I recently attended my first CITCON conference, for people not familiar with this group, they run open format conferences for enthusiasts of continuous delivery.  Continuous delivery (CD) is the practice in software development to automate or improve the process of delivering software, it includes such things as automated inspective, continuous integration, automation deployment, continuous testing.

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If you ever attend make sure you get the pronunciation right “Kitcon”.  While there I met a number of enthusiastic people dedicated to increasing the speed to which software can be delivery and how they can improve overall quality.

Over the course of two days I was left with an interesting perception that some great work is being done, but a lot more could be achieved.  In particular a number of individuals who I spoke to talked about the improvements they have been making to automated build, deployment processes, or refactoring code or test artifacts.  However one of the real challenges was justifying to management why they should be spending more time on this activity or simply taking the first steps.

I started finding myself asking the same questions when the conversation turned towards this.

  • What do you tell your boss you want to do?
  • What type of boss do you work for?
  • What are the things your boss’s boss is asking him/her to do?
  • How much time would it take to speed up a process?

Imagine your boss’s response to; “I want to start implementing TDD.”

“You’ve got a what?”

iQA CD Tip

It appeared that pushing up technical change, or explaining technical strategies just wasn’t working.  So I suggested taking a slightly different track.

Think about what the boss’s pain points are, speak in the same language, stay out of the weeds, understand the time to strike are very simple adjustments that can have some surprising results.

“I understand you need to speed up delivery, the last release was a nightmare, I can help with that.  Can you give me half a day to show you how I can save 20 minutes every time we build a release.”

Sometimes the people or the environment aren’t that simple.  Getting started requires investment; the right solution might cost some real dollars, people don’t want to listen.  No matter what the situation, some basic planning on how you are going to ask for something can really help.

Getting some external support, or having a reference that can support your cause are all worth considering. Check out some more software implementation consultancy ideas on getting the pitch to the boss right here.

Working in a consultancy this is something I face every day.  You speak to different people at different levels and being able to quickly understand your customer is critical.

Finally the CITCON conference was an enjoyable experience; I’ll be back again.  You can find out more athttp://citconf.com/

Have you got any hints and tips you can share on how you have successfully been able to translate technical actions into business benefits – share them with us a iQA.

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Image Credit:Nhan Ngo, a QA engineer at Spotify, via  Continuous Delivery. TQ