Production & development31 May 2017
Dev teams tend to forget one thing: production management. This is quite unfortunate as a lot can be learned from.
Obvious remarks: managing production is important as this is what gets people paid. Get customers happy. Give them an easy going experience with your applications. That’s the key. Is that all anyway? Not of course because living with production only won’t give you much success either.
The other side of the coin is the development team. We are for most of us dealing with agile teams working within bounded sprints. Keeping people focused is really important to help go forward and raise overall quality so it’s pretty hard to get them out of this. But dev teams disconnected from production is a non-sense. There must be a trade off between dev and production obviously. Nevertheless, ensure dev teams are not fully staffed and have free time taking care of production.
Finding the sweet spot is really important - but to deal with production, it must be correctly monitored (you have a team in charge of that, right ?):
- Gather metrics, build performance dashboard and compare trends - if not, priorize this with your teams
- Have centralized logs - if not, priorize this with your teams
- Document architecture, workflows & train peoples
- On duty - ensure incident are correctly reported and documented to dev teams and outcomes are priorize accordingly with product managers
- Know what you have released, where, when and who have tested this - if not.. well you know what to do
The goal is to be proactive:
- application slowdown can be mitigated or anticipated with test-in-production
- quickly explain incidents with facts
- understand system limitations if any (capacity management)
- plan impacts of future developments
Believe me, that’s a lot of work. Production is not for the faint of the heart and this can be time consuming (and destructive) if not taken seriously. That’s why people from development have to take care of, learn and follow what’s happening in production… and help!
Keep in mind
If production often breaks, you have three problems to deal with:
- quality: you will loose your customers
- human burn-out: you will loose your staff
- legacy lock-in: you won’t be able to implement anything due to huge production maintenance costs
Last but not least: if production breaks repetitively for same problems again and again, go and kick butts!