A good first step in improving your IT organization is to become aware of any destructive patterns (anti-patterns) and what is creating these.
In this post I will mention a few common ones, but first I want to paint a picture of some of the symptoms we often see in IT organisations.
Raise a hand if you don’t agree but I would say that in traditional software development, integration and delivery is often an intensive period of stress, overtime and weekend work.
Big bang I’m not talking about the creation of the universe but our attempt at integrating, testing and delivering a big chunk of software code we have been developing for a very long time. In the normal case lots of problems are discovered which leads to endless emergency fixes and crisis meetings. We move the least critical problems to “patch deliveries”. We “back out” deliveries and perhaps throw away hundreds of hours of development time. Perhaps we have created corrupt user data. Perhaps we have even broken the law.
The cost, stress and risk this way of working creates is not acceptable for most organizations. To solve it control is increased, manual testing is increased and we try to deliver bigger and bigger delivery packages. If we’re lucky and have some extra money we can throw a couple more resources on the problem.
For some reason this did not seem to solve the problem because next release the very same thing happen. And now we can’t afford the extra resources. Worse is that the complexity of the delivery increased exponentially, the costs surged, the productivity was greatly reduced and the time it took to deliver increased. The customers will soon start to leave us.
Now we’re in a negative spiral where less and less energy can be spent on improvements.
This negative spiral is often created by some common anti-patterns. These anti-patterns are very effectively solved by DevOps and Continuous Delivery:
- We deliver software and configuration of test and production environments manually
- We deliver to a production-like environment only after development is done
- We have long lead-times from requirements to production
- We are not aware of where the waste is in our process
Can you see these anti-patterns in your organization? If you can, keep reading! In the following posts I will describe each of them in more detail.
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