How CloudBees Does Software Delivery Management: Drinking Our Own Champagne

Written by: Michael Baldani

Adoption of software delivery management (SDM) is essential, as it helps improve build quality, velocity and inject continuous delivery. CloudBees has gravitated to this emerging space to make DevOps success more tangible for customers.

In the last blog post , Michael discussed the CloudBees preview program for SDM and the value SDM will bring to product and engineering leaders. This second part of the series will walk you through the SDM solution we've built to date, and how our own internal product and engineering teams use it. The bedrock of this SDM solution is data-driven insights that enable you to understand what’s going on in your product builds and Jenkins pipelines. Additionally, you can also easily determine what is causing delays in software delivery. By using it ourselves, we provide continuous feedback to our product team to help make sure that the solution is doing what it needs to do when used by our customers.

First, let’s take a look at the challenges and bottlenecks that slow down the software development and delivery process.

The challenges DevOps and product teams face during software delivery

Without an SDM solution in place:

  • Product and engineering managers have limited or next-to-zero visibility into all of the products and their respective features in one single view:

  • In-progress features

  • Upcoming features and

  • Recently released features

  • Multiple engineering manufacturing pipelines are scattered and distributed across different DevOps teams, making it hard to organize and manage all of them in a regular routine.

  • Value stream mapping, when boiled down to value stream management and optimization, becomes difficult as you cannot identify the value delivery blockages if you don’t have real-time visibility into what and how features flow through the software delivery lifecycle (SDLC).

  • We, as team leads, are usually under the immense pressure of making the software delivery right without violating any policies or regulatory guidelines. Overwhelmed with a fair amount of deliverables, we are unable to keep track of policy violations or failing builds in every branch.

And that’s where CloudBees’ solution for software delivery management (SDM) comes in.

Here at CloudBees, the challenges that our customers typically face are no different than those my team and I experience throughout the entire software delivery cycle. Therefore, we decided to drink our own champagne, in order to ensure that it is ready for serving.

How having the CloudBees SDM solution in place helps drive value

While using the CloudBees platform for SDM, my journey as the engineering lead has been smooth and time-efficient. The amount of time I have saved in work has proven itself in ROI.

  • The all-in-one platform has a product overview module that allows me and my engineering teams to see what products, features and activities we have in progress. We can easily see all our repositories, running environments (development, staging and production) and source code in one view. It also helps our product managers to think about and improvise on how they are modeling their products; products that are more aligned with customer requirements.

  • It solves the challenge of visibility and accessibility of universal insights so that every individual knows what they are delivering. Seeing all the relevant data in one glance saves me from going to each DevOps team and figuring out what stage we are at, in terms of development or delivery.

  • Now, I don’t have to worry about the unidentified issues that need to be addressed or prioritized. The dashboard also helps me see the policies that are under violation. For example, I can see that a time-based requirement is incomplete — say a report that was required to be reviewed four days ago is now overdue.

  • As an engineering manager, I can see all of the open pull requests (PRs), PRs that are not assigned to any contributors, high priority bugs, and more on a day-to-day basis.

The above screenshot shows the product hub module where I can see the statistics of my pull requests, including the number of days PRs are open, builds that are failing, merge conflicts, stalled activities and much more.

  • Our integration with GitHub helps us drill down to the core of the issue and fix it on priority. This feature is beneficial for my engineers and me since previously we only had the flat list of Git repositories with no idea of which repo delivers which functionality or which project.

The SDM platform allows us to associate or map all the GitHub repos with the actual product we are shipping. Therefore, creating or building Jenkins jobs in those code repositories becomes very easy.

But that’s not all. Value streams is another module that enables us to see and understand the relationship between all our pipelines and Jenkins jobs flowing throughout various development stages in my customizable value stream map. Getting visibility into my end-to-end delivery process helps me move value from one gate to another gate, thereby removing the value delivery blockages.

Moreover, the CloudBees platform for SDM has replaced the use of multiple disparate tools to keep track of my teams, processes and projects with everything available in one, consolidated view. From a manager’s perspective, I don’t have to attend daily standups to know what my teams are working on, what areas I need to focus on to increase overall productivity and how to accelerate the delivery cycle.

For more information about the CloudBees platform for SDM, sign up for the CloudBees Preview Program .

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