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Project management

Maintenance window goal

When we stop actively working on a project, the project moves to the maintenance phase. Any project that does not have a full-time team on it is considered to be on maintenance. The maintenance window goal is to ensure that the project does not go to a state where we would not want to work on it. The maintenance window also serves as a pragmatic way of bulking tasks to reduce context-switch. The maintenance window is not a tool for moving a project out of the legacy status nor to develop new functionality.

During a planned maintenance window, the DI team will perform tasks such as:

  • Update security vulnerabilities (by Dependabot).
  • Check the Asana board for any reported bugs and fix them.
  • Check error tracking tool and fix small issues. If the bugs are complex to solve, the team will inform the client.
  • Check the Asana board for any small prioritized task
  • Monitor app. Check metrics and add-ons and services. Are add-on plans correct? Do we need to upgrade resources?
  • Check the Asana board for chores.
  • Update programming language
  • Update the main framework
  • Update other libraries (most relevant first)
  • Create new tests

Note that it is not expected that the team performs all actions during a maintenance window. The team will assess what is the most important for the project.

SLAs are paid per hour. If a task cannot be completed on the scheduled maintenance window (like a major framework update, or a tricky bug), we will inform the client.

Estimating a maintenance window.

To get to a first estimate, the team may use a point system based on 4 common factors:

  • Frequent small changes requested
  • Large app
  • High traffic
  • Legacy code / Low test coverage

The project is classified depending on how many items are relevant to the project.

  • High maintenance: 3 or more items. 30 hours monthly
  • Medium maintenance: 2 items: 30 hours quarterly
  • Low maintenance: 0-1 items: 30 hours semi-annually.

The team working on the project should determine the relevant maintenance window based on all the information they have. The above method should be used as a reference, and it is a good conversation starter.

Scheduling the maintenance window

After the customer has approved the maintenance window, the PM will schedule a task on the Digital Infrastructure board.