Level up! A Continuous Deployment Maturity Model

automated deployment

Dev and ops teams have different responsibilities and their own sets of tools, and they struggle to share data. The list is quite intimidating so we’ve highlighted the practices we think you should focus on when starting on this journey. The high priority practices were chosen because they give the most impact in terms of productivity, quality, delivery and risk mitigation.

A very high degree of automated testing is an essential part to enable Continuous Delivery. At this stage in the model, the participants might be in a DevOps team, or simply developers and IT operations collaborating on a joint project. Teams are organized around projects or products and not around skill-sets. Development teams work towards the execution of clear requirements that deliver clear business value.

level of maturity

The last 10 years or so I have always been interested in different working https://forexhero.info/s/processes. Since the advantages are worthy goals and achievable with cloud-native technologies, organizations must include these in their DevOps maturity ladder. Continuous Delivery — It is the ability to go to any application version at any time, as stated in level 1. Once our deployments were scarce, this worked fine, maybe done once or twice a month during the weekends. But in the digital transformation world, our market is way more competitive, releasing new features fast and often became a competitive advantage.

Each level represents a set of capabilities that an organization must have in order to achieve that level of maturity. As you continue to build out the pipeline, your team will need to collaborate more closely with other functions and start taking more responsibility for delivering your software. To do that, they need visibility of how the software performs in production and for the rest of the organization to be bought into the approach. The levels are not strict and mandatory stages that needs to be passed in sequence, but rather should serve as a base for evaluation and planning.

Continuous Delivery Maturity Model

Expert practices will include zero touch continuous deployment to production where every commit can potentially make it all the way to production automatically. The design and architecture of your products and services will have an essential impact on your ability to adopt continuous delivery. If a system is built with continuous delivery principles and a rapid release mind set from the beginning, the journey will be much smoother. However, an upfront complete redesign of the entire system is not an attractive option for most organizations, which is why we have included this category in the maturity model.

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You plan the work, then build it, continuously integrate it, deploy it, finally support the end product and provide feedback back into the system. Another way to excel in ‘flow’ is by moving to distributed version control systems like Git, which is all about quick iterations, branching and merging – all things you need in a lean DevOps environment.Learn more here. Culture is the foundation on which every successful team is built and is a core ingredient of a DevOps implementation. A DevOps culture brings a sense of shared responsibility across teams, yields faster time to market and faster resolution times, and helps mitigate unplanned work.

A maturity model describes milestones on the path of improvement for a particular type of process. In the IT world, the best known of these is the capability maturity model , a five-level evolutionary path of increasingly organized and systematically more mature software development processes. The continuous delivery maturity model lays out the five increasingly intense — and capable — levels of the process. Some people think that CI/CD is helpful for agile only, yet it is the backbone of the DevOps initiative as well. Be it agile or DevOps, more layers of manual effort can bring down the success rate of the development to the ground. Hence, it is the best practice to automate the build and testing process and find bugs early without putting your precious time into manual activities.

The expert step is a great addition to #NoEstimate, Lean Startups with Hypothesis-Driven-development/Design and Pain-Driven-Development/design as the level 5 above. I wrote myself a Swedish post on my LinkedIn about five maturity levels for the transformation regarding better continues delivery benefit. Whether your company is in the middle level or struggling to reach the elite level, continue reading. In this post, we will examine DevOps maturity and explore all levels of DevOps. Then it walks you through the key steps to how you can plan your strategy to move up to elite DevOp maturity level. ITNEXT is a platform for IT developers & software engineers to share knowledge, connect, collaborate, learn and experience next-gen technologies.

Codefresh Platform Automate your deployments in minutes using our managed enterprise platform powered by Argo. I like the idea a lot and would like to use that model for us to evaluate our own maturity. Preferably you will have a tool to centralise logs across applications, and even better if you have a distributed trace system, where we can see all the steps of a user request in the downstream system. A small change takes less than 30 minutes, maybe even 10 minutes to go to production. Just ensure you keep up with the quality, and I am sure you will have delighted customers. Canary deployment term comes from mining, a dangerous profession; in some caves, there are poisonous gases that could kill the miners.

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Also, this continuous delivery maturity model shows a linear progression from regressive to fully automated; activities at multiple levels can and do happen simultaneously. DevOps teams need to learn more advanced techniques and tools while they master the basics. Therefore, start by defining a basic CD process and developing some simple scripts, but simultaneously research, learn and test more complicated processes and advanced tools. At intermediate level, builds are typically triggered from the source control system on each commit, tying a specific commit to a specific build. Tagging and versioning of builds is automated and the deployment process is standardized over all environments.

To achieve this process, you also need to build a pipeline that should be scalable over time so that new features and requirements in the automated build processes can be added transparently and quickly. In my experience, organizations use the maturity model in one of two ways. First, an organization completes an impartial evaluation of their existing levels of maturity across all areas of practice. Then, the organization focuses on improving the overall organization’s maturity, attempting to achieve a consistent level of maturity across all areas of practice. Alternately, the organization concentrates on a subset of the practices, which have the greatest business value, or given their relative immaturity, are a detriment to the other practices.

Built artifacts or release packages are built only once and are designed to be able to be deployed in any environment. The standardized deployment process will also include a base for automated database deploys of the bulk of database changes, and scripted runtime configuration changes. A basic delivery pipeline is in place covering all the stages from source control to production.

Continuous Integration and the Release Maturity Model

Business leaders now have begun to embrace the fact that there is a new way of thinking about software development. IT can once again start pushing innovation instead of restraining it by expensive, slow, unpredictable and outdated processes. There are many ways to enter this new era and here we will describe a structured approach to attaining the best results. While agile methodologies often are described to best grow from inside the organization we have found that this approach also has limitations. Some parts of the organization are not mature enough to adapt and consequently inhibit development, creating organizational boundaries that can be very hard to break down. The best way to include the whole organization in the change is to establish a solid platform with some important prerequisites that will enable the organization to evolve in the right direction.


