Agile delivery methods facilitate an increased rate of change by removing barriers that prevent fast-paced technical delivery. This promises the delivery of technology change within a business more quickly and efficiently. According to a report by Gartner, over 70% of enterprises say that the rate of change has increased and that they expect even greater increases over the next three years.
However, rapid technology releases can create issues when there is insufficient visibility or understanding of when these changes are coming and how they align with a rolling business strategy.
A steady stream of technical changes are difficult for the business to deal with and may conflict with planned business change events, causing releases to be rescheduled. It is estimated that large organisations lose an average of four weekend release windows a year due to continuous “collision impacts” caused by events being deferred.
Often release contention management is not identified until a Change Review Board is convened a week or two before the release date, too late to avoid lost productivity and delayed benefits. When a “toxic” release combination is identified, the only recourse is to defer one or many of the release events, creating a domino effect of delayed deliveries.
Because every release brings new value to an organisation, conflicts between releases will delay the delivery of business benefits such as increased revenue, reduced costs or greater efficiency. Discretionary releases will always be relegated below regulatory releases, compounding delays in realising new business opportunities.
Having the ability to map out release events far enough in advance enables change management functions to mitigate the impact of release contention through proactive rescheduling of activities. The introduction of a fixed schedule of “business performance steps” to which releases can be linked will further mitigate the likelihood of release collision and the need for reactive intervention.
Managers need access to the right data to understand and visualise business change and control how it is released. Providing the business with better visibility and greater control over technical changes will reduce the risk of delays and accelerate the adoption of new technology, allowing the value of incremental changes to be realised.
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