Repeatability is among the most important considerations when establishing IT processes, and a good process architecture can position organizations to establish efficient operations. The key advantage of repeatability, as opposed to operational speed, for example, is that repeatable processes are reliable. If employees use the same methods to get the job done day in and day out, it becomes easier to create an audit trail and get new workers into the routine.
While repeatability creates incredible potential, it also generates room for human complacency to get in the way. Combining repeatability with automation can give companies the foundation they need to improve operational processes without creating the risk inherent to monotony. This can prove invaluable for IT operations teams dealing with continuous integration processes, as application release automation combined with repeatable operations can lead to major efficiency gains.
Understanding the value of repeatable release processes
An organization using agile development methods can introduce repeatability into the development process through project management architecture surrounding different iterations. When combined with structured team dynamics, organizations can establish a situation in which schedules are followed and best practices are repeated continually as the structure gives workers enough freedom to get the job done effectively, but enough of a repeatable process framework that they know what they need to do to get the job done.
A similar logic applies to configuration analysis and build deployment. Operations teams that develop a checklist of considerations to keep in mind can generate repeatability in these processes, but ensure that the operations established are not so rigid and detailed that they minimize the human factor that is so necessary for success.
The problem comes at the point of replication, as it can often take hours or even days to copy an application onto all of the systems hosting it within a company's different data center configurations. Introducing repeatability becomes a problem at this point because all the processes are already so structured and routine that the repetition becomes monotonous. Tedium can lead to a lack of focus, contributing to human error.