Assignment 2: Moving to Agile/DevOps
You are in the DevOps group at a company that provides logistics and transportation services. It relies heavily on custom developed software to run its business, including many Web-based applications across the organization. They maintain their own data center. They are also looking at moving many of their applications to the mobile platform to enable remote access by their hundreds of truckers.
They have a long running application development team (an IT manager, 2 Analysts, and 8 coders) who maintain the existing software and develop new applications using a modified Waterfall approach. A separate Operations team (a System Manager and 3 operators) manage the hardware and software that is deployed and upgrade the infrastructure on a 90-day schedule.
The business managers in the company are increasing frustrated with the internal software process, in particular:
- It is taking too long to field new/modified software to meet the changing demands of the business, meaning they are losing business to their competitive;
- Because of the lead time between specifying the requirements and the availability of the system for operational use, the new software is often out-of-date as requirements have changed;
- Applications are often slow, and the lead time for upgrading hardware to improve performance is very slow, usually more than 30 days;
- The software often has bugs and this has resulted in major operational problems for the logistics and trucking personnel in the company, resulting in them having to revert to slow, manual processes which limit their effectiveness;
- Deadlines for new software are not being met as IT staff are too busy fixing bugs and maintaining existing software; and
- In today’s networked world, particularly with the move to trucker’s mobile access, security and privacy is a concern and does not seem to be a priority with the development and operations teams.
The CIO recognizes that there has to be changes to the development and operations process otherwise the CEO will outsource the development processes. He has talked to other CIO in the transportation industry and many of them have said that they have moved, or are moving to, Agile/DevOps and he thinks that is a viable option to improve the performance of the development process.
The CIO is tasking you to research this option and has asked you to produce a short report (2 to 3 pages) showing the pluses and minuses of Agile/DevOps to be circulated to the CEO and the business managers, who have little or no IT expertise.
In particular, he has requested the report should include:
- A non-technical summary of Agile and DevOps methods and contrasting with the existing techniques in use
- Examples of major corporations that have moved to Agile/DevOps and the benefits they have found (provide links to the articles you are cited)
- How the existing process will change, including the effect on the business people and their increased engagement in the process
- Examples of training needed for the IT staff
- How and why this approach could solve the major issues cited above
- Possible new issues with the adoption.