A Maturity Model For Successful Mobility Deployments

As mobility becomes incorporated with the overall endpoint strategies, IT professionals should assess the mobile maturity of their organizations and determine the steps needed to ensure secure, reliable mobile operations while at the same time giving an excellent user experience. Having a mature mobility model could help evaluate the organizations present state of mobile activities and build roadmap for future activities.

Field mobility solutions could significantly boost the profitability of a business while providing a source of competitive differentiation. Nonetheless, majority of the deployed solutions as of date remain narrow when it comes to functionality and scope, limiting the impact on the operations of an organization. For example, a lot of mobile field mobility solutions these days are limited in their app capabilities and often do not take full advantage of the current available technologies.

When it comes to a maturity model for successful mobility deployments, the methodologies and principles of continuous delivery are quickly gaining recognition as a successful strategy for genuine business agility. For a lot of businesses, the question is no longer ‘why’, but ‘how’. The maturity model aims to provide structure and comprehension to some of the major aspects needed to consider adopting continuous delivery in a company. Continuous delivery is all about looking at the big picture, to take into consideration all aspects that impact the ability to develop and release software. The end-to-end process of the development and the release of software often is cumbersome and long. It involves a lot of people, obstacles and departments which could make the needed effort to implement continuous delivery appear overwhelming.

The Continuous Delivery Maturity Model provides structure and understanding to implementation and its main components. Mainly, the inspiration for this model comes from combined experiences in various continuous delivery implementation project. One of the main barriers to achieve greater operational impact of field mobility solutions has been the seemingly maturity or immaturity of the available solutions and technologies to prospective users. The goal of the maturity model is to highlight five vital categories as well as to provide an understanding of how mature the organization is. The model indicates which practices are essential, which should be deemed advanced or expert an what is needed to move from one level to the next.

The model defines five maturity levels, such as the following,
  1. Base
    A typical company would have at base level, started prioritizing work in backlogs, have several process defined which is documented rudimentarily. Furthermore, developers practice frequent commits into version control.

  2. Beginner
    Moving to a beginner level, teams stabilize over projects and the company typically has started to remove boundaries through the inclusion of test with development. Numerous backlogs are consolidated inherently into one per team and basic agile methodologies are adopted, which provides stronger tams that share the pain whenever a things occur.

  3. Intermediate
    On the intermediate level, one could achieve more extended team collaboration when operations are beginning to be a part of the team or at least often consulted by the team. Various processes are consolidated and all changes, new features, bugs, emergency fixes follow a similar path to production. Decisions are decentralized to the team. Moreover, component ownership is defined, giving teams the capability to build in quality and plan for a sustainable product as well as process enhancements.

  4. Advanced
    On the advanced level, the team would have the confidence and competence it needs to become responsible for changes down into production. Continuous enhancement mechanisms are in place and dedicated tools team is set up to serve other teams through enhancing automation and tools. In this level, functionality releases could be disconnected from actual deployment, giving projects a somehow different role.

  5. Expert
    At the expert level, some companies opt to make a bigger effort and create complete cross functional teams that could be entirely autonomous. With very short cycle time and mature delivery pipeline, such companies have the confidence to adopt a stringent roll-forward only strategy to failures in production.

Each and every company is unique and has its own particular challenges in terms of changing how things work, such as Continuous Delivery implementation. The maturity model gives one a starting point and a base for planning company transformation towards Continuous Delivery. After the evaluation of a business according to the model it should be able to set the goals and determine which practices would give the business the best outcomes. A typical Continuous Delivery implementation project would require skills and competence in accordance to the practices and categories in the maturity model to be able to implement a strong platform of tools, practices and methods that the organization could continue to grow and to improve upon.