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This is a re-post of Mark Anthony Velasco’s popular “Even Santa Has a Checklist” originally posted April 06, 2015

In software development projects, one of the critical activities that takes place is moving code from one environment to another. How often have we encountered a situation where issues magically appear in Production that never occurred in the QA environment? Given that the team has done their due diligence in keeping the environments — which would include the database, services and all the other pieces in sync — how do we begin to investigate the cause and how do we prevent it from occurring again in the future? The simple answer is to revisit your checklist!

Depending on the maturity of the build and release cycle of your teams, this may be through a tool like Jenkins or the like. For others, it could be documented in Word format in a Release Notice. Check it and check it twice. This step is a type of non-functional testing. More specifically, this is part of what we call the Operational Readiness Testing (ORT).

So, the next time team members argues against reviewing the checklist for your build and release process, tell them that even Santa has a list. (HE even checks it TWICE!)