I work for a small software company which is responsible for delivering roughly a thousand custom software packages for roughly 100 customers.

We are struggling at tracking the release process. The entire thing is pretty repeatable but, because of the different distribution processes, there are about 2 dozen steps from the time we sign a contract to the point a product goes out the door.

To make matters more complicated, we have a few different 'types' of employees that are involved. We have a sales person who gets all requirements and deal terms. We have developers who do any modifications required by the customer. There is another type of employee which does the work of running the final build, testing and distributing the product.

I'm looking for ideas on how people manage these sorts of processes as we look to fix some issues which have been plaguing us for a while. Primarily, we are seeing a lot of issues sequencing the events AND communicating the information associated with each product to the build/distribution team.

Currently we use SVN(SCM), Jenkins/Hudson(Build) and Redmine(Feature/Bug Tracker).

Are there software solutions or is this just an internal process we have to document and understand? I'd really like to find a way to keep everyone aware of what the status of a particular app is and notify people that they are expected to do something.

1 Answer 1


If it means anything to you at all then please note that you are not alone in this problem. The last couple companies and the one I am at now struggle with this very problem.

Your company likely has software that they would like to be as "out-of-box" as possible but in reality each one of your clients have unique needs which DEMAND custom software. Lets face it, the salesperson pitches out-of-box and the developers deliver custom software.

The way that we handle it is DOCUMENTATION and formulating a special team of high level software developers to be the "Build" team. This team's responsibilities besides maintaining in house builds and environments for the different client solutions is to be the ones responsible for working with the clients to give them releases and assist in special deployment instructions (Again documentation...).

Further if you do not have an internal Wiki or Sharepoint document management system, GET ONE. This would be an exceptionally helpful and public repository for maintaining such documentation.

  • Thanks for the answer. I think we're going to do a mixture of documentation and custom software to try to relieve some of this extra work. Aug 31, 2011 at 0:35

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