Case StudyStream Team: Deploying - Embracing Risk in Continuous Delivery for Regulated Industries

Qualio, a company operating in the regulated healthcare industry, faced significant challenges in implementing continuous delivery practices. The stringent regulatory requirements imposed rigorous compliance checks and documentation, which slowed down the deployment process. Balancing the need for rapid innovation with regulatory compliance was crucial to maintaining competitive advantage while ensuring product safety and efficacy.

Embracing Risk in Continuous Delivery for Regulated Industries

The Solution

Kevin Duggan, Director of Engineering at Qualio, led the initiative to adopt continuous delivery while effectively managing the inherent risks of operating in a regulated industry. The approach involved several strategic steps:

  • Risk Assessment and Management: Conducting thorough risk assessments to identify potential compliance and security risks associated with continuous delivery. Developing a risk management plan that included mitigation strategies and contingency plans.
  • Compliance Automation: Implementing tools and processes to automate compliance checks and documentation. This included integrating automated testing and validation into the continuous delivery pipeline to ensure that all regulatory requirements were met before deployment.
  • Incremental Adoption: Gradually introducing continuous delivery practices in stages to allow for careful monitoring and adjustment. Starting with less critical components and progressively applying the practices to more critical systems.
  • Cross-Functional Collaboration: Encouraging collaboration between engineering, compliance, and quality assurance teams to ensure that all perspectives were considered. Regular communication and joint decision-making helped align goals and streamline processes.
  • Continuous Monitoring: Setting up robust monitoring and logging systems to track the performance and compliance of deployed features in real-time. This enabled quick identification and resolution of any issues that arose post-deployment.
  • Training and Culture Change: Providing training for all team members on the principles and practices of continuous delivery and its importance in a regulated environment. Fostering a culture that embraced change, innovation, and continuous improvement.

Outcomes achieved

The implementation of continuous delivery at Qualio, guided by a careful balance of risk and innovation, resulted in several key outcomes:

  • Faster Deployment: The automation of compliance checks and the streamlined deployment pipeline significantly reduced the time required to bring new features to market.
  • Improved Compliance: Automated compliance checks ensured that all regulatory requirements were consistently met, reducing the risk of non-compliance and associated penalties.
  • Enhanced Agility: The incremental adoption of continuous delivery practices allowed Qualio to respond more quickly to market changes and customer needs, maintaining a competitive edge.
  • Risk Mitigation: The comprehensive risk management plan and continuous monitoring helped mitigate potential risks, ensuring the stability and security of deployed features.
  • Collaboration and Efficiency: Cross-functional collaboration and improved communication led to more efficient processes and a better understanding of the regulatory landscape among all team members.
  • Positive Cultural Shift: The training and cultural change initiatives fostered a more innovative and proactive work environment, where team members were more open to adopting new practices and technologies.

Watch the full case study

ZeroBlockers Docs

Teams, processes, practices, artifacts and more...

We're busy putting the final touches on our ZeroBlockers guide. The guide will provide a comprehensive overview to the ZeroBlockers framework, including detailed descriptions of the key processes, practices and artifacts produced by each of the five core ZeroBlockers team types.

Subscribe for updates on when the guide will be available (we're targeting the end of July.)

ZeroBlockers giude screenshot