This blog is the first in a series about the strategy and methods we use to most efficiently deliver software releases that our customers love!
They say it takes a village to raise a child, and the same principle applies at Aurion.
Rather than children, we’re raising tickets to roll-out quarterly software updates. But much like a village, we have teams and subject-matter experts (SMEs) who plan, create, test and release our updates.
This blog is about how we make that happen consistently and reliably to give our customers features and functions that make life work better.
SWOPS are tops
Our software development process has evolved over 35 years to embody the latest agile methodology and cloud computing with deep personal understanding of our platform code.
The focus of our software development process is to give new value to our customers as quickly as possible.
The Aurion Software Operations team (SWOPS) does this with an Agile development methodology based on the a ‘Kanban’ framework. Kanban is a meta-process that fits above whatever methodology you decide to use, so it’s more like a guiding philosophy.
We use a host of different applications from Atlassian to manage our software development, such as Jira and Confluence, have a watch or a read of their explanations of Kanban and how it enables to agile software development.
To maximise value delivery, our SWOPS teams concentrate on reducing their Cycle Time & Lead Time, by looking at the whole pipeline of issues – customer requests, bug fixes, maintenance, and roadmap items – and using ‘scrum ceremonies’ to prioritise and minimise the items of work in play at any one time.
The Kanban can
Our hybrid ‘Scrumban’ system has three key attributes:
- Visualise the work: In a perfect world, a customer orders a feature, and it’s delivered instantaneously. This kind of response is very difficult to obtain, however, that’s the goal, and it’s based on identifying the slowest-moving system component, which constrains the speed at which the system moves (like fixing a flat tyre on a sports car).
- Reduce work-in-progress: having more WIP results in our people having to change focus between multiple projects, which causes what’s known as ‘context switching’, something our friends at Atlassian say will sap productivity. It also confuses current priorities and hides your constraint bottlenecks.
- Reduce batch size: We ‘size’ development issues buy estimating the amount of time it will take our people to fulfil the issue, and break down larger issues into smaller ones, making it easier to plan and strategise as a business.
And that’s all there is to Kanban. There’s a lot of other activities that you can do surrounding Kanban to increase the potency of the process, and we’ll talk about these and more methodology in our successive blogs on Aurion SWOPS.