23 Jun Managed Services DevOps Series Part 4 — Deployment
by Michelle Brown
You’re nearly there. Your DevOps initiative has gone through extensive planning, development, coding, testing, and overall preparation. However, the end is not as simple as pushing the go button. With 53 percent of organizations that use Salesforce Lightning experiencing deployment times up to a week long, it’s clearly not an easy finger snap kind of process to set your improvements free. That’s why deployment and post-go-live monitoring are two vital phases for DevOps projects that need more than a cursory glance.
Simplus Managed Services has the history of client success and satisfaction to make sure the concluding days of a DevOps project are truly rewarding to stakeholders and end users. With great results, adoption insights, and a sense of security, the final two stages—deployment and monitoring—are often the most exciting. Here’s how Simplus does it:
Once the release approval documentation has been submitted, reviewed, and greenlighted by the architect team, we can move onto deployment. This is considered the big reveal moment—when everything goes out into the reality of your Salesforce instance. For the most successful deployment experiences, there are two crucial ingredients our Managed Services DevOps team utilizes: deployment plans and lead consultants.
The deployment plan is thorough documentation from your Simplus DevOps team designed to help ensure a seamless deployment. It will typically include our initial recommendations for moving to a full staging environment, production environment, and necessary check-offs from both your side and our side. By following the detailed steps outlined in the deployment plan, we have higher success rates and fewer unwanted surprises when the project finally goes live.
The second key to deployment success (and throughout the entire DevOps process), is relying on your lead consultant. With Simplus Managed Services, we identify your lead consultant from the start, so you know who your main point of contact is throughout the project. This is your go-to for steering the DevOps ship and providing both a sense of security for your team and accountability for the development and consultant team. If you have any questions or concerns throughout, this is your person to direct them to. DevOps projects with a strong relationship between lead consultants and clients are typically the most successful and innovative projects.
The final, formal stage for a DevOps project is monitoring post-deployment to ensure success. At Simplus, we customize our post-deployment activities to your specific needs and wishes. But there are a couple of standard items always involved: post-deployment monitoring plan, sandbox refreshes, and lessons learned post-implementation. Let’s dig deeper into each.
Post-Deployment Monitoring Plan
– Resource availability: This is when our Simplus Managed Services resources are ready at any moment after go-live to quickly react to any changes, impacts, or questions that come up in the first few days of new changes to the Salesforce org. This resource availability is also great for safeguarding adoption by fielding questions as your team adjusts to the new features. By working with automated release tools, this team can validate and schedule deployments, roll back any work if necessary, and monitor the release overall. Whatever has got you worried, even if it’s after hours, this team is ready.
– Dashboard analysis: Another way to enhance the monitoring phase is with dashboard analysis. The Simplus Managed Services DevOps team can use Salesforce dashboard analytics to monitor what was released, how it is or is not being used, by who, how frequently… and many more reports that all will improve adoption strategy or help indicate if more training is needed to drive adoption.
Another key feature of post-deployment activities is regular refreshes of the sandbox. This is done to ensure we have alignment between the environments, to keep everything up to date, and to always be ready for the next development sprint. We follow Salesforce’s recommended schedule for this and notify you of any changes that will affect your work.
Lessons learned post-implementation
After every DevOps sprint, it’s a good time to review what went well and what could improve for next time. Sometimes, there are shortcomings or things that didn’t quite meet the desired functional outcomes. But the beauty of continuous integration is there is always an upcoming sprint to incorporate those lessons learned. After each deployment/go-live, Simplus Managed Services takes time to review any issues that came up, their causes, and what can be done the next time to make it better. A post-mortem review like this isn’t about playing the blame game, but rather it’s about getting to the root of the issue and finding an ideal solution for future DevOps sprints.
With an experienced DevOps team on your side, deployment can be an exciting time to review the achievements, safeguard their adoption, and prepare for your next round of innovative changes.
Now that you’ve taken your DevOps project from infancy to full-fledged functionality, it’s time to consider how you can capitalize on these innovations for greater customer loyalty and new business. Stu Jones, another member of the Simplus Managed Services team, will take a look at the importance of case studies in the series’ final installment next week.
Need to catch up on the series? Find the rest of the DevOps blog articles here:
Michelle is a CPQ Consultant here at Simplus. She is dedicated and results-oriented with over 20 years of experience implementing technology solutions for in-house companies as well as in a consultant role. Michelle has eight years of Salesforce experience, supporting over 5,500 users for both sales and service. Michelle has implemented many process improvements to use Salesforce to replace paper, database, or spreadsheets. She is a certified Salesforce Administrator, Platform App Builder, Sales Cloud Consultant, Service Cloud Consultant, and CPQ Specialist. She has a Brown Belt in Salesforce CPQ and attended the Lean Six Sigma Green Belt Certification program.