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Smooth operations with a sofware deployment checklist

A software deployment checklist helps make sure all your deployments proceed smoothly and gives you flexibility in case of any errors

What Is a Software deployment checklist?

A software deployment checklist is a tool businesses use to make sure that all of the steps, processes, and activities of a software system or update are done properly. The most common activities related to software development include:

  1. Software release
  2. Installation
  3. Testing
  4. Deployment
  5. Performance monitoring

Most IT organizations and software developers need to deal with software deployment. Once your software is deployed, it’s public, and your team will have to deal with user feedback or complaints, if they arise. A software deployment checklist can make you less anxious, knowing your team has done all the needed steps to make the deployment successful.

What is software deployment?

Software deployment is the process of running software on a server or device. A software update may be deployed to a testing machine, a test server, or the public. The software might also be deployed a few times throughout the development process to make sure that it works properly and without errors. Another type of software deployment occurs when a user installs your mobile app on their phone.

Your team must design the process based on best practices or according to your organization’s objectives. Your software deployment checklist needs to cover the three phases of software deployment, which are:

  1. Preparation
  2. Testing
  3. Deployment

Table of contents

1. Why are software deployment checklists important?

1.1. What is software deployment?

2. How to prepare a software deployment checklist

2.1. 1. Keep communications open

2.2. 2. Develop a rollback plan

2.3. 3. Notify stakeholders

2.4. 4. Finalize your release strategy

2.5. 5. Keep changes to a minimum

2.6. 6. Use automation tools

2.7. 7. Consider a continuous deployment process

2.8. 8. Look out for bugs or crashes

2.9. 9. Test all critical parts of your software

2.10. 10. Have a bug and error report plan

2.11. 11. Define key performance metrics

2.12. 12. Take note of error logs

2.13. 13. Use an error-tracking program

3. Why use a deployment checklist for software?

Why are software deployment checklists important?

Software deployment is one of the most crucial steps in the software development process. This is when apps, modules, patches, and updates, are delivered to users.

A software deployment checklist template will help your team adapt to changes in user preferences. If your team is well-organized throughout the process of building, testing, and deploying your software, you can respond quickly to your customers. That means better customer satisfaction and more business.

How to prepare a software deployment checklist

Keeping changes to a minimum helps ensure successful software deployment.

The fewer the changes, the lower the chances of failure. Do your best to avoid last-minute errors, because they can have a significant impact on software performance. You can use tools like the Kanban system to keep track of all tasks and make sure they are completed on time.

To get the most out of your checklists, there are a few important things to remember.

1. Keep communications open

Make sure the software deployment schedule is clear to everyone in the development and operations team. Both departments’ responsibilities should be clear. Specify what each team will need to do in case of infrastructure changes and other issues.

2. Develop a rollback plan

It’s a good idea to have a rollback plan in place, in case your software encounters issues once deployed. Make sure that you can revert your software to its previous state without any problem. Sometimes a rollback can cause even more problems if you are not careful.

3. Notify stakeholders

Letting stakeholders know when you release the software can have a massive impact on the success of the software. Informing stakeholders of your software schedule helps avoid confusion.

4. Finalize your release strategy

There are different kinds of software deployment; make sure your team knows exactly which one you are planning to execute. Are you planning to roll it out in batches? Will your users need to uninstall and then reinstall for the update to take effect?

5. Keep changes to a minimum

All systems must already be in place before the schedule of the deployment. If last-minute changes are necessary, don’t forget to inform your team. And only make the necessary changes. If you need to make a significant change, it might be best to reschedule to have enough time to make the change, since it’s better to get the job done properly than rush to complete a schedule.

6. Use automation tools

Automation tools can help minimize human error. Various automation tools can make software deployment quick, easy, and error-free, as well as help you control the speed of your deployment. Automation can also be helpful in case you need to perform a rollback, by preventing loss of code.

7. Consider a continuous deployment process

Continuous deployment is the process of releasing software alongside automated testing to validate any changes to the code. It ensures your code is correct and stable and deploys the update automatically. The advantage of continuous deployment is that it is quicker and easier to roll back than if you release everything in one go.

two developers running an audit before deploy a new software

8. Look out for bugs or crashes

Even though there are automation tools you can use for software deployment, Errors may still occur. In case there are issues, you may need to fix your code or scripts. You might also need your rollback plan to address a crash.

9. Test all critical parts of your software

Perform several tests to ensure all systems are working. Your checklist must evaluate user experience, functionality, performance, security, and compatibility. These are areas you need to measure to get a sense of your software’s performance.

10. Have a bug and error report plan

Categorize errors so that you can prioritize and test them according to importance. Test the most urgent fixes first before deploying them in the live environment. Repeat the process until the deployment is complete.

11. Define key performance metrics

To dem your software deployment successful, you need to define your key performance indicators or KPIs. Some examples of KPIs for software deployment are:

  1. Deployment frequency
  2. Change volume
  3. Deployment time
  4. Failed deployment rate
  5. Change failure rate
  6. Time to detection
  7. Lead time
  8. Defect escape rate
  9. Defect volume
  10. Availability
  11. Service level agreement compliance
  12. Unplanned work
  13. Customer ticket volume
  14. Cycle time

12. Take note of error logs

When errors occur during the deployment, you can find out what went wrong by looking at error log files. Take note of the volume of errors. Any substantial changes in the number of mistakes could mean bad news. Analyze your files and troubleshoot the problem right away.

Some tell-tale signs of software deployment issues are:

  • Shorter customer sessions
  • Increased P99 load time
  • Higher error rates
  • Customer complaints via social media

13. Use an error-tracking program

There is bug-tracking software you can use to handle the errors. These tools make it easier for your team to find, report, and fix bugs in your software. Tracking software is a valuable tool because it helps your organization save money on addressing errors.

Why use Lumiform for software deployment checklists?

With a digital knowledge transfer plan checklist, you can easily inspect your software deployment via tablet or smartphone – online or offline. With the desktop version of Lumiform, you can access and analyze the information you need. The benefits of Lumiform to your business include:

  • A flexible form builder that helps you to convert any paper checklist into a digital one without much effort.
  • An intuitive mobile app that you and your teammates can use to conduct change requests in no time.
  • All results, images, and comments are automatically bundled in a digital change request report.
  • Comprehensive analyses help you to identify inefficient areas in your company more quickly and continuously improve your inspection processes.
  • Easily authorizing change request forms by gathering electronic signatures from all parties involved in the project.

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