How to speed up continuous delivery without compromising on quality with Atlassian tools


31 October 2018 • 11 min read

    Organizations are trying to outpace one another in delivering innovative products and offering their customers a broader range of choices than ever before. Continuous delivery and rapid software release cycle have both become standard practices that helps teams adapt, improve, and deliver software products faster to meet the changing market needs and stay competitive.

    Why continuous delivery?

    Deploying software is a complex process. By investing in implementing continuous delivery in your team, you will be able to simplify it and allow your team members to spend less time preparing for a release.

    Continuous delivery allows organizations to release more often, accelerating the feedback loop with customers and ensuring that products respond to their changing needs and preferences. Continuous delivery encourages applying incremental changes to products and opens the door to more frequent iterations, helping organizations in growing their products efficiently.

    Continuous delivery is a practice that also promises to speed up the deployment process. But is it possible to increase the speed of continuous delivery without compromising on the quality of your product?

    Speeding up may come with particular risks if an organization fails to equip teams with the right tools that help to simplify processes, scale delivery, and ensure the required quality.

    In this article, I wanted to show you how organizations are using Atlassian tools to help their product owners reach the right balance between speeding up delivery to meet customer demands and staying competitive with the need to ensure high quality.

    The basics: here’s what your team will need for continuous delivery

    First, your team will need a strong foundation in continuous integration. Continuous delivery is part of a broader process composed of continuous integration and continuous deployment. To start or fine-tune your continuous delivery process, you will need to write automated tests for each new feature, bug fix, or improvement.

    You will also need a continuous integration server that monitors the main repository and runs test automatically for new commits. In continuous integration, deployment is automated as well. The trigger maybe manual but once the deployment starts, it should proceed on its own without any human intervention.

    Build a continuous delivery pipeline

    A continuous delivery pipeline is an implementation of the continuous paradigm where all the builds, tests, and deployment are organized in a single release workflow. Your pipeline is a set of steps that your code changes will have to go through to make their way to production.

    The idea behind the continuous delivery pipeline is balancing the business needs with the need to release quality products frequently and predictably – from testing to staging to production, all in an automated way.

    Testing: end to end traceability

    Product owners who use multiple tools for testing often find the process stressful and time-consuming. By keeping everything in a single solution which is integrated with the project management software, they can improve testing efficiency and ensure a higher quality of product releases together with better test accuracy.

    If your development team is using Jira Software to organize their work, there is no reason to use another tool for testing when you can keep everything together in an organized way. There are several quality Jira apps for test management that provide a one-stop solution for testing. These integrations include REST API that allows feeding the results from automated tests right into Jira.

    Moreover, most of the test management apps include traceability layers to help product owners visualize the overall test results. If you see that all the latest tests have passed and the results are green, you can be confident that their requirements and acceptance criteria have been met.

    Those who need a more holistic view of the testing process can either use real-time dashboards to zoom into a specific view or create reports from their test management app. Traceability dashboards included in these integrations usually enable product owners to get a real-time visualization of the test cycle to help them make informed decisions about whether to release a product or not.

    Monitoring and reporting

    Product owners need access to instant contextualized insights for real-time feedback on potential issues that may crop up during the development process. Accurate monitoring helps to speed up defect detection and resolution, making the entire process far more efficient and transparent.

    When an issue crops up, you can easily share the real-time data in a project chat room to let the team know what’s going on and help maintain the high quality of your products. Jira Software is equipped with adequate monitoring and reporting tools – and if you need something extra, you can always have a look at the Atlassian Marketplace for specialized extensions to make your teams even more productive.

    Key takeaway

    Organizations that want to be successful at continuous delivery need to pay close attention to continuous integration and testing. With a strong foundation in both these areas, they will be able to balance quality with speed and predictability of the process.

    Do you have any questions about balancing speed and quality in continuous delivery with the help of Atlassian tools? Reach out to our team of consultants; we help organizations implement productive software development processes with customized tools and solutions.

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