When I was a kid, I loved Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood. My favorite character, aside from Mr. Rogers, of course, was Mr. McFeely, the Speedy Delivery man. Mr. McFeely’s one and only job was to deliver life lessons in the form of parcels to the neighborhood. When working with my clients, I aspire to be like Mr. McFeely, helping to develop the people, processes, tools, and techniques to enable the speedy delivery of ever evolving solutions to their customers.
I evangelize the principle of delivering working software quickly and frequently. Many organizations struggle or fail to implement this principle because it’s the one that requires the most organizational change. There are two critical components to the success of Speedy Delivery: Continuous Integration (CI), and Business-Driven Development (BDD). The CI process enables early defect detection, and BDD allows the satisfaction of business-driven requirements, as opposed to technology-driven ones.
Those who resist this change are often gatekeepers, whose job exists solely to enforce the very processes that hold your progress back. If these draconian processes are really just administrative exercises in filling out forms, checking boxes, and gathering signatures, then it’s likely unnecessary overhead. For organizations wary of automated processes, I suggest there is a way to retain that human oversight. Empower the former gatekeeper to own the new automated processes.
I often ask clients this question:
How long does it take you to deliver even a single line of code change into production?
If the answer is more than a day or so then there’s a lot of work to do for continuous integration and delivery.
© 2016 by Mark Richman. All rights reserved.