Continuous Delivery in a Restaurant

by Yves Hanoulle

What value are you delivering?

A few days ago I spoke with Vasco Duarte & Johanna Rothman about delivering a product into production with defects and the resulting time it took with fixing these defects. And I had a picture in my head of how that would be in a restaurant (I have a son who is learning to become a cook, so I think a lot about how restaurants are organized).

  1. Then you order an appetizer and they bring it to you.
  2. While they deliver your drinks, they ask you what you want to eat, and then they make that and deliver that to you.
  3. While you eat, you might ask for some extra bread, french fries, water and they will deliver that to you.
  4. When you are done, you can ask for a dessert or a coffee and they deliver that to you.

Imagine that a restaurant has a KPI to deliver your food 10 minutes after you have ordered it.

You asked for a well-done steak. The cook knows it’s not well-done on time, yet the cook gets punished for not delivering the steak. All because the management created that KPI or expected the work to be done by a certain time — regardless of whether the work was done. In management’s defense, they might think it’s a timebox to have the work done, yet as you will quickly discover, that is not how the cook feels it.

CD is about continuous delivery of finished products with the desired quality.

Delivering a non-finished product or a finished product with known bugs (that is not finished in my eyes, but some people make that distinction) is not what CD is about. Delivering a non-finished product is not what delivering interim value is about, either.

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