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Unlocking the power of Azure DevOps for Europe’s largest tyre retailer

Unlocking the power of Azure DevOps for Europe’s largest tyre retailer 10/06/2020

Expert Thinking identifies significant opportunities for improvement across application development at one of Europe’s largest tyre retailers.  Our analysis highlighted issues with both the platform and tooling and ways of working.  We provided a prioritised roadmap to increase the velocity of change, maximise efficiencies and reduce risks relating to code management and quality through necessary adoption of DevOps tooling and practices.

PROBLEM & IMPACT

Our customer was struggling to deliver change into production with confidence and in a timely and efficient manner. Whilst the customer was initially focused on new tooling to address the problems, our analysis identified significant challenges with the ways of working, including:

  • Inconsistencies between teams following different approaches and processes; teams were siloed and did not share knowledge and assets.
  • Teams were focused on individual parts of the process and not improving efficiency and effectiveness across the process as a whole.
  • Majority of processes were manual with little or no automation.
  • Critical knowledge was held by individuals, causing single points of failure.

Our customer recognised that their current approach was not sustainable and that a move to a cloud-based solution could not progress without addressing some of the more critical challenges their development teams were facing.

SOLUTION

Expert Thinking provided a benchmark of maturity in the context of DevOps adoption and presented a prioritised set of actionable improvements broken down into discrete phases.  Key recommendations included:

  • Securing critical assets, ensuring redundancy of the code repository with suitable validation of backup and restore
  • Standardising the version of Visual Studio and tooling (code repository, release manager, build manager, etc.)
  • Breaking down silos to form multi-function teams, creating a working group to determine best practice, establishing common ways of working, knowledge sharing between teams, etc.
  • Agreeing to ways of working blueprints (now and planned, noting stepwise improvements) and adopting immediate process improvements to planning work, control and governance, especially focusing on adoption of quality over process gates
  • Reviewing the current Azure implementation and future plans to ensure fitness for purpose, not presenting unknown risks to the customer, ensuring it is secure, compliant, performant, scalable and extensible

RESULTS

We successfully delivered a set of recommendations to drive measurable gains in quality, effectiveness and efficiency.  In doing so, we helped our customer avoid many of the potential pitfalls organisations’ encounter when adopting DevOps tooling and ways of working.  Specific outcomes included:

  • Reduced risks relating to code management, safe storage of code and increased confidence in the tools used to manage application development.
  • The ability to increase the velocity of change, enhancing the effectiveness of development resource.
  • Cost optimised service – reducing poorly utilised time lost due to differences in approach, processes and knowledge across the teams.
  • A future operating model for application development and a roadmap of incremental improvements to achieve the target state.
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