Most big organisations* treat software delivery very similar to delivering a baby. Yes you read it right, delivering a baby
- First trimester – This is the initial kick ass design phase. Everyone comes together, engage in lots of intellectual discussions and develop a very solid design. But the couple is still excited so hardly any pain is felt.
- Second trimester – This is equivalent to a development phase. As it normally goes with second trimester, not many issues are felt in this phase. Have you ever seen big enterprise digital project going red during development? Never.
- Third trimester – This is where the problem starts. All the false promises from the development phase comes head on. Integration issues start, deployment fails, legacy system fails to integrate with modern digital systems
- Delivery – This is the final cutover night. Painful but what we see at the end is beautiful. Something to die for.
Now imagine, we have to be agile and adopt continuous delivery. Have 10 deploys a week. Yes you heard it right, deliver 10 babies in a week. How does that sound. No No No.
Based on my experience , after doing extensive research and talking to leaders in this space, I have concluded that software delivery even for this big organisation doesn’t need to be treated like delivering a baby. It needs to be equivalent to manufacturing a car.
So how does that work?
- Systematic process of building something amazing and moving things from one conveyor belt to another conveyor belt with the main objective of reducing waste and removing any impediments
- Focussing on Automation and reducing dependency on people and thus eliminating errors
- Significance given to people and collaboration between different groups to create a high performing team
Obviously what you get in the end is a car, rather beautiful car, which everyone cherishes and enjoys. I am sure we can always build 10 cars in a week and still be as excited to build the next as opposed to delivering 10 babies in a week
This is my journey and view point on how we can deliver digital experiences for this big enterprises and move them from “Delivering a baby” to “Manufacturing a car” or should I say “Manufacturing a great car”
Everyone can build a car and that is the journey which most big organisations are going through, but then to build a great car, you need to change how you look at things. There are three key things which you need to focus on and change if you want to build a great car as opposed to a car
- Experimentation culture – How to build a culture where people are not afraid to fail. Infact lets go further, how to build a culture where people are given incentive to try different things
- Automation – Automation with a NO OPS mindset i.e. Automate with a mind set that there is no operations team. NOOPS
- Measurement – How can we measure what we are doing and link it back to the outcome. Be it business outcome, technology debt or delivery model. This is what creates a smart working environment for everyone
* Big organisation/Enterprise in this context includes more than 500 staff in IT, more than 100 engineers, one who has a omni channel presence and if transactional then during normal peak takes more than 10,000 order per hour. Even if you are not one of this, I believe you will still get some benefit from using a few concepts which I have/will outline in this blog.
I would be delighted to hear from you if you have any positive or negative feedback on my thoughts. Also, if you have any specific topic you would like me to cover, please post the same and I will try my best to include it in upcoming blogs.