The Story of Environment Managers
In the past, there was no need to manage Test Environments because teams were working on large and monolithic software projects that were moving slowly. Often, only two environments were required: QA and Production.
In the last decades, there has been an exponential increase in complexity (with micro-services architectures) and speed (with Agile methodologies) with the necessity of expanding the number of Test Environments and managing their usage.
At first, Release Managers were managing non-productive Environments, but soon a new position had to be created to cope with this increasing complexity that had to be handled: the Test Environment Manager.
As a Test Environment Manager, you have to balance budgets with timelines and other constraints to give software and QA teams the systems they need to ensure the best software quality.
As a Test Environment Manager, you need reliable information about your Test Environments, often spread across many tools used by Developers, Testers, Operations, Project Managers, etc.
It could be a spreadsheet or a Confluence page for your Environment Inventory, or an Outlook Shared Calendar for Test Environment allocation.
What if you could get a single source of truth about all your Environments?
As a Test Environment Manager, your primary concern should be to ensure that information about Test Environments is shared across all the relevant stakeholders. Everybody should get direct access to the current status of their environments and the exact versions deployed on each of them.
You have to make sure to publish:
- A Test Environment Inventory accessible to all relevant stakeholders
- A transparent Test Environment Schedule with a clear booking process (if your Environments are shared among multiple people or teams)
- (optional) An Environment Self-service for giving more autonomy to non-technical people, so that they could easily deploy a different version or provision an additional environment
If your company is using Jira already, you can enable the Golive plugin in just a few clicks and start building your IT Environments Inventory. An Environment Booking System relies on Jira issues so that you can customize your fields and approval workflows and highlight Booking Conflicts.
With the Timeline displaying all activities taking place in your Environments, all your stakeholders will be up to date on Environments allocation, which will save you plenty of time to work on more value-added activities.