27,000 users, 35 labs, 17 countries: How IBM's Systems Development is Betting the Farm on Rational Infrastructure
27,000 users of a Rational solution. Convergence on process definition.
Two statements that don't seem to fit, but for IBM Systems and Technology Group (STG) they have become an absolute driving force in producing an infrastructure that can deliver state of the art products, on time, and with outstanding quality. A perfect example was the announcement of IBM PureSystems on April 11th, 2012. Rational solutions played a major role in the infrastructure for delivering PureSystems.
Backing up a few years, IBM STG started down the road of a "Transformation." This was STG's way of saying Agile. You can argue if STG's systems development is truly agile or an agile/waterfall hybrid (which is okay!), but you cannot argue that Agile has not caused a transformation in how STG does development. The transformation has dictated a change in tooling. The tools of choice in STG have been the Rational tool suite. While STG still has a ways to go to completely move its large operating system development off from legacy solutions, it is well on its way. For Agile planning and development, IBM Rational Team Concert has forged to the front. At one point, STG deployed RTC to over 2000 users in 2 weeks. STG currently has over 7,500 RTC users.
STG's success with the Rational solutions depends heavily on the enterprise capability. There are very few stand alone projects so every project needs to communicate and share information with other projects. The STG ClearQuest deployment has scaled to over 27,000 users averaging 60% active (depends on where development teams are in their development cycle). Tying this back to the IBM PureSystems announcement, the sharing of systems architectures and support for applications has dictated a convergence effort of not only tools, but for the data being collected.
ClearQuest was the change management solution that allowed defect records to be shared where necessary, which included being routed to the correct owner. Another benefit was that all the defects could be reported/queried, which provided the program managers with the capability to see the entire quality picture as PureSystems progressed and neared announce.
As with any transformation, STG's has progressed through various stages. There is still a lot of work to complete to move completely off from legacy solutions, but people are seeing the value of the Rational solutions and are now seeking new innovative ways to utilize the solutions. There are some huge efficiency gains when STG takes the next leap, but we'll save that for another blog.
About the author
Wayne Carrigan is the lead IBM System and Technology Group (STG) Rational Deployment Architect with the responsibility of deploying IBM Rational solutions to +25,000 IBM STG system developers, testers, and project managers. He has spent all 26 years of his IBM career at the IBM site in Rochester, Minnesota. Wayne's system development experience from hardware development to application development has put him in a unique situation of architecting deployment of key IBM Rational technologies in a converged fashion so that all system development disciplines can share necessary artifacts.