A Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC) is a compilation of several complicated as well as simple stages. The process of developing a software initially starts with planning and management, and ends with the user end testing and product release. Once developed and tested completely, a product is ready for its release in the software industry. The last stage of SDLC may seem quite insignificant as the product is finally delivered to the client or the end user, however, product release is as significant and important as any other stage of software development cycle. It is this stage that represents the whole development and testing process of the software and validates its quality, functionality, effectiveness, performance and more. Release note is an essential part of this stage and is used to deliver all the relevant information about the project and the completed software to the client as well as to all the related stakeholders. To understand more about ‘release note’ and its importance, here is a detailed analysis of the same.
Documenting the release of the product is as indispensable as the development or testing process. However, this integral part of Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC) is usually avoided by organisations all over the world. Release note is a necessary document that is prepared before the fully developed and tested product is released for the use of the client and the end user. This document is released as part of the final build and it contains information about the new enhancements that are done as part of that release. Also, it provides details of the known issues that were encountered by the development and testing team, while developing and testing the product.
The importance of these release notes is immense, as they are the communication documents shared with clients. Moreover, these documents are usually written by technical writers in the present tense and they consist of brief as well as detailed information about the project’s development process. A release note is usually a terse summary of recent changes, enhancements, and bug fixes in a particular software release and it provides information that is clear, correct and complete. However, one should not confuse release note with the user guides, as it is not a substitute for the latter.
As release note is an integral part of software development process, it should be prepared with great care and evaluation. While preparing a release note, the team of technical writers should take care of some vital points, to ensure that no unnecessary information or data is included in the note. Moreover, they should make a point of all the things that needs more attention and those that are not as important as others. Some of the things that should be considered while preparing a product release note are:
A release note consists of vast amount of important information about the software development and testing process. Therefore, to ensure that preparation of this document is hassle free and is completed without missing any important detail, here is a list of things that should be included in a release note. This list will further assist the technical writer in creating a simple, concise and standard quality release note with all the required information.
Release notes are a pivotal piece of project documentation that aren’t often created. They can increase the project’s efficiency by establishing expectations. By including a list of recognized complications, one enable Quality Control (QC) to centre their testing efforts on relevant features that were related to testing. Additionally, they can refrain from wasting valuable QC hours investigating and reporting problems that were already identified. Other benefits of creating a release note are as follows:
In this day and age, people need minutest information about each and every thing that they use or purchase. Similarly, when a user uses a software, they want to know everything about it, such as, its features, functionality, performance and more. Release note is a document that is delivered to the client or the end user along with the completed software product. Its main aim is to provide correct, complete and clear information related to the software development and testing process as well as its release. This document, though is considered insignificant by the majority of people is immensely important, as it plays the role of end-user documentation, user guide and training materials. Furthermore, these notes also contain test results and information about the test procedure, which gives readers of the release note more confidence in the fix/change done and enables implementer of the change to conduct rudimentary acceptance tests easily. Therefore, if one wants to build a transparent and trustworthy business relationship with clients and end users, they should always prepare a release note of the released product.