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PO are the new RM's

From Reinventing ITIL in the age of DevOps
Abhinav Krishn Akaiser 2019
Product Owners Are the New Release Managers

The release management team has been made partially redundant by machines. It is not absolute because of two reasons.

  • You need an owner for the entire release management process that cuts across both development and operations.
  • Cognitive abilities are very much in demand to ensure that the release management process succeeds and aligns with the objectives set forth.

The person who manages the entire release from end to end is the release manager and is still necessary. However, the release management role went from being a full-time position to a part-time one (statistically speaking), mainly because of the diminished work (thanks to automation). Capable release managers are

  1. Well aware of the customer landscape, the requirements, and to an extent the business priorities
  2. Fully involved in the development and deployment processes
  3. Understands operations and their acceptance criteria

The person who could do all this in the past was the product owner (PO), and thus that person is a favorite choice for a part-time release manager. POs are an adequate choice mainly because of their closeness to the business and to the development and operations teams. The person was like a bridge between the two entities and was expected to keep the boat going in the most turbulent conditions.

Thanks Abhinav (page 294)
PS I am reminded by the above of the importance of the Board Exeuctive to produce products in PRINCE2 Agile

Note below how value is produced in agile's Scrum method.

Scrum Value Model


DevOps is ITIL, just empowered for speed!
Scrum team sprints (as an example) must be able to release working software faster.

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