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Ensure Activities Are Done without Issues Using a Software Deployment Checklist

A deployment checklist for software, ensures a successful initial rollout by mitigating issues and mistakes.

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What Is a Software Deployment Checklist?

A software deployment checklist is a helpful tool for ensuring that all of the steps, processes, and activities of a software system or update are done without issues and mistakes. 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 will experience software deployment. It is both scary and exciting at the same time. You are not sure what is going to happen once your software is introduced to the public. It will be the first time for everybody in your team to deal with user feedback or complaints, if any. A deployment checklist for software can make you less anxious, knowing your team has done all the needed steps to make the deployment successful.

What is Meant by 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 is working properly and without errors. Software deployment could also be when a user installs your mobile app on their phone.

Your team must develop your software deployment process based on best practices or according to your organization’s objectives. You must create a checklist that covers these three phases in the software deployment process:

  1. Preparation
  2. Testing
  3. Deployment

This article covers the following topics:

1. Why is the Software Deployment Checklist Important?

2. How to Prepare a deployment checklist for software

3. Why use a Deployment checklist for software?

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Why Is the Software Deployment Checklist Important?

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

A software deployment checklist template will have a significant effect on how your team can adapt to the 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. The result would be better customer satisfaction and more sales or installs.

How to Prepare a Deployment Checklist for Software

Keeping changes to a minimum helps ensure a successful software deployment.

The lesser the changes, the smaller the chances of failure. You must do all you can to avoid last-minute errors because they can have a significant impact on the performance of your software. Use the Kanban system, for example, to keep track of all tasks and see if they are completed in time.

A checklist can help you prevent these errors. Here are some of the things you must consider as high-priority as you create your checklist:

1. Keep Communications Open Between the Development and Operations Team

Make the deployment schedule clear to everyone in the development and operations team. The responsibility of both departments must be clear. Specify what each team will need to do in case of infrastructure changes and other issues.

2. Develop a Rollback Plan

What if your software encounters too many issues when it goes live? It is smart to have a rollback plan in place. Make sure that you can revert your software to the previous state without any problem. Sometimes a rollback can cause even more problems if you are not careful.

3. Notify Stakeholders of the Release

Letting stakeholders know when you release the software can have a massive impact on the success of the software. However, this part can easily be overlooked without a checklist. Informing stakeholders about the schedule of the release can avoid confusion.

4. Develop and Finalize your Release Strategy

There are different kinds of software deployment. So, 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. It is better to get the job done properly than to make haste to meet the schedule.

6. Use Automation Tools

Automation tools can help minimize human error. Various automation tools can make software deployment quick, easy, and error-free. Automation tools can help you control how much you want to deploy and make the repetitive tasks done quicker. Automation can also be helpful in case you need to perform a rollback. Using an automation tool can prevent the loss of code.

7. Consider a Continuous Deployment Process

Continuous deployment is the process of releasing software with the use of automated testing to validate the changes to a code. It ensures that the 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 still can occur. Keep a wary eye while the deployment is going on. In case there are issues, be ready to fix the codes or scripts if necessary. You might also need your rollback plan in case this happens.

9. Test All Critical Parts of Your Software

Make sure all systems are working correctly by doing several tests. Your checklist must include items for user experience testing, functionality testing, performance testing, security testing, and compatibility testing. These are the necessary tests that will allow you to gather statistical and analytical data about your software’s performance.

10. Have a Plan in Place for Reporting All Bugs and Errors

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 determine whether your software deployment was a success, 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 the relevant files and troubleshoot the problem right away.

Some of the tell-tale signs that your software deployment has 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 can make it easier for your team to find, report, and fix bugs in your software. These are valuable tools because they can help your organization save money by fixing errors quickly.

Why Use a Deployment Checklist for Software?

With a digital knowledge transfer plan checklist, you can easily document and carry out the information via tablet or smartphone - online or offline. With the desktop software, you create the relevant content and then evaluate the collected data. Take advantage of the other benefits for your daily work:

  • The flexible form builder from Lumiform helps you to convert any individual paper list into digital change request forms without much effort.
  • Using the super intuitive mobile app, you and your teammates conduct change requests with ease and 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 thus to continuously improve your auditing and inspection processes.
  • Extensive analyses help you to uncover inefficient areas in your company more quickly and thus to continuously improve inspection processes.
  • Authorize change request forms by gathering electronic signatures from all parties involved in the project.

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