Continuous delivery for global apparel retailer

The Opportunity:

This client’s Store Systems team was able to deliver only three major software releases per year for their 3,000-store global network. The release management process was bloated, overly complex, and, given the lack of frequency, risky due to labor-intensive rollback procedures.

Specific organizational & technical challenges included:

1. No clearly articulated release calendar

2. Unstable testing environments

3. Lack of organizational accountability

The Solution:

Avenue Code introduced this client to Continuous Delivery, and the result was a game changer. An enterprise release calendar was created with activities synchronized across projects; an integration environment with rigorous testing protocols was established; and code quality ownership shifted from release management to the project team.

Annual release frequency initially increased to eight times per year, culminating in fourteen releases in 2014. In 2015, the release management team raised the bar further still with new features & functionality available to the Store Systems’ internal clients every two weeks.

The Result:

• Total first-year cost savings of $1 million

• Software is now released to production 26 times a year – an increase of 22x, or 550%

• The number of test cases needing to be fixed by the release team decreased from 144 to 12

• The client’s release management cost per project went down 75% in 2.5 years