Repeatable releases

Agile teams are well-placed to deliver good software. But the acid test of an agile team is whether they can keep on delivering good software, frequently and reliably. Some development teams find it hard to believe that it a regular and repeatable release cycle is possible, given the blood sweat and tears they require to "go-live". Or if it does seem possible, the prospect of the effort required just seems too painful to contemplate on anything less than a six-monthly basis.
Consider your project: how difficult do you find your releases? Think about the reasons for this: which of them are under your team's control and which arise from the way your organisation is structured? (It seems to me that all-too-frequently the software development, QA, and production support arms of an organisation are too remote from - and wary of - each other to be able to accept a short and frequent release cycle.) But persevere: there are many benefits to be had from addressing deployment issues in order to release "little and often". (This post was prompted by the appearance of another milestone build of the open-source Eclipse IDE: the Eclipse team delivers new stable releases roughly every six weeks.)