<Streamlining Change Approvals/>

DevOps is all about using a streamlined and iterative approach, where efficiency and speed are at the core of all software/app dev projects.

However, with new technologies constantly being introduced in the DevOps environment, companies have to gear up for constant changes and be open towards evolution or die. Besides, unnecessary bottlenecks, setbacks, and delays all occur when critical project approvals aren’t made on time.

Enterprise software companies know all too well the importance of delivering change rapidly. The challenge is implementing the right strategies and tools to streamline change approvals. The following are some factors to keep in mind when it comes to streamlining change approvals.

Treat Change Differently

Not all change has the same impact, which means you can’t really measure how risky a change will be by simply counting the lines of code. Changes in the DevOps process can be divided into three types; standard, normal, and emergency.

  • Standard – These are the low-risk changes that are well known to developers. The low risk that’s involved makes them the preferred choice when it comes to human errors.
  • **Normal ** – This is the type of change that all IT Ops prefer to avoid, mainly because there’s no way of knowing how severe the risk when implementing these changes. This is why to implement these changes an approval from the CAB (Change Advisory Board) is required. After carrying out an analysis to deduce the impact a change will have on a system, CAB approves or rejects the request for approval.
  • Emergency – Emergency changes are those that require immediate attention. This usually means that they cannot go through the formal approval process. These are also changes that devs try to avoid at all costs. At the start, developers usually do not have to deal with many standard changes, with most of them being normal changes. But, the idea is to transform all normal changes into standard changes with the help of automation. Luckily, there are DevOps service providers out there who make it easy to streamline change approvals by first analyzing the type of change that they are dealing with.

Streamlining Change Approval: Best Practices

There are two important outcomes that DevOps teams always keep in mind when it comes to the implementation and streamlining of change approval, which are – to decrease risks associated with change and to satisfy all regulatory requirements. One of the most important and commonly found regulatory requirements is segregating duties, which means that changes need approval from another person and not the author. This is to ensure that no single individual has complete control over a process. It also encourages transparency, which is one of the pillars of implementing change approvals.

It should be noted here that using lengthy processes such as those that involve a change advisory board (CAB) or a senior manager, DevOps teams should use the following methods;

  • Employ continuous testing, integration, monitoring, and observability for the rapid detection, prevention, and detection of any bad changes that may create bottlenecks in the delivery process.
  • DevOps teams need to look at the development platform being a tool that improves the efficiency of developers when it comes to getting important feedback in real-time on the impact of various changes on multiple axes. This also includes performance, security, performance, stability, and also defects.
  • Utilizing a peer review for meeting requirements for the segregation of duties, with comments, reviews, and approvals that are captured in the development platform should be included in the development process.

The Takeaway

So, what have we learned so far when it comes to streamlining change approvals? Here are some of the common pitfalls that have been associated with lengthy change approval;

  • Treating all changes equally –This is a big one and is a mistake that is frequently made by new DevOps teams. When changes are subject to the same approval process, it results in the review being inefficient. Furthermore, dev teams aren’t able to make the necessary time and pay attention to those that require true concentration because of differences in risk profile as well as timing.
  • Adding more Processes as a Response to Problems – More often than not, DevOps teams use additional processes along with heavyweight approvals whenever they are faced with stability problems during production. This only worsens the situation by creating a vicious cycle of driving up lead times as well as batch sizes.
  • Reliance on a Change Approval Board (CAB) - This approach usually results in unnecessary delays and an increase in errors. While CABs are efficient in broadcasting change, people, however, are so far removed from the change that they may have a hard time understanding the implications.
  • **A Failure to Apply CI **- Change fail rate and lead time are important factors to consider when it comes to streamlining change management. This is where having the right tools in place helps with streamlining change approvals for enterprise application software development.

Ending Note

Transparency, traceability, and risk management are also important factors to keep in mind when adopting new tools for streamlining change approvals. Hooligan Development is a custom software development house that specializes in Agile and DevOps principles to reduce human errors.

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