9 Ways to Create Software Deployment Plans

Why do you need a Deployment Plan? The deployment process involves several inter-locking activities which can occur at the client or developers site or sometimes both. As every software system is different, you need to create technical documents that capture the processes and procedures within each activity as carefully as possible. You can use free Microsoft Word templates or invest in professionally formatted SDLC template kits to do this.

What is a Deployment Plan?

Software Deployment is the process of making the software system available for use. The Deployment Plan captures the process of coordinating all the tasks, activities, installation, checks and system runs to ensure that the IT system is in place and ready to start on the client’s site.

Deployment Activities

The Deployment Phase in the Software Development LifeCycle involves the following nine steps:

  1. Release – This describes the steps required to prepare a system for assembly and move it the customer site. This helps determine the resources required to operate onsite and collect information for performing different deployment process.
  2. Activate – In this section document how to start the executable component of software. This involves establishing the command for execution and making the supporting systems ready to use. In larger deployments, the working copy of the software may be installed on a production, while other versions will be installed in a test, development and disaster recovery environments respectively.
  3. Deactivate – This is the inverse of activation and involves shutting down any executing components of the system. This is often required so you can perform other deployment activities, such as closing down a system before an update can be performed.
  4. Adapt – This is the process to modifying software that has been previously installed. It differs from updating in that adaptations are initiated by local events such as changing the technical environment.
  5. Update – This involves replacing an earlier version of all or part of a software system with a newer version or patch.
  6. Built-In – These are automated updates built into the systems. This automation ranges from fully automatic to user initiated and controlled.
  7. Version tracking – This helps the user find and install updates to software systems installed on PCs and local networks.
  8. Uninstall – This is the removal of a decommissioned system. It may involve reconfiguration of other software systems in order to remove uninstalled system’s files and dependencies.
  9. Retire – Finally, the software system is marked as obsolete and withdrawn. It is the end of the software life cycle for this product.

    How to Document Deployment Plans

    Like most forms of Technical Writing, you need to understand who will use your documents. Once you have defined your target audience, define the key topics they need captured in the Deployment Plan. Create chapter headings for each stage in the deployment effort, such as getting started, pre-deployment tasks, task number 1, number 2 etc and then direct them to other useful documentation.

    To speed up this process we created a series of Technical Writing templates which includes a pre-formatted Microsoft Word template for Deployment Planning. You can download it as part of the Software Development LifeCycle MS Word Template Kit or separately from the Klariti site.