Continuous Delivery? What about Continuous Consumption?
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As an industry, IT shops and theSystem Integrators that are partners with IT shops, are getting better atcontinuous integration, continuous testing, and even continuous delivery. Mostmajor clients I step into now are able (or getting very close) to at least havesome streams of continuous delivery that can deliver technology changes to endusers on some “faster” interval. Whether that is six weeks, two weeks, daily,or hourly; we are all getting faster at delivery. We are even seeing continuous roadmapingreplacing annual planning sessions as agile and lean practitioners rise throughthe ranks of our companies.
In our personal/consumer lives wehave all begun the transformation of accepting and adapting to a continuousstream of innovations. Most of us roll with new Facebook updates and click the “UpdateAll” button on our mobile phone without much thought. We absorb, learn aboutthe value of, and even look forward to these changes based on blogs, socialmedia, or conversations with our friends. Continuous change is everywhere andeven the anti
However, the consumption ofchange in the corporate world seems to be different. I find very little thoughtor strategy invested into the continuous consumption of our internal technologychanges. While it is true stakeholders and end user representation is (orshould be) present in the agile planning, prioritisation, and feedback loop –it doesn’t mean the mass end userpopulation is aware of what is coming. If these users are not prepared for thecontinuous consumption loop occurring, the business as a whole will struggle toextract value from the technology innovations that are being invested in.
In traditional large projects, wewould have a training and change management team that would prepare the largeend user population for what they would see, when it would come, and supportthem through the “transition period” from one system to the next. Thisframework cannot keep up with continuous delivery or prepare end users forcontinuous consumption. We need to be thinking about and implementing new waysof change acceptance into our business users.
At IBM we have implemented socialbusiness techniques, technology champions, lunch and learns, and evenexperimented with online gaming techniques to engage end users with newtechnology. While all of these have had their successes and failures, wecontinue to explore new ways of engaging the complete user population of ourclients with their technology innovations; and believe this is an importantarea of focus for an enterprise agile community.
What engagement techniques areyour corporations using? Do your end user populations even know when and whatchanges are being made to your IT systems on a regular basis?