7 Free Release Plan Templates – Word, Excel, Powerpoint

During updates, a release plan template is a time-saving tool for the Product Owner (PO). It enables the product team to compile all features of a large project, facilitating the creation of a clear roadmap. This roadmap outlines the schedule for bug fixes and future feature enhancements, indicating when specific functionalities will be available to users.

Compared to other roadmap types, a release plan’s timeframe is relatively short, typically spanning 2-4 sprints or 6-12 weeks. This provides a focused overview of imminent developments.

What elements are needed for a release plan template to work?

There are no specific approaches to managing products. Release guidelines are never inflexible, and a release plan template is tweaked according to the needs of a product. 

The elements included in a release plan template are:

  • Proposed release dates
  • Product release plan 
  • Iterations of the release
  • Plan for every iteration
  • Developing a feature in an iteration
  • What should be released on which date contains every feature or enhancement that compiles into an outcome?

The plan must be agile and adapt to changes after new feedback and data become available. This template allows you to do that and save time.

Release Plan Templates in Excel

Free Agile Project Management Templates in Excel
Agile Release Planning Template Excel

How do you create a successful product release plan?

Step 1: The first step is to set the product’s vision. This is the basis for all other decisions, including prioritizing initiatives, adapting on the go, and allocating workloads and resources. Make sure the product is aligned with organizational objectives and the market. You may consult other stakeholders and senior executives to make this step right.

Step 2: Estimate the importance of initiatives by reviewing the product backlog. Map out user stories based on the product’s vision and stakeholders’ input. Here, you must prepare a release plan draft and include dates, release goals, and ranked user stories.

Step 3: Set a meeting for the release plan. After the product release plan and the vision are defined, involve the stakeholders and get feedback, speed up, and ensure all stakeholders agree. When changes are required, the release plan template is easy and quick. You can make maximum changes as needed to decide on strategy and collaboration

Step 4: Sum the results, make final changes, set dates, and share the final version of the release plan with every stakeholder based on the meeting results. Every stakeholder should be informed of updates.  Creating detailed release plans can change the game when developing a product. A release plan template will save you unvaried work.

ITIL Release Plan Template

ITIL release plan template – ITIL Docs – ITIL Templates and Training Courses (itil-docs.com)

Release Plan Templates Product Manager

Release Plan Template
Release Plan Template | airfocus

Release Plan Template Best Practices

  • Managing audience: Development and product teams are the primary audiences of the release plan. The plan is less relevant to external stakeholders and executives, but you must get their input in the initial phase.
  • Template items: When deciding about the items that must go into your release plan template, you may consider strategic fit, customer value, and complexity of creating it.
  • Leveraging the template: Leveraging the template optimizes internal processes and sets everything straight.
  • Set Clear expectations: Set clear expectations based on data and keep the product development team working toward a real goal and stakeholders happy. 

Release Plan Templates in Powerpoint

Release Plan Template | Editable Agile Slides | PowerSlides™
Agile Release Plan With Four Teams And Milestone And Epic

Release Plan FAQs

What three things need to be available to create a release plan?

To create a release plan, it is important to have three things: an estimate of the team’s capacity each sprint, a list of items required for inclusion in the release, and a high-level estimate of the items on the list. 

What should be in a release plan?

A release plan is unique from a product road map as it contains more details. It outlines future releases but does not try to plan for the long term. However, an agile release plan does not include work in every release.

What are the challenges of release planning?

• Poor release plan and build quality. Many organizations put substandard releases to beat competitors and keep up with the schedule.
• Low visibility
• Failed releases
• Uncontrolled variables in the live environment

Who is responsible for the product release plan?

The product owner is responsible for managing the expectations of users, customers, and other stakeholders. You are responsible for deciding what to build and when not to build and for product backlog management.

Shane Drumm

Shane Drumm

Shane Drumm, holding certifications in PMP®, PMI-ACP®, CSM, and LPM, is the author behind numerous articles featured here. Hailing from County Cork, Ireland, his expertise lies in implementing Agile methodologies with geographically dispersed teams for software development projects. In his leisure, he dedicates time to web development and Ironman triathlon training. Find out more about Shane on shanedrumm.com and please reach out and connect with Shane on LinkedIn.

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