Release Readiness Review for Service Providers

After a change in a service provider's hosting environment has been built, piloted, and tested, the management team needs to have a mechanism in place to ensure that the change is in fact ready to be released before it is introduced into the production environment. In order to minimize disruption to their hosted services, service providers must develop a plan that clearly defines the standards, policies, and quality metrics that will be applied against each release candidate before it becomes available to their customers.

This section discusses the Release Readiness Review, which is a set of guidelines and templates that your management team can use to help ensure the readiness of each release for deployment. The Release Readiness Review is the final management checkpoint and approval step before deploying a release. It helps release teams consider the operability and supportability of each release, as well as to evaluate the readiness of the target production environment to support and operate the deployed release. The Release Readiness Review results in a go/no-go decision about whether to deploy the release.

Through the Release Readiness Review process, key attributes of a given release are assessed against standards, policies, and quality metrics, as well as release criteria that evaluate the readiness of the release, production environment, supporting release package, rollout and rollback plans, training plans, support plans, and the risk management plan.

Following the release deployment, the change(s) now move to the change review process to evaluate and measure the success of the release in the production environment and to document lessons learned from the release for future releases. This final review is called the Post-Implementation Review (PIR).

The following table illustrates and compares the key characteristics of the Release Readiness Review and the Post-Implementation Review.

Table: Comparison of Reviews

Characteristic Release Readiness Review Post-Implementation Review


Introduce new service solutions, technologies, systems, applications, hardware, and processes.

Soon after the release is introduced into the production environment.


Ensure that operations deploys a release only when the release fully meets user and IT requirements for operability and supportability in the production environment.

Ensure that operations teams objectively assess each release's deployment quality and document the lessons learned.


Documentation that supports the decision to deploy the release or to postpone or cancel the release.

Updates to the support and operations groups' collection of best practices, including what to repeat as well as what to avoid.


Representatives of users, customers, and various operations teams representing each of the Microsoft Operations Framework (MOF) Team Model role clusters.

The same people who participated in the Release Readiness Review.