Continuous Deliveryis gaining traction now, but it is never easy to get funding :-|| But using Lean Value Stream Mapsyou can now showcase tangible efficiency gains by following these 3 simple steps to build your Continuous Delivery dashboard.
In uncertain times, people always struggle with executive funding for resources (infrastructure asset purchases and/or dedicated people). This is where I have borrowed the Lean Value Stream maps (VSM) to showcase visible dashboards focused on process efficiency gains, resulting in hard $$$ savings, and help win executives approval, for funding the various activities under the Continuous Delivery initiatives.
Here is a basic definition for Continuous Delivery, which is a set of practices and principles aimed at, building, testingand releasing software faster and more frequently. The practices would typically include configuration management, continuous integration, automated testing, deployment automation, build pipelines and an agile team delivering frequent releases.
From the Lean camp, the Value Stream Map (VSM)is a lean manufacturing technique used to analyze the flow of materials and information required to bring a product or service to a consumer.
But for our needs and this scenario specifically, we are only focusing on the value stream map for the engineering organization delivery to UAT stage (which may include the deployment operations team).
The primary VSM metric to measure is the Process Cycle Efficiency where the cycle time is the total time measured from the developer checkin to the deployment and testing of a ‘candidate’ release on a UAT test machine or similar or the complete time it take to do a ‘NULL Release’(“If we changed one line of code in our application (or system), how long would it take us to deploy it into production using our regular release process?”)
Formula for Process Cycle Efficiency (PCE)
Process Cycle Efficiency (PCE) = (Value Added Time / Cycle Time)
where Value Added Time – time spent producing a product or service for which customer is willing to pay for.
Cycle Time – Total time from start to finish including the Value Added and Non Value Added time (defined as time spent in setting up systems, equipment turnover, handoffs or simply WASTE’s in the production process)
So the 3 simple steps to build your Dashboard are –
- Build Process Cycle Efficiency (PCE) for Current State
- Build Process Cycle Efficiency (PCE) for Target State
- Calculate and Track Efficiency Gains
Step 1 – Build Process Cycle Efficiency for Current State
Let us assume a simplified typical 3 stage process which includes Build – Deploy – Test activities. Each of these activities may include multiple steps and can be drilled down, but for simplicity we keep this at a high level. A typical PCE Value Stream would appear as below –