Ashley Owen Archive

Continuous Delivery is all the rage for dev teams and the release management / application delivery marketplace.  And rightfully so, as it is the application delivery methodology that lets App Dev deliver the code.  It saves time and money as it cuts the time for applications to be delivered into production.

A key driver for Continuous Delivery has been the adoption of Agile as a development methodology.  Most of our long-term application lifecycle management (ALM) customers have implemented at least some agile development processes, and Continuous Delivery is next up for them.

At Agile 2012 last year, we surveyed the audience and found that 49% of the respondents’ companies have significantly adopted the use of Agile for development.  And 55% of those respondents said that they are “already there” or “getting there” in the use of Continuous Delivery.  Take a look at the infographic from the Agile 2012 conference and survey.  Note also that we’ll be at Agile 2013 in August and we’ll rerun the survey and provide our annual Agile Conference Survey report for you!  We’ll see what the adoption rate for Continuous Delivery is after another year.

While Continuous Delivery does provide great value, it is not appropriate for all application deployments.  Many applications require a separation of duties: App Dev develops and IT Ops deploys.  Hence, deployments into production follow the traditional stage gate methodology and are handled by IT Operations.  This hybrid of Continuous Delivery and Stage Gate Delivery is Continuous Deployment; it can be implemented with Release Automation plus release process control and management of the hand-offs between App Dev and IT Ops.

To learn how you can implement Continuous Delivery as quickly as possible while still supporting the traditional stage gate delivery process, watch our recent webcast “Implement Continuous Delivery with Traditional App Dev Processes“ featuring Julian Fish, Director of Development for Serena Release Manager.



Agile2012 Survey InfographicAnother survey, another clear sign that IT needs to focus on the entire IT lifecycle in order to be more successful. Earlier this year, we surveyed about 1000 IT professionals, who indicated that development was doing relatively well. However, when it came to upstream and downstream processes like defining requirements and releasing apps into production, they told us a very different story.

Just recently, Serena conducted a survey with Agile2012 attendees and they tell us a similar story.  While agile software development was getting good marks for customer satisfaction, it was clear that communication across the enterprise was a major challenge facing IT organizations who wanted to make all of IT more “enterprise agile.” In fact, more than 50 percent of respondents indicated that understanding and also prioritizing customer demand needed the most improvement for agile to be successful. What’s more surprising is that when it came to deploying releases into production, only 30% – 40% of Support and IT Operations – the teams that are the first line of defense for helping customers – had any visibility into releases. Check out the full infographic.

With this in mind, it’s comforting to hear that many of our customers are already looking across the whole IT application and service delivery lifecycle and embracing the concept of Orchestrated IT. By orchestrating planning, development, deployment and service, while optimizing visibility through an executive IT dashboard, IT organizations can better understand how they can better deliver what the business really needs. In fact, Serena customers that have orchestrated information and communication across the whole IT lifecycle have realized some amazing results.  “What is Orchestrated IT? Check out this short 2-minute video that explains what Orchestrated IT can do for you.



…and it is not the after effects of xTravaganza

A demonstration of Serena’s Development Manager kicked things off for the early birds with Mike Troth from R&D describing the persona-based UI workbench and the evolving and rich user experience of Serena’s Orchestrated ALM solutions.  Armed with a second coffee, many then headed over to hear Iryna Lutsiuk from the Quality Assurance team reveal an internally developed SBM application for test case management being used to manage test cases, test requirements, test runs across all Application development teams…..oh boy, I lost count of the number of customers asking when they could have it. What a great moment for Iryna and her team. With customers now dazed with excitement, it was time to head over to hear the future of Software Configuration Management and here again, Alex Shevchenko from our R&D team orchestrated even more buzz and excitement and injected some tremendous humor as we neared the end of a terrific xChange12.



Day 2 at xChange12

Speeding ALM implementations, Peter Raymond from R&D described Serena’s Orchestrated ALM reference architecture. Walking through domain models, artifact relationships and process models, the reference architecture provides a blueprint to help our customers coordinate and integrate processes and tools across the Application Development and Delivery lifecycle. He then described a customer implementation that was expedited through use of the reference architecture to simply revise and adjust forms, workflows and integrations quickly and efficiently.

There was plenty of excitement when Jack Leon, also from R&D, revealed the evolution of our process-based agile planning solution to achieve end to end agility across the ALM lifecycle. The level of audience participation and engagement revealed a high degree of appreciation from Product owners, Scrum masters, and Development managers and we look forward to working with members of our Special Interest Group as we continue to optimize the agile user experience across planning, development and release.

