Release Planning


Summary of the release planning process used by RAPIDS projects.

Intended audience

Project Leads

See also

Planning process


NOTE: The processes below use the current release of M.A, the next release of M.B and future release M.C (where B=A+1, C=B+1) for examples.

Releases are planned in two phases:

  1. Fuzzy planning from Issue Triage which is ongoing.
  2. Focus planning which starts when release M.B is frozen.

Release boards

RAPIDS projects use GitHub project boards for tracking releases with a customized setup and automation that is copied from existing boards.

For each project there is a Release board for each release. As an example v0.5 Release tracks the progress for the v0.5 release. Release boards are closed once a release is completed, and are labeled vM.A Release where M & A are the major & minor release version numbers.

Each Release board has the following columns:

Column Purpose
Issue-Needs prioritizing Issues that have gone through the Issue Triage process and need to be prioritized
Issue-P0 Issues that should be worked on first
Issue-P1 Issues that should be worked on only if all P0 issues are complete or assigned
Issue-P2 Issues that should be worked on only if all P1 issues are complete or assigned
PR-WIP Newly opened PRs and re-opened PRs
PR-Needs Review PRs move automatically to this column when pending approval by reviewer
PR-Reviewer approved PRs move automatically to this column when approved by reviewer
Done Issues and PRs that are closed will automatically be moved to this column

IMPORTANT: By leveraging the Release board for issues, Project Leads can schedule issues by placing them in the appropriate column and then prioritize issues by dragging & sorting the issues from highest priority at the top of the column to lowest at the bottom. We can also use labels on the issues/PRs to filter and prioritize work.

Using the release board

  • Assigning and priortizing work
    • Scroll to the left to see all the columns labeled Issue-*
    • Re-prioritize issues in P0, P1, P2 by moving issuses between columns
    • Move high priority issues within a column to the top; this promotes “pop off the top of the stack” development
  • Expediting and finishing work
    • Scroll to the right to see all columns labeled PR-*
    • Identify PRs that need reviewers, input from authors, and other help

Fuzzy planning

During Fuzzy planning issues are triaged and scheduled in their respective tracking boards. This naturally creates a pool of issues to consider from across the tracking boards during Focus planning under the columns Future release.

Focus planning

Once a freeze has occurred for the release that is a WIP (i.e. release M.B), then planning for release M.C will start.

Project Leads

  1. Review all issues in the current WIP release M.B and find issues that will slip.
  2. Move issues that will not make the release M.B to the release board for M.C.
  3. Review each of the tracking boards and examine all issues in the Future release columns.
  4. Add issues determined to be in-scope for the M.C release to the release board and move the issue to the Next release column in the tracking board.
  5. Prioritize all issues into columns P0, P1, or P2 on the M.C release board with input from project leads.
  6. Rank issues within columns P0, P1, or P2 to communicate priority for developers.
  7. Review with team on day after release of M.B for feedback and input before adopting as the initial release plan.