„The only thing that is constant is change.“
Balancing agility and standards in a changing environment
Agility is a key factor to being successful in today’s markets. The success of CRM implementation and the adoption of the systems largely depends hoe flexible it is and how fast a system can adopt to changing business environments and needs. On the other hand – especially in large deployments – CRM becomes a mission critical app and change management needs to follow clear rules and strict processes. The Deployment Tools built in SpiceCRM are a key enabler to bridge that gap and enable organizations to be agile yet follow operational standards.
To ensure quality delivery the process has clear organizational responsibilities with handovers between the business side, the development team and the operations unit. Business defined requirements, development implements it, business test and approves it and operations deploy it.
Change happens continuous and the toolset needs to support continuous deployment following the business needs. Rather than building large and complex heavy weighing packages the focus is on smaller changes that are deployed faster and deliver ongoing improvements. This also allows parallel implementation of changes.
The deployment process is standardized and without any manual intervention. Packages are built and then in that form deployed across the system landscape. Removing manual intervention ensures that quality code is deployed and the systems are kept on the same level.
Deployment Tools Decomposed
The Deployment toolset in SpiceCRM is comprised out of 5 components that interact and together form the Deployment Solution.
The Landscape Manager defines the system infrastructure and deployment routes. It is the central System Repository.
The Change request capsules the definition of the change and all changed objects in the system in terms of files and/or database entries.
The Release Package groups change requests and defines a package that can be deployed.
The Deployment Manager is the central tool to move release packages from one system to another, to deploy it or in case of any issues also roll it back.
The Maintenance Window allows definition of maintenance windows if a logoff of all users is required for the deployment.
The Basic Change Management Principals
One of the key principals in a change management and deployment process is clear responsibilities and handovers. The Process involving the Business Owner requesting the Change, the Developer Team Implementing it and the Operations Team deployiung it and putting it into a production environment needs to have a clear structured process.
With the integrated deployment tools the process from idea-2-production is clearly strucutred and supported. This allows the business to be flexible and the operations team to keep their standards. The toolset is 100% built in SpiceCRM and an integrated component to manage the solution lifecycle.