Review: Use Scrum + Continuous Delivery (Scrum.org whitepaper)

21 Oct

Use Scrum + Continuous Delivery by Peter Gfader is a whitepaper on Scrum.org which speaks to the implementation of Continuous Delivery as it relates to the Agile methodology Scrum. You should really read this whitepaper. Here are some very good tidbits to whet your appetite:

Intended Outcome

A successful setup of Continuous Delivery leads to frequent deliveries of the product to the end user and an increased collaboration between the Scrum Team and the stakeholders. With frequent deliveries in place the Scrum Team is able to test new ideas in the market. Getting feedback from the market is very valuable because it reflects the needs of the end user and finally we want to delight them with frequent new features and support. With the feedback from the market the Scrum Team might change priorities and order the Product Backlog correspondingly and even cancel the current Sprint just in order to follow the needs of the market.

Considerations

Continuous Delivery being a technical practice, gives benefits that go way beyond a single project or the technical teams. The benefit of delivering business value quicker from an idea to the actual usage of the feature could have a real strategic impact on the competitive advantage of an organization. If Continuous Delivery extends beyond the internal organization and is released to market, real metrics and insight can be gained from real usage, meaning that more useful features are developed further and less useful features are not: Build the right thing.

Definition of Terms

“Released”: A business term that defines functionality being available to an end user.

“Shipping” is a synonym for “Released” and not used in this paper nor the Scrum Guide.

“Deployed”: A technical concern that applies in the domain of the team and means the product is introduced in a chosen environment. Different environments have a different user community and might be: Production, Testing and Integration.“Deployed” doesn’t necessarily mean “Released”.

“Production Ready”: A product Increment that is “Done” and potentially releasable to the end user.

“Ready for Release” is a synonym to “Production Ready”.

“Continuous Integration”: A technical practice where every product change should trigger an event where you automatically rebuild, integrate and test your whole product.

“Continuous Deployment”: Additionally to “Continuous Integration”, every product change gets automatically deployed to Production.

“Continuous Delivery”: Keeping a system “Production Ready” for release at all times during development. This does not involve stopping and making a special effort to create a releasable product.

What are the differences between Continuous Delivery and Continuous Deployment?

Continuous Deployment is deploying every change into production. But that change might not be visible yet. Once the change is released it is available to the end user. Continuous Delivery is about keeping your application in a state where it is always able to release.

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