Both teams can then be assured the build is ready for production.

After a release goes into production, Release Management can work with Development and the business to host a retrospective for identifying where quality improvements can be made for the next sprint. This information can be shared back into the change and supply useful Post Implementation Review data—where Operations could be notified and then initiate the improvements to be made within IT. This example demonstrates an ideal feedback loop between Development and Operations in their drive to collaborate together as part of one DevOps movement.

With these processes closely aligned, the perception of the Ops team being an obstacle in the DevOps movement is removed. And the culture of collaboration between the Release Management and Change Management teams can continue to evolve at the speed of Continuous Integration—the Nirvana state for Agile and DevOps!

For more information on ITSM strategies and best practices, contact Chris Gordon at

To view of all of Chris Gordon’s ITSM blogs published to date, visit 

To view of all of Chris Gordon’s ITSM blogs published to date, visit