Energy, Sustainability and Deployment Frequency

Deployment / Delivery Frequency

I often end up needing to advocate for more frequent delivery/deployments with clients.

Abstract
Frequency = Energy, Energy = Sustainability

There’s the usual benefits commonly discussed such as improved feedback, reduced risk, well understood processes, maintainable dependencies etc… however what’s often missed entirely is how it relates to the health and sustainability of the team.

Note: I use the term “delivery” and “deployment” interchangeably throughout this post.


I like to think of how get my energy throughout the day/week/month/year in terms of “wins”.

I get the majority of my energy from “wins”.

  • Wins are when I complete, deliver, create or fix something.
    • The amount of energy I get does not scale relative to the size of the win.
    • Even if it did - lots of regular, small wins add up to more energy than a few big wins.
    • From a health point of view - avoiding the need for big-highs is more sustainable, resulting in less big-lows.
  • Toil drains my energy.
    • Overheads such as poor tooling, paperwork, “management culture” etc…
Deployment frequency is a key driver of “wins”.

There are simply more opportunities to get our wins in as delivery rate increases.

Exploring delivery frequency in the context of how we learn is critical if we want to understand how it relates to our health and sustainability.

We learn best with:

  • Tasks that fit in our working memory.

    • If you can’t remember what you did - how will you learn from it?
  • Repetition.

    • Repetition is built on the momentum of wins.
  • System optimisation through simplification.

    • Eliminating unnecessary components and processes reduces context switching and cognitive load.
      • Cognitive load is the amount of mental effort required to process information. As it increases so does the risk of mistakes, fatigue and burnout.
    • As individual efficiency increases - so does our energy.
  • Reward systems.

    • Rewards are in the form of energy attained get from wins.

These are all related to delivery frequency, here in lies the connection to health and sustainability, and as such deployment frequency is a key driver of effective learning.

This highlights that delivery/deployment frequency exists not only within the scope of software quality - but also within the critical path for health and sustainability.

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