To be clear, Progressive Delivery has been introduced before… numerous… times.
Progressive Delivery is the next iteration of the software development lifecycle. We’ve moved through several phases, which mapped to our infrastructures, business models and constraints — from waterfall to agile to Continuous Delivery, and now into Progressive Delivery.
This is an iteration, not throwing out what we’ve learned. We’re building on top of Continuous Delivery practices and we’re making explicit some things that are important and have been neglected. We want to focus on and add to the Continuous Delivery model because we think the world has changed profoundly since its introduction. Software has eaten the world, and software delivery must evolve accordingly. The cloud changes everything, and it has profoundly changed how we build software and deliver experiences. That’s what we’re capturing with Progressive Delivery.
We’re no longer about constraints but cloud infrastructure abundance. Everything is distributed, software is running everywhere, new endpoints are emerging all the time, enabled by cloud computing. The network is the computer, and we should take advantage of that network in delivering services. We can route network traffic, route users, route cohorts, and replicate and clone everything. Production is the new staging, but we’re in control of when and how that production is released to cohorts of users. Manage the blast radius, test in production, dark launches. We now live in a world of infrastructure as code and software defined networking- Progressive Delivery takes advantage of that. Observability, shifting testing left, but testing in production, that’s the world we’re describing and defining.
This explosion of endpoints (from mobile to IoT) has led to the incorporation of a digital component into all experiences. Every aspect of our lives has a SaaS correlation and requires a new level of collaboration and feedback with the builders and providers of these services. Even impacting the most basic needs like housing, food production and delivery, as well as transportation — our lives are intertwined with software. It’s time that we adapt the way that software is built and delivered to leverage the innovation in tooling and rapidly incorporate the expectations of users.
We’re here to document and drive an industry change, a better way of building and delivering software with profound implications for business, product management, and IT.
Adam Zimman, James Governor, and Kimberly Harrison.