The last thing you want as an environment manager is to be caught off guard by a sudden need for a new environment. It could be an urgent production bug or an unrealistic deadline for a high-profile project that cannot be met without disrupting existing QA and staging environments.
As much as you may want to enforce policies and plan ahead, some battles are just not worth fighting. But fear not, the key to your success as an environment manager lies in how you prepare for these emergencies. So before the Steering Committee is called in to review another business case for buying more, why not take control of the situation by following these steps to ensure you are ready for any emergency environment request.
Create a Plan for Emergencies
Survey your biggest customers and plan for the unexpected:
One way to prepare for emergency environment requests is to survey your biggest customers and understand their requirements. This will help you plan ahead and ensure that you have enough resources to handle unexpected situations. For larger projects, it’s important to reserve capacity for unexpected scheduling changes or bugs. This will help you avoid delays and ensure that critical deadlines are met.
Set aside some hardware and resources for the unexpected:
It’s important to model your application’s needs and set aside enough excess capacity to deal with unexpected situations. If you’re developing a web application that interacts with services, make sure you can spin up a separate environment for all system components. It’s also important to ensure that you never reach 100% allocation of existing hardware or cloud-based resources. By doing this, you can avoid running out of resources when you need them the most.
Look to the Cloud:
Setting up testing environments on a public cloud like AWS, Azure or GCP can be a wise decision for an enterprise that uses a hybrid of in-house resources and public cloud systems. This allows for the use of cloud-based resources as an emergency “chute.” By taking advantage of the public cloud’s scalability and flexibility, additional capacity for an application can be quickly created by deploying VM resources. This can be a valuable strategy for businesses that need to respond quickly to unforeseen demands on their resources.
Plan for “more than one” environment emergencies:
Don’t assume one will be enough. When it comes to test environment emergencies, it’s best to plan for the worst-case scenario. Emergency environment requests are often made in response to a critical production bug. Problems in complex systems tend to happen in clusters, so you need to be ready to handle more than one unanticipated emergency at once.
Test the emergency plan
Test the plan regularly:
It’s important to test your emergency plan regularly to ensure that it works as intended. This will help you identify any weaknesses or gaps in your plan and address them before an actual emergency occurs. Regular testing also helps you ensure that your team is prepared to handle emergencies effectively.
Involve all stakeholders:
When testing your emergency plan, it’s important to involve all stakeholders, including developers, testers, and business users. This will help you ensure that everyone is on the same page and knows what to do in case of an emergency. It’s also important to provide training and documentation to all stakeholders to ensure that they understand the emergency plan and can execute it effectively.
Collect feedback and make improvements:
After testing your emergency plan, it’s important to collect feedback from all stakeholders and make improvements as necessary. This will help you ensure that your plan is effective and up-to-date. It’s also important to review your plan periodically and update it as necessary to reflect changes in your environment or business needs.
Dont advertise your excess stock
It’s essential not to advertise excess environment capability as it may lead to unnecessary requests for resources that could have been reserved for real emergencies. Using a TEM tool like Enov8 can help you model environment requirements, predict which projects are going to have conflicting environment requirements, and avoid test environment emergencies.
By following these steps, you can be confident that your team is prepared for any test environment emergencies that may arise and can handle them efficiently.
In conclusion, test environment emergencies can be disruptive and costly for any organization. Independent of the type of testing environment, It is important to have a plan in place that covers the needs of all stakeholders, so you are prepared for unanticipated events. By following these steps, you can ensure that your team is ready for any emergency environment requests and can handle them efficiently.
Author: Andrew Walker of Enov8
Andrew is a key member of the Enov8 platform design team. Enov8 is a comprehensive Solution for Test Environment Management needs. The Enov8 system enables users to model the environment requirements of every application team independently, allowing for a thorough assessment of an entire organization’s environment requirements. This visibility has proven to be invaluable for Enov8’s customers, who are able to accurately predict what it will take to support hundreds of projects across several departments. With Enov8, users can create more precise environment forecasts and predict potential conflicts in environment requirements between different projects. This foresight helps organizations avoid test environment emergencies and ensures the success of their Environment Management efforts.