Continuous improvement processes never focus on the end state, because perfection, however it’s defined, can only be incrementally approached, never fully achieved. Delivering new software is the single most important function of businesses trying to compete today. Many companies get stuck with flaky scripting, manual interventions, complex processes, and large unreliable tool stacks across diverse infrastructure. Software teams are left scrambling to understand their software supply chain and discover the root cause of failures. This category focuses on the collection and reporting of data and metrics related to the software development process.


However, teams tend to ship rather big features that are difficult to manage and test. Breaking bigger services into smaller microservices remains a challenge. Operations teams need to manually intervene when things in production go wrong.

  • For example, this can happen when a team decides that its current capabilties are fine as is, or when a team outgrows a maturity model by acheiving its highest level then wanting to improve even more.
  • Encourage teams and managers to adopt a product-centered mindset.
  • Imagine breaking production in your Saturday, without an easy rollback; you will have a hard time.
  • In this category we want to show the importance of handling this information correctly when adopting Continuous Delivery.
  • A maturity model can describe its levels and items in terms of qualitative metrics and/or quantitative metrics.

Even the daily or weekly release of code will produce a report that will be sent every early morning. To accomplish this you can install the Selenium app in Clarive. It works as a version control and can be used to keep track of changes in any set of files.

Test automation tools include pipeline software like Jenkins; test automation systems like Selenium or Cypress; and cloud services, including AWS CodePipeline or Microsoft Azure DevTest Labs. Although infrastructure as code is not explicitly called out as a practice in the CD Maturity Model, many of it’s best practices can be found in the maturity model. For example, the model prescribes automated environment provisioning, orchestrated deployments, and the use of metrics for continuous improvement. At this level the work with modularization will evolve into identifying and breaking out modules into components that are self-contained and separately deployed.

One practical example is gather such at is with A/B continuous delivery maturity model. Codefresh is the most trusted GitOps platform for cloud-native apps. It’s built on Argo for declarative continuous delivery, making modern software delivery possible at enterprise scale. While there is no single standard for CDMM, most models proposed in the industry consist of five levels, with Level 1 being the lowest level of maturity and Level 5 being the highest.


At the advanced level, the team will have the competence and confidence it needs to be responsible for changes all the way to production. Continuous improvement mechanisms are in place and e.g. a dedicated tools team is set up to serve other teams by improving tools and automation. At this level, releases of functionality can be disconnected from the actual deployment, which gives the projects a somewhat different role.

Towards Cloud Native Continuous Delivery: An Industrial Experience Report

Each additional level requires more sophisticated control mechanisms including specialized execution environments . All teams need some form of build automation whether they use shell scripts or dedicated build scripting frameworks like Maven, Ant, VBScript or MSBuild. These build automation scripts should be run by the developers every time they want to commit their code to the source repository. These build scripts should compile the source code into executable artifacts checking and validating syntax along the way. Some interpreted languages such as PHP do not require a build phase.

  • Alternately, the organization concentrates on a subset of the practices, which have the greatest business value, or given their relative immaturity, are a detriment to the other practices.
  • It can help organizations identify initial actions that provide the most significant effect, while indicating which practices are essential, and which should be considered advanced or expert.
  • These build scripts should compile the source code into executable artifacts checking and validating syntax along the way.
  • As teams grow and mature they should work their way up the pyramid of testing levels.
  • A cloud-first strategy has its fair share of advantages and disadvantages.

Making the deployments smaller, more often and faster, reduces the risk on the deployments while at the same time enabling development teams to deliver. Automation also makes it more secure, enabling you to audit your deployments, so you know who pushed what change and when. Another aspect of this level with production systems, is talking about spaced deployments of once to twice a month. Deployments require coordination across multiple teams, increasing the time a feature is requested until it is available to users.

JCGs is an independent online community focused on creating the ultimate Java to Java developers resource center; targeted at the technical architect, technical team lead , project manager and junior developers alike. JCGs serve the Java, SOA, Agile and Telecom communities with daily news written by domain experts, articles, tutorials, reviews, announcements, code snippets and open source projects. Organizations operating at this level are not just “reactive” to all that comes across their path. They are proactive and work their way towards repeatable processes for the areas they understand well.

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Feedback on database performance and deployment for each release. Not directly it’s original intention, but I intend to use your model as a grading tool in a semester on DevOps at a University of Applied science in the Netherlands. Students will need to achieve at least ‘intermediate’ level for a sufficient score. But can use the ‘base’ and ‘beginner’ levels to get started. Your maturity model creates a spectrum upon which organizations can place themselves, as well as set a target for the future.

Imagine that a developer makes a change in the code after this happens you need to promote the code to the integration environments, send notifications to your team members and run the testing plan. Or maybe your organization or team is starting to plan to fully embrace DevOps and your team is researching what is exactly what to need to install in order to have the perfect toolchain. Perhaps you have a gap in some processes that you are not even aware of. Establishing a good and solid DevOps toolchain will help determine ahead of time the grade of the success of your DevOps practices. Andreas Rehn is an Enterprise Architect and a strong advocate for Continuous Delivery, DevOps, Agile and Lean methods in systems development.

The other “staging” is a passive copy used for deployments and tests. Of course, the next day, I added the file to source control and that future deployments didn’t have the problem. To excel in ‘flow’ teams need to make work visible across all teams, limit work in progress, and reduce handoffs to start thinking as a system, not a silo.

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