Path to Production

14 Sep 2020 | Lean Inception

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A path to production maps the steps, people, tools, tasks and output for software request/change to reach production.

It is a great technical inception activity for fostering conversations about cross functional requirements, build pipeline, continuous delivery and quality. It is very useful to make it visible the overall process time with all the queues and wait times.

Step by step

  1. Ask the participants to represent the step by step of a new code (or fix/change) takes from the developer machine to the final product artefact (usually deployed in the production environment)
  2. For each step, add notes under it for a few categories; for example: people, tools, tasks and output
  3. Consider renaming the categories for your specific context

Note for Lean Inception facilitators

I have used Path to Production on many technical inceptions, but, at times, I use it on Lean Inceptions for one of the following two reason:

  1. I’ll use the path to production in a Lean Inception that needs to raise the attention to the build pipeline (needed for pushing the MVP features to production).
  2.  I’ll use the path to production in a Lean Inception that the product itself is very technical (for example a platform, a cloud or a pipeline). In such cases, I keep the Lean Inception agenda, but I’ll adapt it as needed; for example I’ll rename an activity from ‘User Journey’ to ‘Code Journey’

The image below depicts this example. Note on the bottom of the path to production that it was mapped to the features.



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>> This content is part of a series on inception activities.


Paulo Caroli

Paulo Caroli is the author of the best-selling book “Lean Inception: How to Align People and Build the Right Product” (the first on a series of books about Lean Strategy and Delivery). He's also the creator of , a site and book about retrospectives, futurospectives and team building activities. Caroli writes on this blog frequently. Receive the next post in your email. Sign up here .
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