A software company had many 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 stages were being performed manually, which was prone to human error
- Quality control was a cursory visual inspection
At the end of a multi-year project:
- A library of over two hundred 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 these new auto-QC
tools was initially used on older deployments, thousands of defects were identified. The team then worked as a priority task on rectifying the errors.
- Reduced operations staff time spent on release and deployment
- Deskilling allowed for the delegation of standardised, regular tasks
- Greatly reduced lapsed time processes
- Dramatic quality improvement
- Periodic process reviews
Upgrades had been taking two days, with the deployment offline. With the implementaion of automation, the process had been reduced to a maximum of half a day, with no disruption to customer service. As a result, operations staff had been able to take on the role of process minders, freeing them to carry out other tasks.