Question: How to broadcast to the whole IT team the current and future environment usage plan, in a fluid project with constant changing priorities?
When a project is relatively small (5 to 10 people working with a specific module and with a dozen artifacts), the development cycle is relatively controlled: All stakeholders are aware of what's the status of testing in progress in each (physical) environment. It is possible to
- build local ->
- promote into testing environment for integration testing ->
- promote for user acceptance ->
- promote into PROD.
That's bread and butter. There's no need to track 'environment usage' because it's natural.
However, on bigger projects, having a controlled environment usage is a must to avoid overlaps and clashes. Assume the following scenario:
- 100+ developers and analysts
- 10 Internal testing environments
- 4 User testing environments
- 6 project 'components' (a.k.a. sub-projects with specific team leads)
- 9 clients (the project is 80% shared between clients, with a few specificities)
- 50+ artefacts
- 3 branches per artefact (development / testing / pre-production)
Taking into account each 'sub-project' can be touching several artefacts at once for different project phases and clients, planning and controlling such environment usage is a terrible pain.
Is there any methodology or best practice recommended for or related to control and communicate environment usage?
Is there any default view to present this to all stakeholders? Having one Excel sheet with a calendar with all the above aspects, as one might deduce, is terribly complex and hard to read for a new joiner.
Consider a physical environment as one resource, per se, doesn't address the question, since you can be operating with 1 or 9 clients at once over the same resource, as long as the development phase is the same. Likewise, you cannot have in the same environment two clients working on different development phases - as the maturity and requirements are different at each stage.