A software company had a number of manual steps between their development servers and customer deployments. At the start of the project:
- No process documentation: "We don't need that; we'll never need that"
- Process training was by word of mouth
- All release and deployment steps were done manually: this was prone to manual errors
- Quality control was a cursory visual inspection
At the end of a multi-year project:
- A library of over 200 process documents
- Process training using the documentation
- Four utilities automated the release and deployment processes
- Two automated quality control utilities in place
- A suite of Quality Management procedures in place for routine process reviews
When one of the new auto-QC
utilities was first used against existing deployments, thousands of errors were reported.
- Reduced operations staff time spent on release and deployment
- Deskilling meant standardised routine work could be delegated
- Greatly reduced lapsed time processes
- Dramatic quality improvement
- Periodic process reviews
Upgrades had been two days, with the deployment off-line. This became a maximum of a half day, with no disruption to service. Operations staff became process minders, freeing them to carry out other tasks.