In order to reduce operational risks, organizations put in CONTROLS, typically via Change Management processes. To minimize the frictions in your DevOps journey, and building on my previous Tip#2, let us look below for the Tip#3 for effective change management.
TIP #3 – re-classify your change sets
Enterprises will have multiple change requests being pushed to production, of varying size, complexity and with different risk profiles. But existing change management processes today do not distinguish between these variations!
In reality, different change sets allow us to build different risk profiles.
So let us try to understand these variations in the Change sets, which can typically be classified into one of these 3 categories –
1. STANDARD Change sets
These change sets are very low risk, and operations are familiar with these. These change sets have an established approval process in place. Examples – web style changes / data table updates etc.
2. NORMAL Change sets
These change sets are high risk, and operations are not familiar with these. These change sets typically use a CAB (Change Approval Board) process to approve/reject the changes. This process requires submitting change forms, with schedule, impacts, risks etc. Examples -New feature/product etc.
3. HIGH Urgency Change sets
These change sets are emergency changes, with potential high risk, and may need approvals from senior management. Examples -Security patch, Service fix patch etc.
Now with the above classification, we can aim to align with the operations teams and change management and ask for an agreement.
Agreement: Can the STANDARD Change set be Pre-APPROVED?
As the standard changes sets are low risk => Operations teams do not need to approve. This agreement immediately give us the ability to define a pre- approval process. This allows us to deploy our change sets automatically (using our automated deployment pipelines).
I am sure that this agreement itself will allow you to breathe more freely !
So go ahead and start working with your change management teams. Start to build these agreements, which allow you to auto-deploy to production, with complete Trust and Transparency across the team.
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