Thanks for the detailed instructions, Kristian. I have successfully followed steps (a-f) in README.txt. I did not follow step (g) because that seemed to be appropriate only after a release has been vetted. Instead, I dropped the alpha artifacts which I had staged at Nexus. I can confirm that the following is possible from my Mac OSX laptop:
1) I successfully deployed Maven artifacts to my local repository. The artifacts contained the new <parent> element linking them to the top-level POM.
2) I successfully staged the artifacts on Nexus. Then I dropped them.
Let me know if there is additional feedback which I can provide on this patch. Thanks.