Book Review – Enterprise Release Management


Enterprise Release Management – Agile Delivery of a Strategic Change Portfolio

ISBN: 13: 978-1-60807-168-5


Louis J. Taborda


This book targets different stakeholders across the ‘enterprise release lifecycle’ offering different insights to each whilst maintaining a coherent vision that aims to bring these often misaligned silos together.

The audience includes business and IT executives; portfolio management, programme / project and product managers; business analysts; enterprise and solution architects; IT and technology managers; testers and delivery managers; release managers; and business and IT operations staff.


Enterprise Release Management (ERM) presents a new paradigm for the management of evolving business and IT architectures. ERM takes a holistic view of change that offers a synthesis of traditional management approaches, including project and change management, enterprise architecture, and development practices such as configuration and release management. The book establishes an end-to-end release framework that ensures initiatives are planned and prioritized to streamline portfolio execution and delivery.


Intermediate – advanced.

Karen’s Comment:

This book review took the longest of all that I have done so far. That is not a reflection on this excellent publication but the fact that it introduced me to concepts to which I had little previous exposure and involved careful reading and periods of digestion of the material with which I was being presented.

Taborda spends a large proportion of this book explaining why the traditional approaches to solution delivery including agile development and project management alone are no longer effective in the complex environments in which we operate.

We are faced with the delivery of changes that impact multiple business processes, multiple suppliers (both internal and external) and multiple IT systems and assets. Compounding this complexity we also have multiple changes or projects impacting the organisation at the same time. We also have the same resources being called upon to deliver the multiplicity of changes and the resulting management and people implications. The chaotic manner in which projects are executed today combined with the poor success rates evident from industry research indicates that there is a problem.
The validity of the time Taborda spends on scene setting becomes clear as the concept of ERM is explained in the latter chapters. It makes the need for ERM evident.

ERM offers a unifying framework for the different management disciplines and ‘connects the dots’ between the different industry standards and best practices with which many of us are familiar. It has been described by one manager as a ‘mash-up of PM-BOK and ITIL’.

ERM scales these disciplines to the strategic enterprise level and takes a holistic view of change across the enterprise. It applies a systems thinking approach that considers the enterprise as a delicate system configuration that needs careful management attention.

The concepts of a time-boxed release roadmap and release matrix notation are well explained and their application clearly described. The release matrix notation resolves the most complex enterprise pattern and offers a representation for the multiple stakeholder viewpoints present in an enterprise release.

In the preface to the book Taborda acknowledges that we are time poor and provides valuable guidance on how the reader can best navigate and digest the content of his publication.

There is a supporting website referenced in the book – – which is supposed to contain questionnaires and tools to assist the reader in the establishment of a release centric management framework.

Unfortunately (at the time of writing) this website is still a work-in-progress but the author assures me that the supporting material will be available in Q3 2012.

I recommend this book to anyone working to effect positive change in their organisation.

Rating: 4 stars out of 5

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