As the complexity of your IT offerings grow and the pressure on the business to meet changing needs builds, having a repeatable process for deploying these changes and ensuring they don’t break existing functionality is paramount. Most teams have a dedicated staging or user acceptance environment where changes are inspected prior to releasing them into the wild. When changes are released without understanding their impact and having a consistent way to roll them out across your various environments, the efficiency of your team can drop dramatically.
I help teams use technologies like capistrano, powerdelivery, roundhouse, shell scripting, and infrastructure automation tools to build a deployment pipeline that ensures that most mistakes made get caught early and improve the reputation of your team within your organization or marketplace. I can help you create a road map for rolling out automation as your business has more capital available to invest in it, though the benefits are most apparent when you achieve truly “one click deployment and verification”.
No automated deployment transforms the efficiency of a team without an investment in quality gates. Preventing potential releases of your IT assets from being promoted out of “test” environments before they are verified is crucial. There is an art to determining the appropriate balance of how much testing is necessary. The majority of clients I work with are not doing enough quality checks when I first start working with them and end up rolling back deployments and missing their deadlines because of it. This usually happens because the importance of these checks hasn’t been communicated effectively to staff, and there is a perception that the amount of checking needed requires a bigger investment than can be afforded. With coaching in this area, teams can become adept at making the right decisions about where and how deep to invest in their quality management procedures.
I recommend that clients obtain an Delivery maturity evaluation from me prior to starting work on their deployment pipeline.