By now, you’ve almost certainly heard about Continuous Delivery, and some of the benefits it brings to development and product teams. Claire Mitchell (Senior Product Manager at the BBC) talks about how her team at the BBC embraced Continuous Delivery and, as a result, felt huge benefits to their ability to build product and integrate as a team.
Ownership of the product – as well as responsibility for it – was devolving down to the team, and although the most obvious changes were for the developers, continuous delivery also brought changes to the whole product development. They moved away from rigid processes towards something much more organic, replacing sprints with a flowing kanban system, and overall breaking work down into smaller, faster units. This worked brilliantly for the team, but it was isolated.
Widely Adopting Continuous Delivery
In this presentation at ProductTank London, Claire talks about how she’s helped move the BBC as a whole towards continuous delivery, outlining some of the difficulties in managing the change, and some of the approaches they used to work around them. They quickly realised that education was critical, as many people in the business were not aware of what Continuous Delivery was fundamentally about, and so the challenge then became how to drive that education process before instigating practical change.
Of course, Claire and her colleagues used the tools available to them – lean methodologies, validated learning, and continuous delivery – to develop and improve internal workshops to solve exactly the education challenges they faced, and start turning the “huge cruise ship” of the BBC into something more like “a Miami Vice speedboat”. If you’re going to try and trigger a transformation towards agile, digital, continuous delivery, or any other new approach to your product, take a step back and work out if you need to educate your organisation first. If the new approach is better, then getting the education right will make it infinitely easier to trigger and drive the necessary changes.