Case StudyStream Team: Building - Empowering Continuous Delivery Culture at HMH

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH) faced substantial challenges in their software development processes. The existing monolithic architecture and traditional development methods led to lengthy deployment cycles and slowed down the release of new features. The engineering teams encountered significant bottlenecks, which hampered their ability to quickly integrate and deliver changes. Additionally, the cultural mindset within the teams needed to shift towards more collaborative and agile practices to fully embrace continuous delivery and DevOps principles.

Empowering Continuous Delivery Culture at HMH

The Solution

HMH embarked on a comprehensive journey to adopt continuous delivery and foster a DevOps culture. This transformation involved both technological advancements and cultural changes within the engineering teams.
Technological Advancements:

  • Adoption of Continuous Delivery: HMH transitioned from sporadic releases to a continuous delivery model. This shift allowed for the automatic deployment of code changes to production, reducing the time between development and release.
  • Infrastructure Automation: Implementing infrastructure automation tools enabled the rapid provisioning and scaling of environments. This ensured consistency and reliability across different stages of the deployment pipeline.
  • Test Automation: Comprehensive test automation was introduced to validate code changes at every stage of the integration process. This minimized manual testing efforts and increased the reliability of releases.
  • Enhanced Monitoring and Feedback: HMH implemented robust monitoring and feedback mechanisms to track the performance and health of their applications in real time. This allowed for immediate identification and resolution of issues.
    Cultural Shift:
  • DevOps Mindset: The engineering teams adopted a DevOps mindset, emphasizing collaboration between development and operations. This cultural shift promoted shared responsibility for the delivery and quality of software.
  • Empowerment and Autonomy: Teams were empowered to take ownership of their code and deployments. This autonomy enabled quicker decision-making and fostered a sense of accountability.
  • Continuous Learning: HMH encouraged a culture of continuous learning and improvement. Regular training sessions and workshops were conducted to keep the teams updated with the latest practices and tools in the industry.

Outcomes achieved

The adoption of continuous delivery and a DevOps culture led to several notable improvements for HMH:
Increased Deployment Frequency: HMH significantly increased the frequency of their deployments. The ability to continuously deliver code changes allowed for faster release cycles and quicker delivery of new features to customers.
Enhanced Product Quality: Automated testing and continuous integration ensured that code changes were thoroughly validated before reaching production. This resulted in higher quality releases with fewer bugs and issues.
Improved Efficiency: Automation of infrastructure and testing processes reduced the manual efforts required, leading to more efficient use of engineering resources and faster turnaround times.
Scalability and Flexibility: The automated infrastructure allowed HMH to scale their environments seamlessly, meeting growing demands without extensive manual intervention.
Cultural Benefits: The shift to a DevOps culture improved collaboration and communication within the teams. This fostered a more agile and responsive development environment, where teams worked together towards common goals.

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