Never has the ability to quickly develop and deliver innovative software solutions mattered more. What separates the leaders from the also-rans is the ability to deploy high-quality products quickly and continuously. Product-delivery speed is a new strategic weapon and a key differentiator in business success.
Old ways of working, perhaps adequate for a slower-paced age, are too slow. To keep pace, software development must evolve to embrace continuous integration and deployment.
Organizations must embrace transparency and respond to change. No project is an island; to move fast means not only working effectively within a team, but also across teams and initiatives. Just as awkward handoffs among define, build and test phases introduce waste and delay, discontinuities with other project teams often stall progress and kill momentum. As ALM tools provide more visibility into project status and key decisions, teams can reclaim the time they would have wasted on status reporting and reapply it to delivering business results.
Without effective delivery, the software value chain is broken. Innovative software has no market effect until it engages with customers, completing a vital feedback loop. To drive real innovation, software development must include continuous delivery, define/build/test automation and tight team collaboration to dramatically improve speed-to-market.
Factors Contributing to Continuous Delivery:
- The cultural divide between teams increases development cycle time. Pulling down the walls between teams reduces cycle time and delivers business value quickly and more frequently.
- Cross-functional teams that include stakeholders from business, development, product, QA and ops from the start supports and enhances applications in production. This structure aligns product delivery with the business, providing continuity and focus on delivery customer value.
- The new QA framework involves bringing QA into the requirements-defining phase because they tend to ask questions that help everyone understand how to determine if the product meets desired goals. Defining tests upfront ensures that everyone agrees on the definition of success and that testing stays ahead of development.
- “Delivering business value” is redefining what “done” means. To foster this transition, organizations are starting to manage work busing a common approach across the work stream to simplify coordination, reduce overhead and improve visibility.
- Today’s third-generation ALM solutions are built around multiple tools from different vendors. Integrations are critical to drive raid evolution in development tools and approaches.
- Continuous delivery paradigms eliminate the need for well-defined handoffs between roles; continuous work in the areas of define, build and test occurs too fast for formal handoffs to be effective. The need for information is instantaneous, and tools that rely on import, export and periodic synchronization simply aren’t responsive enough for modern product delivery cycles.
- Cloud-based ALM tools are transforming software development by enabling teams to start working immediately without substantial lead-times for tool and environment setup. Additionally, new capabilities are available in a continuous stream of innovation rather than in large lumpy and infrequent releases.
- Embrace the ALM ecosystem. Look for vendors with ecosystems, those who do what they do well and play well with others. Solid integrations give you the flexibility to respond quickly to new opportunities for innovation.
- Remove role-to-role handoffs. Business analysts, developers, engineer sand testers should work together to improve the flow of work, decrease cycle times and accelerate value creation. Structured handoffs are impediments to faster product delivery.
- Strive for continuous delivery. Enabling steps like continuous integration and test automation will improve quality and tackle defects at the source.Getting teams to work together will singularly focus everyone on value delivery and time-to-market. Keep business stakeholders connected to the development process and to end customers to improve product quality.
- Adopt cloud-based solutions for defining, building and testing. These offer value compared to the time and effort required to configure and support traditional physical environments.