In earlier times, most applications used the waterfall methodology or some variation of it. Pushing out new releases to clients and end-users were slow, could be painful when upgrading and even worse it took too long to get bug fixes.
Today, clients and end-users expect releases often and desire upgrades are less problematic. Bugs can still be an issue with software products. However, with faster release cycles and the introduction of cloud-based software, clients and end-users can get bug fixes much quicker and upgrades are much more painless.
Well-defined processes and quality tools to support the processes is the key to delivering high-quality software in today’s world so it is important to assess your current environment from both a process and tool perspective and have an improvement plan in place to evolve with your organizational needs.
What is your Process?
One would think that this would be an easy question to answer. However, time and time again it has been proven to be one of the most important questions to ask clients.
Many organizations still operate in an ad-hoc fashion and others have what is called “polished ad-hoc” processes in place. When you see a polished ad-hoc process in place, it means that an informal process was used in the beginning and it has not been replaced with a more formal process. The easiest way to spot polished ad-hoc processes is when a client says something like “that’s the way we’ve always done it”.
The following is a quick list of questions that should be asked to determine the actual state of a client’s process environment.
- What is the level of process implementation?
- What level of maturity has been reached?
- What level of process-to-tool has been reached?
The list of questions can be applied to the three major organizational areas below:
- Application Lifecycle Management
- Business Process Management
- Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL)
It is critical to the client’s success to have a well-defined set of processes prior to introducing any tools into the equation as tools only further enhance the environment but broken processes ultimately leads to tools that do not provide the desired metrics and reporting.
Enter Atlassian Stack
Once the processes have been defined and proven to be what the client needs to be successful, it is time to introduce software that further enhances the client’s success. Atlassian is a vendor that offers a complete stack of tools to enhance the client’s environment by adding automation, traceability, auditing and reporting.
If the client has not implemented any Atlassian products, then you can skip this section and just make sure you configure the tools to meet the process requirements. However, if you are working with a client that has one or more of the tools installed, then you can use the set of questions below to determine the current Atlassian maturity level.
- What level of Atlassian maturity has been reached?
- What level of standardization has been implemented?
- What is the current level of complexity in the Atlassian tools?
- What level of automation is in place?
- What metrics are currently being captured?
- What level of reporting is being produced?
These questions will help you determine the current state of the client’s Atlassian environment and what work needs to be done in order to achieve the desired business objectives. The key is to ensure the implemented tools properly align with the processes and procedures in a way that can be measured and improved upon. Once these questions have been answered, it will allow you to create a roadmap to tackle the smaller issues towards the larger scope of success.
Processes are necessary in every organization to ensure everyone operates from the same set of rules and guidelines across the enterprise. Tools further institute the processes by adding automation where possible and providing key metrics to decision makers to ensure continuous improvement.
Only through the cycle of implementation, traceability, auditing and improvement, can an organization achieve a level of maturity that means things are running optimally. Without implementation there is nothing to trace. Without traceability there is nothing to audit. And without auditing there can be no improvement.
Regardless of what processes get defined internally, Atlassian has a complete set of tools to address each one and assist with reaching the ultimate business goal of an integrated, end-to-end process flow across the enterprise.