Release Process

At Escape we have a standardized release process that produces four releases a year.  When we started the process in 2008 we actually had monthly releases but based on customer feedback we scaled it back to quarterly releases. Since we increased the duration between releases it allowed us a larger window of time to add steps to the process that ultimately made it more comprehensive. But a broader scope means more people, so now we have every department involded in the process!  Development, Support, Documentation, Training, Testing and I.T.   With the help of the whole team we are able to complete the following steps for each release:

-          Pay compares for all payroll customers -          Budget compares for JEs and loading from HR -          Full integration testing -          Release notes explaining each change in the release -          Updated user documentation for every module -          New tutorials -          Top Ten powerpoint presentation to highlight key features in each module -          3 hour webinar demonstrating most popular changes in each module

We even took it a step further by putting some of this information directly in the software so it’s accessible for all users.  The releases notes, Top Ten presentations, tutorials and a recorded version of the webinar are available via the Online Resources activity.

Once customers receive the new release they install it on their test system so they have an opportunity to complete testing in their environment.  Once they are satisfied with the new release, they install it on their production system.

Below are the statics for the releases in 2011.  As you can see, we completed nearly 750 change requests during 2011 and came pretty close to hitting all of our planned dates.  In fact, 11.02 was available as scheduled.  While not perfect, we have done a great job making new features and fixes available to our customers!

Release

# of Change Requests

Planned Release Date

Actual Release Date

11.01

160

02/25/11

03/14/11

11.02

195

05/16/11

05/16/11

11.03

217

08/26/11

09/02/11

11.04

176

11/18/11

12/02/11