A CTO’s View: Driving Continuous Alignment with Mattermost 6.0

The past few weeks have marked a real milestone for the Mattermost community. My co-founder and longtime colleague, Ian, shared his reflections on our huge v6.0 launch, and I echo his take on the magnitude of the launch and our new product capabilities.

As CTO at Mattermost, I have the unique pleasure of leading product development efforts for an open source platform backed by an inspiring community of contributors and enthusiasts.
While we have had a number of significant announcements over the past few years, this most recent launch is the most impactful event since we first shipped Mattermost.

A lot of this has to do with what we have learned, rather than what we have done. As CTO, I have to spend just as much time learning, as I do, leading. And, over the past year, I have learned a great deal about the unprecedented responsibilities placed on developers and technologists around the globe.

Setting developers up for success in the digital enterprise

The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the adoption of digital operations in the enterprise, and created surging expectations for developers and leaders to ship and operate software—reportedly over 500 million new applications over the next 5 years— at 24×7 availability.

This will be a monumental challenge for developers, and the Mattermost community.

And, this is where Mattermost v6.0 comes in, and why I think our developer collaboration platform, with the newly released workflow playbooks and project management solutions, is primed for this new reality and environment.

Delivering Alignment at Scale for Digital Operations

As digital transformation efforts continue to proliferate, and software development velocity is increasingly mission-critical to competitive advantage, there is an increased demand for agile, digital, and automated workflows and tools that can scale to help technical teams align, make informed decisions, and commit to actions.

The Mattermost platform now provides flexible alternatives to many common collaboration tools through a unified platform for increased productivity across a wide range of software development processes — from sprint planning and release management to incident resolution and retrospectives.

Here is a quick look under the hood at the extensive enhancements (and achievements) our product and engineering team have built:

Channels: The foundation of the Mattermost platform, Channels now bring all of your team’s communication into one place for complete visibility and control with team messaging, conferencing, file sharing, and so much more.

Playbooks: Formerly known as Incident Collaboration, Playbooks are prescribed workflows that streamline complex, recurring processes and make any structured processes repeatable and predictable using checklists, triggers, automation, and tool integrations.

Boards: Boards are Kanban-style task and project management solutions with clearly defined tasks, owners, checklists, and deadlines to help teams increase transparency and keep all resources readily available.

In combination, these three integrated solutions deliver continuous alignment at every time scale.

From the real-time communication of Channels, to the look-ahead, project planning capabilities of Boards, and everything in between, this “new” version of Mattermost will align teams across all phases of the development lifecycle — from plan and build to release and maintain.

Frictionless Collaboration Across Structured and Unstructured Data

One of the reasons I am so excited about the launch of our new solutions and unified platform is that developers will have access to all of their critical data in a single view.

Historically, technical teams rely on structured data from systems, tools and data to make informed decisions. And while many different monitoring and analytics tools and solutions exist to illuminate this data, and help facilitate informed actions, there has long been a void in providing a common operating platform that actually facilitates action.

That’s where we come in. With Mattermost, we’re merging the unstructured data–conversations, messages, file sharing, code merges and reviews, and more—to this structured data to support action, triage, and better outcomes.

Developers have long lived where these different types of structured and unstructured data come together, and now we are providing a common platform to accelerate response and action. Our users can seamlessly orchestrate sophisticated workflows, pulling in the right personnel and specialists, right from a Channel, or via Playbook, in the midst of an outage, incident, or other activity that follows a prescribed process.

This mix of structured alerting, monitoring data, and a common system for real-time and async collaboration via prescribed checklists and workflows will help teams break siloes, and come together to solve increasingly complex technical and business challenges.

Driving continuous alignment with the Mattermost platform

I am extremely excited to provide developers, and the Mattermost community with a more robust platform to help tap the siloed knowledge that exists across their teams. By removing the guesswork that comes from structured alerts and data, and mapping it to the right workflows, people, and prescribed activities, we are hopeful that the natural curiosity of developers to investigate issues will be unlocked.

And by supporting continuous alignment, and busting the natural siloes formed by structured, and often closed data, we are confident that Mattermost will help deliver a frictionless collaboration experience to help you do your job more effectively and decisively.

We couldn’t be more excited to be on this journey with you, and look forward to your critical feedback to help us iterate on Mattermost v6.1 and beyond.

Get started with v6.0 here, and join our Community server to share your comments and contributions. If you are new to Mattermost, give us a shot with a free 30-day trial of our Enterprise Edition.

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Corey Hulen is the CTO and co-founder of Mattermost, Inc., an open source platform for secure collaboration across the entire software development lifecycle. Prior to Mattermost, he founded Tempo AI, a machine intelligence startup spun out from Stanford Research Institute, which was acquired by Salesforce.com. Before that, Corey served as an engineering manager and architect for Microsoft Office in its enterprise software business across the SharePoint and Business Intelligence product lines. He is an alumnus of California Polytechnic State University.

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