Based on its experience with release management implementations, Marcadus has been asked to provide expertise to Alliander's 'release-based working in the geo chain' project. The stated goals are to improve the reliability and predictability of IT deliveries, to reduce release complexity and risks and to achieve quality improvement through structural attention to environments, testing and risk management. A mouth full and quite a challenge to realize this in a technically complex IT landscape with many dependencies and a project-dominated risky and inefficient release planning.
Thijs: "Previously, it was possible that just before the go live moment, all kinds of technical issues were still open, various quality criteria had not been met or that the go live scenario was still unclear. This resulted in a rescheduling that resulted in other projects being delayed. The established business cases may no longer be realistic and management loses grip on its own IT organization. Understanding technical and organizational dependencies is of great importance and forms the basis of a good release management process.
Together with, among others, test, portfolio, project, delivery management and the IT management parties, we have drawn up the release processes. We started by recording the required release phases on the various IT environments in order to arrive at a standard release cadence. These standards ensure peace of mind in the organization because everyone knows where they stand in the coming period. Quality criteria were then drawn up that are linked to fixed moments in the release phasing. This gives the organization the opportunity to gain timely insight into the progress and quality of the release in order to be able to make adjustments in time, if necessary. Perhaps less sexy, but certainly also necessary, is subsequently establishing the governance structure,setting frameworks and balancing different needs of the organization. By paying structural attention to a healthy distribution of projects, management and maintenance activities and independent changes, control over the IT landscape is created in the long term."
Thijs: "In addition to the hard factors such as mapping the input/output, processes, roles, risks and quality criteria, the soft factors such as involvement, enthusiasm and awareness are important elements in the implementation. Processes can be right on paper, but in practice they have to come to life. Experiential change is what we at Marcadus believe in. By implementing the new processes directly in the organization, we have ensured that the new way of thinking and working has come to life from the start. In addition, the feedback from the It is extremely valuable in practice to fine-tune the delivered matters to the needs of the organization. Having insight, knowing what the other person is doing and what this can mean for your work, and vice versa, can greatly improve the cooperation of an organization.
Several standard releases per year are now successfully brought live, together with other IT activities that take place in the IT landscape. Possible conflicts and bottlenecks are mapped out in advance in order to arrive at an optimal decision-making process. The success has not gone unnoticed, because initiatives have already been started to spread the release management processes even further. We couldn't get a nicer compliment!"
Thijs van Veluw
As a network company, Alliander is responsible for the distribution of energy, such as electricity, (bio)gas and heat. More than three million consumers and businesses are supplied with gas and electricity every day. Alliander's foundations were laid with the establishment of NV Provinciale Geldersche Electriciteitsmaatschappij (PGEM) in 1915. After various takeovers, mergers and divisions, Alliander NV was established on 1 July 2009 as an independent network company.