Delivery speed and agility
Effective, timely software delivery requires close collaboration between product, delivery, and technology. In order to remain competitive, reduce waste, and respond to customers’ needs promptly, short lead times – the duration a piece of work takes from ideation to being live – are essential.
In software delivery, fast iteration is the most important enabler and, by using a combination of techniques, lead times can be improved from several months to just a few hours – without sacrificing reliability or quality. These things will help:
Implement data-driven product management
Data-driven product management forms a product backlog based on user research and analysis of the ways users interact with software. Rapid prototyping and mechanisms for the small-scale release of features and A/B testing allow you to validate ideas quickly and in a low-risk, cost-efficient way.
Use agile delivery processes
Robust, agile delivery process and practices enable the creation of autonomous, empowered cross-functional teams. These teams have all the tools necessary to succeed. They’re also data-driven, striving to continuously iterate and improve their ability to deliver high-quality software.
Make continuous delivery happen
Technology enables the continuous delivery of value to customers. Techniques such as feature flags, canary deployments, A/B testing and close monitoring of the systems let you gradually release new features with minimal risk. Building analytics into products from the beginning allows for powerful insight generation, to help inform the future roadmap of the product.
High velocity in software delivery requires high levels of automation. Human gates should be replaced with automated checks wherever possible. Code deployments and health-checking should be fully automated, including the ability to roll back if things aren’t looking good. Approaches such as this can help make continuous deployment to production a reality, providing value to customers as quickly and robustly as possible.
Good news – speed of delivery has an added benefit. You’ll soon notice everyone involved in building the software relishes the fast feedback and the autonomy required to perform at that level. Continuous delivery has been shown to correlate with more open collaborative cultures. And – even more good news – scaling an organisation composed from autonomous self-sufficient teams is much easier.