How to drive shorter development release cycles

Going faster will require improving the technical and business processes that enable driving safely at a higher speed

Before the days of agile, scrum, and devops, software development was often done over many-month release cycles. This was largely because complexity in functional requirements, integrations, application architecture, development tools, and infrastructure made it difficult to operate faster development cycles. Even when agile development became a mainstream development process and development tools improved, organizations focused on release cycles that were on the order of several weeks to a few months.

Today, development teams that have implemented continuous integration and delivery (CI/CD) pipelines are taking steps to shorten their application release cycles. Continuous integration automates the build and kicks off test automations while continuous delivery automates code pushes and delivery processes to a targeted development or testing environment. The two processes—when managed with tools like Jenkins, TravisCI, CircleCI, Azure Pipelines, or AWS CodePipeline—automate the collaboration and plumbing that’s required for faster and more frequent application delivery.

But having CI/CD in itself is not sufficient. It also requires changes in business processes, culture, and other technical practices. Let’s look at some specifics.

Determine why shorter development cycles are needed

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