THE CHALLENGE

Assurity was engaged by a government organisation that is working to modernise and optimise the services it provides to New Zealanders. This is a large programme with six Scrum teams with specific areas of concern in delivering a complex, end-to-end solution to optimise service delivery.

We were selected for our trusted guidance and leadership in the multi-vendor, SAFe programme of work in Agile coaching and DevOps implementation and leadership.

THE APPROACH

The first step saw our coaches sitting with the programme delivery teams and observing how they worked together. From this, we discovered significant challenges in rolling out SAFe to a multi-vendor team across the complex programme.

We then developed a clear upskilling, coaching and technical leadership plan encompassing:

  • Continuous Integration and Delivery Pipeline Guidance: We helped to form the CI/CD strategy for delivery teams, guiding them on what proper pipelines look like for delivering different pieces of the solution. We also coached teams on how to use, monitor, measure and improve delivery pipelines to ensure that teams could deliver software quickly, reliably and safely
  • DevOps Community of Practice Leadership: We immediately established and led a programme Community of Practice to help encourage a culture of sharing and technical cross-skilling across the programme. We also curated a series of demonstrations from the different delivery teams as they implemented their integration and delivery pipelines. So successful was the Community of Practice that it attracted attendees from right across the organisation
  • Targeted Training: We were engaged to deliver targeted training in a variety of areas including Leading SAFe, SAFe Product Owner and ad hoc training in encouraging cultures of psychological safety and improvement
  • Using Infrastructure as Code to build Architectural Runway: We coached programme engineers on Infrastructure as Code best practices, including helping engineers to adopt idempotent IaC patterns that work in a continuous delivery context
  • Test Strategy Guidance: We reviewed the programme test strategy and provided guidance on how to build a robust quality assurance capability within the programme
  • Test Automation: We helped to own and build a robust automated integration test harness that checks all the integration points of the complex multi-product solution. Assurity coaches built and helped testers own the harness through triggered-through pipelines
  • Continuous Security Compliance and Monitoring: We advocated for utilising and building out a continuous compliance and security monitoring solution based on a variety of security, quality and container-scanning technologies
  • Encouraging Continuous Delivery with ITSM: We led a system team which was responsible for integrating Continuous Delivery approaches within the ITSM approach of the larger organisation

THE OUTCOME

We were heavily involved in helping the programme adopt DevOps patterns around a solution built on Dynamics 365, K2, Azure, OpenShift, MuleSoft and Azure DevOps. We helped build and implement the strategy around pipelines that built and delivered solutions on these platforms.

  • Our recommendations in Test Strategy Guidance led to the building of a robust quality assurance group, consisting of hybrid manual/automated testing professionals. This team was responsible for accurately and quickly providing assurance in the context of rapidly-evolving software development
  • Continuous Security Compliance and Monitoring: By being a strong advocate for the adoption of security, quality and container-scanning technologies, engineers were empowered to acquire, build and use these technologies to bring security and compliance monitoring and testing to early stages of the SDLC
  • Encouraging Continuous Delivery with ITSM: Using a robust strategy of relationship building, adequate preparation and planning and ‘bringing the pain forward’, we coached team members to use the existing process to their advantage to build trust and rapport with the organisation to help achieve their end goals of delivering working software faster
  • Measuring and Improving Releases: We coached organisation team members on how to run releases in a fashion that encouraged shared learnings across several team members, while at the same time recording measurement around this process so that it could be improved. We helped the organisation improve their release time from 8+ hours to less than an hour

Through our coaching and leadership, the organisation was able to own and release software in a highly-automated, rapid fashion"