While the transformation is progressing well with Agile thinking being integrated in all areas of the Enterprise, Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery are a sore area that my client is trying to work out.
Because of the draw of the sticks, usually QA is the team that is pointed as the bottle neck on the delivery. Why? Because it is last on the process. Why? Because the feature work doesn't start with testing in mind. Why? Because the features are still being designed and built with very little input from QA. Why? Because the system is complex and testing end to end for a small change is very expensive.
So the ball ends into QA's port. In order for QA to do something about being called bottleneck, the feature delivery should start with the end in mind, with a thin slice of functionality. And the QA manager at my client, came up with this idea on his own, after a long week of thinking stuff over, on his way to Sunday golfing. His thinking was to start working on "Basic Functionality First". The way he explains this is:
If the goal of the project is to create an online store, start with setting up a way for a client to order a sprinkler using only Visa. Client should be able to go online, select the only item available (a sprinkler), pay for it with Visa and have it delivered home in 3 days. This is the BFF. Once this is proven, start adding more items, more ways of payments, etc,
For a mature Agile ear, this is the concept of MVP, where you deliver to the client the Minimum Viable Product and then based on the feedback expand and add more features.
When I heard him explaining BFF, MVP came to mind but I decided not to ask him to use MVP. He liked BFF, it is original, makes sense on that company and it is THEIRS. It is not something that someone else is talking about, and maybe on a different context.
So BFF is now something everyone talks about and everyone wants to see it happening. In the spirit of making BFF work, the need for Automation Testing and a Continuous Integration system is identified. You can't have BFF without a good CI system, right?! But to have a CI system in place, you need Dev team to work with Ops team. Guess what? DevOps is now on the table and is being considered!
It is amazing what the intrinsic motivation can do! Way more than I was thinking and how I was thinking to run with it. Pfffff.. my plan sucked! My plan was not a BFF.
I am well aware that setting up a CI and DevOps on an Enterprise organization that is complex and sort of behind in technology is not an easy bite. But once again, I am experiencing, an agile transformation hitting the technical wall. There is so much you can do with only Agile thinking. Technology has to step it up and support all that. Call it MPV, call it BFF it is the same need over and over.
No offense to Eric Reis, but I like BFF better than MVP. Has a more collaborative and amicable tone! I imagine Developers, Testers and Business holding hands and running together on green fields, with a cycadelic tune behind it!