Scalable DevOps and Continuous Delivery with SAFe

Rakesh Goel

According to the DevOps Handbook 1, High-performing IT organizations deploy 30x more frequently with 200x shorter lead times 60x fewer failures and recover 168x faster.

I recently talked to a CTO from one of the companies for whom Infogain provides outsourced development. The CTO asked about a DevOps approach to help this company scale service capacity at an increased speed without compromising quality.

I started by talking with this client about our success using DevOps at other software companies. I also remembered having participated in the 2017 Safe Summit last fall, where Richard Knaster, SAFe Fellow, Principal Consultant at Scaled Agile, shared a presentation about how DevOps and SAFe together can help an organization become faster, more accurate and more productive. I’ve provided below a summary of the presentation. Anyone who is interested can feel free to email me for more information.

Scalable DevOps and Continuous Delivery with SAFe

Recognizing the problem DevOps tries to solve

DevOps is an integral element of SAFe®, which promotes continuous integration, continuous deployment and release on demand.

What is DevOps?

DevOps is a combination of culture, principles and technical practices that enable an organization to deliver value faster, regularly and consistently. DevOps delivers communication, integration, automation, and close collaboration among all the individuals needed to plan, create, examine, deploy, release, and maintain a solution.
DevOps Challenges Include:

  • Lack of test, build, and deployment automation
  • Production defects neglected due to incompatible environments Large batches of changes pushed to production cause the Monday Morning effect
  • Inadequate communication regarding end-user issues and requirements from operations to development
  • Lack of trust between development and operations cause delays in value delivery.

The CALMR approach to DevOps

Dean Leffingwell, creator and chief methodologist of SAFe, devised the CALMR Approach to DevOps:

  • Culture: Create a culture of shared ownership for development, deployment and operations.
  • Automation: Automate the continuous delivery pipeline. Match development environments to production to a feasible extent.
  • Lean flow: Keep batch sizes small, limit WIP and provide high visibility
  • Measurement: Measure the flow through the pipeline. Implement application telemetry.
  • Recovery: Architect and enable low risk releases. Establish fast recovery, fast reversion, and fast fix- forward.

Understanding the Continuous Delivery Pipeline

The Continuous Delivery (CD) Pipeline signifies the workflows, activities, and automation required to deliver a continuous release of value to the end user. The pipeline consists of four elements: Continuous Exploration (CE), Continuous Integration (CI), Continuous Deployment (CD), and Release on Demand.

The Lean Startup Methodology helps companies move quicker and be more competitive. Incorporating lean startup practices requires a continuous delivery pipeline.

How do each of the components of the CDP work together?

Continuous Exploration:

  • Promote innovation with the Lean Startup Cycle
  • Constantly explore customer requirements
  • Increase testing over time

Continuous Integration:

  • Continuously Assimilate components, systems and solutions

Continuous Deployment:

  • Deploy to staging continuously

Release on Demand:

  • Release on demand and decouple releasable components

It’s important to measure the Continuous Delivery Pipeline by:

  • Visualizing measurements:

    • Display measurements on big visible charts; communicate critical alerts
    • Associate measurements with associated events (deploys, releases)
    • Continuously enhance telemetry during and after problem solving.
  • Measuring Deployments and Releases over time
  • Measuring Leading Indicators with Innovation Accounting
  • Measuring Lead Time and Cycle time
  • Identifying bottlenecks to flow with Commutative Flow Diagrams
  • Mapping overall pipeline efficiency

There you have it, an overview of the benefits of Scalable DevOps and Continuous Delivery with SAFe.

To download the full presentation, click here.

Case Study: Infogain’s Product Engineering Services Helped Improve Productivity & Cost Effectiveness For A Globally Known Healthcare ISV

To speak to Rakesh Goel directly, please contact us at for an appointment time.

About Infogain

Infogain is a global business oriented IT consulting provider of front-end, customer-facing technologies, processes and applications, leading to a more efficient and streamlined customer experience. We want our clients’ interactions with their customers to be fast, efficient, and cost effective.

With close to 4,000 employees in the United States, India, the Middle East, U.K., Singapore and Malaysia, we service 5 of the world’s largest 50 companies, and 24 of the Fortune 500. we have million-dollar engagements with over 25 customers, many of which have been with us for 5 years or more.

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