Matt Stratton from Apartments.com took the agile theme a stage further when he described their ITSM and Release Automation solution. Key highlights and learning included a heavy focus on automation of manual deployment tasks and activities, a need for a well-defined branching and merging strategy in development to streamline activity from the delivery teams, and a re-orientation of roles/responsibilities across Development, QA and Tech Operations. The resulting applause wrapped up a terrific day at Serena xChange12 as we headed to the xTravaganza party at the House of Blues.



The interest and importance of release management is evident among Serena’s customers.  Here at Day 1 of Serena xChange12 Global User Conference in the Release Management track, we had a packed house during Julian Fish’ “Integrating Service Management and Release Management for Dev and Ops” presentation.  Julian is the Product Owner for Serena Release Manager.  And in all the sessions we had great audience interaction!

In her Release Train presentation, Kim Beckham, Director of PMO, talked about Serena’s change to the use of our Release Train technology (part of Serena Release Manager) to improve product delivery.  Several attendees are looking at doing just the same, took lots of notes and asked many questions.  Great session!

The last session of the day was presented by Jack Leon, Development Manager, and he discussed the ITIL V3 compliant Definitive Media Library (DML) as provided in Serena Release Manager.

Stay tuned for more updates and customer experiences from xChange12!  In the meantime, learn more about Serena Release Manager, the Enterprise DevOps solution.



Relay baton hand-offHere comes DevOps!  But how and why is DevOps forming; and what is it providing?  Of course, DevOps is Application Development (Dev) and IT Operations (Ops) teams working together to deliver the needs of the business.

Why DevOps?  With online applications being the business, enterprises cannot afford long delays in application development and application enhancement.  Every new feature that can be delivered can generate additional income; and the sooner that feature is delivered, the sooner the income is realized.  DevOps addresses the long-standing divide between App Dev and IT Ops and improves the speed that applications are delivered.

How are they working together?  Sometimes organizationally they are merging or teams are being created.  Recently, at the DevOps Days in Austin, I met development and release engineers who are parts of newly formed DevOps teams.  But these DevOps teams are still in the minority when considering how organizations are delivering DevOps.  More often than not, DevOps is being realized by improved collaboration by the different Development and Operations teams.

How do these disconnected teams, Dev and Ops, work together, especially after so many years of division?  They have different goals and different processes; yet these goals and processes must be combined, connected, or consolidated in order for DevOps to succeed.  Regarding goals, Dev is all about creating new apps and features to reduce risks, reduce costs, improve performance, and/or increase revenue.  Meanwhile, IT Ops’ role is to move new features and apps into production as expediently, efficiently, and effectively as possible.  Traditionally, this meant that App Dev moved quickly and IT Ops moved prudently, often butting heads in the process.  Now, they can’t butt heads; they must work together.

Regarding processes, each group has had its own set of processes which haven’t been well connected.  The hand off between the groups has thus been negatively affected.  And this is one of the most critical challenges that needs to be addressed for DevOps to succeed.  Orchestrating Development Management processes with Release Management processes will ensure that critical application release information is not lost and that DevOps can deliver on its goal – to deliver new apps and new features expediently, efficiently, and effectively so that the business can increase revenue and reduce costs.

If you’re looking for a DevOps solution, read the Ovum Rainbow Map for DevOps, a third party analysis of available DevOps vendors.  According to the report, Serena Software demonstrates comprehensive coverage for a DevOps solution.



It was with great pleasure I attended a vibrant Federal User Group last week. With so many advances and improvements in the past 12 months, Federal agencies and system integrators showed enthusiastic interest in the evolution of our Orchestrated ALM solutions – Requirements Manager, Development Manager and Release Manager. Within the Federal government, as in many enterprise IT organizations, there is a continued need to drive efficiency and transparency across both Application Development and IT Operations.  I noted particular interest in the orchestration of Release Management with Serena Release Manager, and IT Service Management with Serena Service Manager.

Among those responsible for both distributed and mainframe application development and delivery, there was surprise and delight that the upcoming Serena Dashboard will extend out of the box KPI metrics (process and data) across both distributed and mainframe environments; and with the news that ChangeMan ZMF will be encompassed in Serena Development Manager and Serena Release Manager solutions. As today’s increasingly multi-tier applications span platforms and technologies, it is comforting to note that the Serena Dashboard will provide a single pane of glass for insight and visibility across Application Development and IT Operations, enabling timely decisions for faster cycle-times, streamlined collaboration, and elimination of waste.

