Climbing the “Stairway to Heaven”: Evolving From Agile Development to Continuous Deployment of Software
Book chapter, 2014
Software-intensive systems companies need to evolve their practices continuously in response to competitive pressures. Based on a conceptual model presented as the “Stairway to Heaven,” we present the transition process when moving from traditional development towards continuous deployment of software. Our research confirms that the transition towards agile development requires a careful introduction of agile practices into the organization, a shift to small development teams, and a focus on features rather than components. The transition towards continuous integration requires an automated test suite, a main branch to which code is continually delivered, and a modularized architecture. The move towards continuous deployment requires internal and external stakeholders to be fully involved and a proactive customer with whom to explore the concept. Finally, the transition towards R&D as an innovation system requires careful ecosystem management in order to align internal business strategies with the dynamics of a competitive business ecosystem. Characteristic for all transitions is the critical alignment of internal and external processes in order to fully maximize the benefits as provided by the business ecosystem of which a company is part.