DevOps Champions

August 7, 2017

A large international bank was struggling to keep its global DevOps programme on track and realise the full range of benefits. The bank engaged Brickendon to help speed up the implementation of the programme and to ensure the organisation adopted agile and DevOps practices globally.

Brickendon’s experienced DevOps specialists were able to successfully embed DevOps within the organisation globally, working directly with development teams, senior management, country heads and C-suite executives to increase the number of releases and decrease the number of incidents impacting the business. The team worked to secure contracts globally and to find the best resources available to help the client switch to smaller, faster and safer software releases, which ultimately saved the bank significant amounts of time and money.

Since January 2017 the bank has increased releases globally by 45% and decreased business-impacting incidents by 43%. It has also delivered global asset class reorganisation to drive accountability and has grown the relationship between IT and business departments.

The Challenges

  • Low levels of DevOps and agile maturity in the organisation
  • Resistance to change within asset class and management teams
  • Long release cycles preventing the bank from reacting quickly to market and industry changes
  • Lack of accountability, with no one individual or team taking responsibility for the whole process
  • Limited use of automation in the continuous integration and deployment (CI/CD) pipeline
  • Lack of communication and strategic vision between development and management teams

The Brickendon Solution

Brickendon brought in their own experienced DevOps specialists to guide the client through the process of switching to a DevOps way of working. This included:

  • Restructuring the organisation into pods or squads and focusing on promoting autonomous, multi-skilled teams to take end-to-end control of the whole process from software development through execution and into production. This helped instil a sense of accountability amongst all team members.
  • Working with the client’s internal teams to move away from the traditional waterfall software development cycle and employ agile and lean methodologies. This enabled work to be prioritised as appropriate, thereby reducing the time taken to complete tasks and encouraging the discovery of problems earlier in the lifecycle, making them simpler, cheaper and less time-consuming to fix.
  • Providing tooling and test automation specialists to showcase the benefits of increased automation, in particular in relation to consistency in the environment build processes and integration of release management with automated testing. Once adopted, this helped speed up the process and removed some of the risks associated with human intervention.
  • Encouraging the adoption of Kanban or Scrum to speed up the software development cycle. These methodologies allow workflow to be monitored and prioritised, taking into account both planned and unplanned activities. Unrelated tasks can be carried out alongside each other, reducing the waiting time and propelling the project forward.
  • Creating a backlog of work whereby all team members agree on the priorities: sprint planning, retrospective and demonstrations.
  • Encouraging alignment to a shift-left way of working, which means testing is carried out as early as possible in the development process, reducing the risk for costly and time-consuming fixes late in the cycle.
  • Organising roadshows and training sessions globally to up-skill teams and to showcase the benefits of the DevOps way of working, with the aim of changing the mindset within the firm and promoting accountability: you build it; you break it; you fix it.

Client Benefits

  • Faster, smaller and safer releases of software into production
  • Increase in number of releases – so far by as much as 45% in the current project
  • Decrease in business-impacting incidents – so far by as much as 43% in the current project
  • Creation of one single, multi-skilled and accountable team
  • Increased employee satisfaction and ability to attract new talent thanks to the use of cutting-edge technology and methodologies
  • Improved team morale as members are actually working together to the same gain
  • Less constraints, therefore improved flexibility and more responsive to change
  • Improved relationship between the business and IT

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