Try out the Serena Dashboard yourself with the interactive demo!



We’re just a few weeks away from publishing our ALM research survey based on almost 1000 IT professionals. One thing that’s clear: when it comes to understanding what’s going on across IT, IT is often in the dark. Customers tell me the same thing: they have good tools especially in development, but when it comes to gaining insight across all their IT processes, they face massive challenges. Different platforms, expensive “heavyweight” Business Intelligence tools, localized processes. IT doesn’t need more Business Intelligence – IT needs IT Intelligence!

What is “IT Intelligence” exactly? IT Intelligence is insight into all IT processes, tools, infrastructure, mainframe and more. It’s not just reporting on release status or seeing the Service Level Agreement (SLA) for a help desk team. It’s understanding how all IT processes, data and metrics all relate to each other, so IT can be as effective as possible.

IT Intelligence allows everyone from IT executives to team members to external stakeholders to understand what’s going on across all IT. For example:

  • IT management: can see cycle times for each step needed to deliver what the business needs, as well as potential bottlenecks across all teams and projects
  • Business users: know the status of all their enhancement requests and have visibility into which release trains they are slated for
  • Business analysts: have full traceability across all requirements, code, test plans associated with the business demands
  • Developers: can view cross-project development and QA cycle times, amount of turnovers, requirements and test coverage, etc.
  • Service reps: can view SLA metrics for different types of requests

IT Intelligence isn’t just BI reinvented. IT needs insight without all the custom programming, long deployments and rigid modeling that plague traditional BI tools. In order for IT to gain better knowledge and understanding, IT Intelligence should be:

  • Quick to deploy
  • Work across any IT process, platform and tool
  • Easy to adapt to changing tools or processes
  • Highly personalizable for anyone in the IT value chain

I encourage you to see IT Intelligence for yourself. You can try out an interactive demo of our new Orchestrated IT Dashboard.



How do you best implement Agile lifecycle practices to ensure end-to-end agility for IT application and service delivery?  

Creative Intellect Consulting (CIC), a prominent UK analyst firm, has written a “creative short” – a short paper filled with expert insights – on what leading IT organizations are doing to be truly agile across the entire enterprise. Learn how you can successfully extend agile from a core development focus to a standard that stakeholders across the entire application delivery lifecycle can embrace.  

Read the “12 Strategies for Delivering End-to-End Agility” to learn how to: 

  • Focus on end-to-end IT processes to help all IT be more agile.
  • Maintain governance and auditability without sacrificing agile benefits.
  • Enable IT Operations to more easily manage the higher volume of agile sprints and releases.
  • Overcome organizational and technological challenges with hybrid water-scrum-fall techniques.



It’s been one month since Serena launched Dimensions CM 12.2, and for IT organizations struggling to balance faster delivery with greater control, CM 12.2 has been an early holiday gift! As I’ve been meeting with customers these last few weeks, I’ve been hearing some very positive feedback from those trying out the latest release. 

  • “The combination of better traceability reports offered by Dimensions CM and new reversible headers features will make the adoption of the CM platform from PVCS much easier.”
  • “The performance numbers from Dimensions CM 12.2 look very promising.  Anything that is done to reduce the amount of time required to deliver changes translates directly into increased developer productivity and satisfaction with CM.”
  • “The new expanded keywords in Dimensions CM 12.2 are critical for our teams. They provide parity with what our developers were used to in PVCS and allow our developers to be more consistent in the information that is delivered via the variables.”

I’m very proud of all the extensive enhancements that the Serena R&D team has done with CM 12.2. Here are just some of the key highlights:

  • Parallel development enhancements to drive customer satisfaction
  • Certified integrations, especially for systems development tools, to increase productivity for manufacturing customers
  • PVCS-style support to facilitate PVCS → CM migration opportunities

In addition, significant work has been done on CM 12.2 to continue improving product performance, product quality and customer satisfaction. Here are just a few key metrics highlighting Serena’s attention to product quality:

  • Almost 6x performance improvement in delivering files into a stream against a request
  • Up to 45% improvement in scanning file work-area to calculate differences
  • 20% more test cases compared to CM 12.1
  • 17.5% customer backlog reduction
  • 20.5% customer regression backlog reduction 

For more information on Dimensions CM 12.2, I encourage you to see the full release notes for all the details.