To help companies transition to an on-demand cloud factory, GearStream has introduced a cloud factory model that establishes a pattern for software development characterized by high velocity, high reliability, high dependability, and high predictability-from start to finish. The model is made up of eight key stages and strategies, which I’ll address over the next several posts.
- Groom the backlog: With business users constantly demanding new application features and functions, development priorities ore constantly changing. Backlogs, however, tend to grow stale over time. When backlogs fail to reflect current business needs, everyone has to quickly come up to speed when a new project starts, and even then developers can end up delivering software that users no longer want or need.
GearStream helps companies establish and instill a product management mindset in their development planning process. By establishing directional integrity, GearStream focuses development efforts jointly in the cloud factory and within your core teams. This effectively guides everyone to work on the right features prioritized by business need and goals, not outdated project plans and spreadsheets. The result ore backlogs actively managed to ensure they reflect the voice of the markets you serve.
- Transform to executable requirements: If most companies don’t groom their backlogs, you can bet they foil to express their functional software requirements. Several factors work against success here, but perhaps the most significant is the contract developers’ relative indifference to poorly stated requirements. If they don’t understand something they often plow ahead without first requesting clarification. Why should they, if they’re paid by the hour, if they develop something incorrectly you can just pay them their hourly rate to fix it.
The GearStream cloud factory model requires a steady diet of well articulated software requirements, something most companies struggle to do well. To help companies bridge this gap, GearStream team members work locally with in-house developers, teaching them how to best express executable requirements. These structured requirements ore concrete, testable, and repeatable.
More than written artifacts, executable requirements are ultimately deployable code that is incorporated into the cloud factory’s automated workflow, subjected to automated testing and verification even before the software itself is written. As a result, SMEs and end users evaluate functionality earlier in the process, leading to higher quality results in a shorter time period.