While reading an interesting book about producing reliable software releases called Continuous Delivery, I came across the following excellent idea:
"If it hurts, do it more frequently, and bring the pain forward."
If certain tasks of releasing software make it a painful process, for example last minute tests which seem to break the product right before launch, then the idea is to figure out a way to automate all tests and 'release' the latest version after every single change.
How often has this inefficient so-called fact of life just been accepted as part of the deal, when in fact with a little logical thinking it does not have to be so. The extra time and energy spent in improving this might result in a temporary pain increase, but in the end the pain will simply go away.
Deal with the hurt by rubbing some sand in the wound so that after a while it will not hurt any more.
The challenging part is convincing the rest of the organization that this is so.