Project Management

Is Continuous Delivery Too Disruptive?

Andy Jordan is President of Roffensian Consulting S.A., a Roatan, Honduras-based management consulting firm with a comprehensive project management practice. Andy always appreciates feedback and discussion on the issues raised in his articles and can be reached at [email protected]. Andy's new book Risk Management for Project Driven Organizations is now available.

I had an interesting conversation with a product manager recently. He was the business owner of a suite of software products that were very successful for the company and that were well received in the marketplace. Like so much software these days, it delivered using a SaaS model—so it was very easy to update the application on a regular basis. Up until now, there had been a regular quarterly release of new features and the occasional hot fix in between to address any problems that were deemed too serious to wait for the next release.

Now the IT department was embracing DevOps and was looking to introduce continuous delivery to a number of areas of the business—and it was proposing that this product manager’s suite of products would be one such area. Somewhat surprisingly to me, the product manager wasn’t in favor of the move. The reasoning behind that (and the discussions that followed) were interesting, so I thought I would share them here.

Resistance to continuous delivery
The first objection the product manager had was fairly obvious. He was concerned that continuous delivery would be disruptive for customers because it would involve changes to their operating environment continuously, not just over a release weekend every three months. He was worried that would result in lower customer satisfaction scores as customers became frustrated by the…

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If we do not succeed, then we run the risk of failure.

- Dan Quayle