Challenges in Software Delivery
When you’re a household name that customers have trusted for over one hundred years for their health and beauty needs, you can’t let them down.
The largest pharmacy-led retailer in the United Kingdom knew this all too well. The company understood the importance of a seamless user experience for their customers – whether they were using the official app on their phones or standing in the checkout line at one of their 2,500 stores.
Behind the scenes, the retail giant’s IT teams were running into a host of challenges while struggling to maintain and improve software delivery.
“Plutora improved our test environment management productivity by 140%.”
Senior Test Environment Manager at the retailer
There was no single view of portfolio, projects and test environment requirements over time. Environment clashes were causing inefficient use of time and resources. Limited environment visibility and an absence of environment booking tools to support governance and stakeholder management was leading to project delays and production bugs.
Excel spreadsheets were becoming increasingly complex and divergent to meet the needs of different portfolios. Poor project tracking was leading to production issues and missed steps. Poor data integrity and production issues were leading to a lack of compliance and security.
The Centralized Environment Management Services (CEMS) team decided to look for a solution to overcome these challenges and improve the efficiency and predictability of software delivery.
Partnering with Plutora
After a thorough external review, CEMS found Plutora to be the most cost-effective and functional test environment and release management tool. CEMS engaged Plutora to deliver the following outcomes:
- A single view of all projects and allocated environments across the portfolio.
- Greater transparency and visibility for test environment planning through unified scheduling.
- Centralized environment booking and change requests for testing and change management.
- Ensured allocation of correctly configured environments to the associated releases and prompt handling of any conflicts and outages.
- Stored core configuration details for each environment and co-existing company infrastructure.
- Engaged stakeholders with up-to-date dashboards, alerts, notifications, analysis, metrics, and reporting.
“Plutora formed a partnership with us,” said the Senior Test Environment Manager at the retailer. “We managed Plutora’s implementation in three phases to ensure a smooth transition and successful user adoption.”
In the first stage, the retailer ran a pilot and was satisfied that the tool contained all mission-critical processes to ensure that the core release, environment and deployment capabilities were well-tuned. The retailer was also assured that Plutora required no infrastructure investment because it is a Software as a Service (SaaS) solution.
Next up was the ‘Go Live’ phase of the implementation during which Plutora identified pain points where information was incomplete or was being re-entered. In the last phase, Plutora helped CEMS optimize their processes by helping them deploy and use Plutora modules more effectively.
The retailer realized quick time to value as soon as it kicked off the implementation. Release and environment teams are no longer dependent on spreadsheets. Processes are consistent and streamlined, resulting in better quality and predictability.
CEMS has enhanced productivity as they can now instantly identify environment conflicts and effectively manage environments leading to more efficient use of time and resources and an improvement in the team’s capability.
Plutora has helped the retailer avoid any environment and release failures which is a huge win for CEMS. The need for rework has steadily decreased because of fewer production issues.
“We had a productivity gain of £174,069 with a payback period of 10 months.” Senior Test Environment Manager at the retailer
Plutora has enabled better collaboration and coordination among projects with centralized data and environment bookings. All stakeholders are more engaged now as Plutora gives them complete visibility into the software delivery process with a single source of truth. They can make the right decisions with information that is always accurate and up-to-date.
Plutora provides all the necessary features such as an enterprise release calendar, environment metrics and customizable dashboards, which make project tracking a piece of cake for CEMS. Plutora has also helped improve compliance and security with its robust governance functionality.