Customer Support and Prioritization Process
With Planview IdeaPlace product now in a 14-day release cycle, we wanted to provide more details about the processes we work within and how they are designed to work with our higher release cadence.
An Improved Release Cadence
As we announced in the past two sets of Release Notes, new versions of the Planview IdeaPlace application will be released every fourteen days from now on. We view this as a major step forward in our goal of delivering value to you, our customers.
In working with our new release cycle, we have re-evaluated our support and prioritization process with the aim of aligning it with both the sprint and release cycles. In real terms, this means that we will start to move our triage and prioritization process to an earlier point in our “funnel." In doing this, we aim to better understand the questions raised by you, our clients and then act to triage and resolve them in accordance with the new release cadence.
We have documented this new approach as a flow so that you can better see how a question or issue you raise is worked through the process. The key elements of this re-designed flow are:
- Any issues that are raised get triaged and investigated earlier in the process by a combined team of support, operations and development (where required).
- Any issues that are not solvable in the early triage are actively prioritized by the support team regularly during the week.
- Priority issues are reviewed twice weekly with our product development team ahead of being tagged to be worked in a forthcoming sprint.
- Issues that are assigned to a sprint are done so by balancing the priority of the issue from the support team, the resource capacity in the sprint and the level of impact that the issue has.
- Once a sprint begins, the sprint takes fourteen days to complete.
- At the end of the sprint, the release is tested and deployed, and the issue will be resolved in production.
All of this means that we focus on the issues of importance to clients in a timely manner, allowing them to flow more seamlessly into release planning and ultimately deployment where needed. In implementing this approach and coupling it with our increased release cycles, it will help to improve two additional elements: testing and quality of the application.
Testing and Quality
These two areas are important goals and objectives that help our teams deliver value to you. With the implementation of the new release cadence, we are closely monitoring quality and identifying testing components.
This means that from release to release we are building up our automated test capabilities which allow us to test new or re-worked code before it is deployed to production. In doing this, we are then able to isolate issues that could have cascade affects or unintended consequences for the product. This element is underpinned by a new infrastructure which we have been working to build, that improves our automated testing umbrella. The work here continues in the background across every code release.
Obviously, there are still areas that rely upon manual testing and these normally involve more complicated circumstances or more detailed test steps. These tests will continue and will be monitored from release to release as part of our overall planning process.
The aim with our overall approach is to “grow” testing as we progress. We have pivoted the way we test and while there have been some issues discovered, we have been able to work on them and deliver resolutions in short order. This will continue and it is a journey that we are on together, but our data suggests that the implementation of automated testing and the targeting of manual testing is improving our overall quality.
The processes that are outlined here are all living processes in so much as we are constantly evaluating the process itself, the thresholds involved and the testing processes. While our intent is clear, this is an evolving journey and while there may be issues from time to time, our commitment is to resolve priority issues that arise in a timely fashion through the delivery of a quality product.