How CVP Puts the Biz in DevOps

by | Jul 28, 2017

BizDevOps embraces the idea that DevOps doesn’t exist in a vacuum – you need product owners, business analysts, developers, integrators and stakeholders being involved from the start. Only then can you form a cohesive, integrated team and follow development processes that are defined, streamlined, and, most importantly, repeatable, combined with a roadmap that guides decisions. This repeatable nature permits us to react quickly and efficiently to new opportunities.

The Medicaid 1115 Performance Metrics Database and Analytics (PMDA) program is an example of how CVP approaches DevOps from a “Biz” perspective. The 1115 PMDA application supports Medicaid management and state agency partners by reporting and analyzing the effectiveness of state Medicaid demonstration projects (experiments) in delivering better health care.

Its goal is to collect quality and performance metrics, validate and track incentive payments for 1115 demonstrations that include them, and provide reports and analysis that support oversight and evaluation of demonstration performance.

The Challenge: Processes and People

From the start, the 1115 PMDA project had to address multiple technical and business challenges:

  • Handling a high-profile project with a sprawling scope involves multiple stakeholders, both inside and outside Medicaid
  • Gathering data from 38 states involves engaging the partner agencies to standardize their input
  • Dealing with a dynamic IT environment shifting to open source software at Medicaid means cooperating with other development and operations teams who have their own headaches
  • Using the AWS Cloud computing platform as an early adopter requires hashing out details with IT managers
  • Integrating cost-effective shared services necessitates interfacing with teams that must deliver enterprise-wide services
  • Meeting development Medicaid requirements for architecture, testing, security and privacy requires working with enforcers of standards, rules and regulations

To meet these challenges, the team viewed the solution from multiple perspectives, the business owner and stakeholders, the analysts and programmers, the operations contractor, and the people and processes that intersect at the solution point. Pulling these perspectives together helped to solidify our BizDevOps Approach.

The BizDevOps Solution

Following our BizDevOps Approach for 1115 PMDA, CVP met with the customer. We held regular breakdown sessions that put team members, both analysts and developers, into the same room, often with business owners, where they made prioritized decisions based on business requirements. With this approach, all of the team members had a shared understanding of the business needs and purpose of the solution with the product owner presenting a clear pathway for what needed to be built and maintained.

BizDevOps in action

A recent upgrade to a shared service used by 1115 PMDA revealed the possibility of a security vulnerability if the upgrade was fully implemented. CVP immediately identified the key stakeholders and decision makers, and set up scheduled touchpoints to monitor the situation. This fast action intervention reduced lag time, ensuring that all key personnel were aware of the situation and ready to approve corrective actions. Due to the large number of stakeholders, what could have taken well over a week to receive approval was reduced to less than 24 hours.

CVP team members take an active role in receiving, shaping, and providing insight into the requirements that compose its solutions. This level of insight allows the CVP team to provide the customer a business requirements-centered (the “Biz” in BizDevOps), holistic approach to software development, operations and maintenance.

BizDevOps in action

The customer identified a gap in its outreach to end users two hours before a major release. CVP worked directly with the business owner to identify the affected components and to put them through role-based filtering before deploying the release. This ensured that the end users were not exposed to functionality they were not ready for. CVP made the changes and tested them following our standard procedures in our development environment. With all the BizDevOps processes already in place, this last-minute change was seamless to the client and averted what could have become an issue for our client and end users.

The DevOps world is flooded with service offerings, many centered on automating software builds, testing, and deployment. But the latest tools and techniques do not deliver true business value. CVP’s BizDevOps strategy considers the real business need from the beginning and incorporates varying components of solutions based on a readiness assessment and an organization’s immediate and future needs. CVP draws from its internal experience to curate a list of proven tools to build an inexpensive and timely solution for our customers.

The BizDevOps Advantage

CVP works with organizations to provide training and expectation management that our customers need. BizDevOps not only embraces Continuous Change, but also adapts to it every step of the way. It’s about doing things better, faster, easier and smarter than the traditional methods.

By involving the stakeholder and BizDevOps teams throughout a solution’s entire life cycle, an organization realizes key benefits:

  • Delivering higher quality solutions faster
  • Achieving 100% transparency of the business requirements with the entire team
  • Providing course corrections during the development process that are smoother and easier to achieve

CVP’s BizDevOps strategy is an approach that provides solutions that meet our customers’ current needs and clears the way for the next steps. Its value was recently recognized when the 1115 PMDA program won a FedHealthIT Innovation Award this year.

by Tim Regulski , Lead Technologist, and Sana Humes, Senior Manager

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