A release consists of integrated, compiled code that runs cleanly, independently, and in its entirety. This is an
important rule because in order to be released or even "potentially shippable," a release increment must be able to
stand on its own, otherwise it is not shippable. Releases can be created at either the program or team level.
There are three potential uses for a release:
It is not used outside of the program: It has been produced to minimize risks linked to technology
and a program's capability to integrate components and to produce a Build. This situation usually happens at the
beginning of a new product lifecycle.
It is used by beta customers and the program manager: It allows end users to test it in a Beta
test environment, which provides immediate feedback and reduces risks associated with user interface ergonomics.
customer feedback will influence the program backlog for later consideration.
It is deployed or shipped and used by end users: This result provides immediate value to the end
In many organizations, a program release typically is timeboxed to 2 to 3 months of development effort and 2 to 4 weeks
of hardening which results in a scheduled release approximately every 90 days. Releases for individual development
teams usually occur more often than those for programs, but there are no hard and fast rules regarding how often
releases should be scheduled. The only requirement is that working software should be delivered "frequently" by both
development teams and programs. Although the example timeframe described above is arbitrary, empirical evidence
suggests it is about right for most companies and fits nicely into quarterly planning cycles.
Each release has a set of release objectives and a projected delivery date; it also has a planned number of
sprint/iterations. For example, a brief description of a release might be: "The goal of Release 2 is to provide B2B
scheduling capability for the Ordering and Logistics Department. The release is targeted for June 31 and will consist
of five 2-week feature development sprint/iterations and one 2-week release sprint/iteration."