Written by Ryan Kinderman and Roshan Poojary

Background

Customers and merchants rely on Groupon to deliver a great experience all the time. This is particularly important and challenging during holiday periods including Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Every year, driven by these holiday periods, service and engineering teams across Groupon work to ensure that they are operationally ready to scale and meet the demands of our customers and merchants.

However, in 2017 we realized that the process for ensuring operational readiness had become inefficient. Every year, for a number of years leading up to that point, efforts were made to collect and/or verify information about the services within the company. Teams had to put in extra time to answer redundant questions asked in previous years, and fill out a variety of ad-hoc docs and spreadsheets, and they had to sacrifice product development time to do so. In many cases, the system of record for the verified data was Service Portal but since a single team was tasked with managing the data for all of Groupon’s services, and it was doing so largely manually once a year, the data was either missing, incomplete, or out-of-date. As a result of noticing this yearly pattern and its costs, we set out to enhance Service Portal, and move it from a repository of centrally- and manually- procured managed service metadata, to one that increasingly decentralizes and automates the management and procurement of that data. This was to be done leveraging regular service and engineering health checks, so that operational readiness was a constant focus, not merely driven by holiday cycles. …

Roshan Poojary

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