SPR Performs DevOps Assessments for Global Consumer Information Firm
A leading global information and measurement company studies consumer behavior in more than 100 countries to give their clients the most complete view of trends and habits worldwide. They are constantly evolving, not only in terms of what and whom they measure, but in how their insights can help companies drive profitable growth. A vital key to their success is the speed at which data can be received and converted into usable intelligence.
PUTTING DATA TO WORK FASTER
The firm provides access to billions of store transactions that can be matched to specific customer segments. Retailers and manufacturers can see whether a specific product is being stocked in the right amount at the right price with the right type of promotional support to help drive loyalty for those customer segments. It also allows retailers to create a unique relationship with each and every one of their customers.
To maintain their leading edge position in the marketplace, the firm recognized that their development processes needed to be faster and more nimble, in order to create meaningful data and applications in a time-sensitive manner. Up until now, they had managed to produce timely, actionable data and applications through brute force: throwing as much manpower as necessary on each project. Knowing it was an unsustainable solution, they asked SPR, a long-time partner, to assess whether their teams were ready to move from a more traditional structure into the fast-paced world of DevOps.
DEVOPS BRINGS TEAMS TOGETHER WITH COMMON PROCESSES AND GOALS
DevOps offers a more fluid way of managing IT projects, bringing everyone together in an agile working environment. Rather than functioning in silos where projects are handed off from one team to another, DevOps allows organizations to build unified, cross-functional IT project teams from all the separate participants – development, business, testing, and operations. The secret to DevOps’ success is that people from different business functions work together right from the beginning of the project.
To build these teams, SPR reviews three key areas: culture, practices, and tools. The goal is to eliminate barriers between teams, allowing them to work side-by-side with shared goals, shared practices, and shared accountability. First, SPR assesses an organization’s readiness to adopt DevOps and helps train cross-functional teams to focus on delivering software more efficiently, more frequently, and more consistently – so businesses can reap the benefits of an accelerated time to market and compete more effectively in the marketplace.
PROVIDING A ROADMAP FOR CHANGE
SPR performed five separate assessments on specific areas within the firm, creating a roadmap for each with detailed steps to create a more unified team/work structure. Several of the assessment findings focused on inefficiencies that could be remedied with changes to team structure and workflow. Others pointed to slow time-to-market, an issue that DevOps is primed to address through technical automation and cultural changes.
Specifically, SPR helped the firm’s new DevOps teams:
- Migrate to more modern version control solutions
- Standardize the way teams use continuous integration software
- Create dashboards that let development team members and managers see, at a glance, where quality is overall for software and how well the teams are performing
- Review key metrics to determine things like: how long from ask to deployment? How often do builds fail? What is the time of recovery?
- Follow metrics of code quality, see what percentage of code is covered by automated test
Project deliverables included a Remediation Roadmap for each team that contained improvements for relevant process areas and criteria to help identify ROI. Each also received a Phased Improvement Release Plan, which provided a detailed implementation plan addressing strategic recommendations in the Remediation Roadmap.
After all the assessments were completed, SPR was selected to work on the implementation of 4 out of the 5 projects assessed.