How Majestyk Helped Planned Parenthood Gain Control of Their Mobile DevOps

Majestyk began working with Planned Parenthood in early 2019 to build out their Mobile DevOps processes and select the right toolsets to launch one of their initial mobile products. Since partnering we've built a robust plan for how the brand should implement its continuous integration and deployment processes for their specific iOS and Android app and any future products.

With the help of our technical oversight and implementations, Planned Parenthood gained full insight into how their mobile builds are being released, increased the speed of these builds by 10-20 hours per week, and elevated their confidence in the security and quality of their systems.

For over 100 years, Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) has provided reproductive education and healthcare services to millions worldwide. They fight to break down the barriers that block many individuals and communities from receiving the care and knowledge they need to advance their sexual wellbeing.

With a global reach and hundreds of partner clinics operating across 12 countries, PPFA believes all people should have the information and resources they need to make healthy life choices. They advocate for policies that promote women’s and men's health at many levels of legislature. And they aim to continue its mission to bring these services to more people by creating a variety of mobile reproductive health tracking and education tools.

The Challenges

Planned Parenthood first came to us because they wanted more consistency in how developers, release managers, and their team deployed and set up their mobile environments. At the time, their team had technical expertise with building and launching web applications. Still, they wanted more insight into what it takes to execute mobile projects. 

Mobile development is very different from web development. They sought our mobile expertise to understand which tools and third-party vendors would be needed to build their mobile products successfully.

For us, this involved optimizing workflows to increase quality while saving time for their developers. ​We were responsible for building ​a cohesive map on deploying their product ideas in app stores securely. And to ensure consistency in their product rollout, we were tasked with documenting these new workflows to standardize the process.

To ensure security, we provided additional guidance on preventing any breaches from happening with their mobile products.

Through 5+ meetings with different teams including PPFA’s CTO, Security team (infosec), Dev Ops, Web App Dev, and Mobile Dev, they decided we were the right partner to build out their processes in order to grow in a secure and stable manner.

The Solution

To start the engagement with Planned Parenthood, we first audited the current workflows looking for improvement areas. This investigation showed a significant amount of  time could be saved by automating several processes and using the proper toolsets.

With that knowledge in hand, we got to work implementing a continuous integration and deployment pipeline workflow with the proper security strategies. This made it possible to further automate the building, testing, and deploying of mobile products to the Apple app store and Google Play.

As the foundations were set in motion, we onboarded PPFA’s first team to the new processes and toolsets. This included familiarizing the team with various third-party tools we use for security analysis, simulations, emulations, and automated device testing. 

Here are a few examples of the tools we use:

  • Bitrise (CI/CD)
  • BuddyBuild (CI/CD)
  • Firebase (Analytics / Crash reporting)
  • Mixpanel (Analytics)
  • Fastlane (Automation tools)
  • SwiftLint (iOS Linter)
  • XCTest (iOS Unit & UI tests)
  • Embrace (Crash reporting)
  • IBLinter (iOS Linter for .xib and .storyboard files.) Inspired by SwiftLint
  • CocoaPods Keys (A key-value store for environment and application keys so they aren’t in source code AKA Github)
  • AWS Device Farm (Device farm for automated and manual testing)
  • BitBar (Device farm for automated and manual testing)
  • NowSecure (Static, Dynamic and Behavioural analysis on IPA and APK files)
  • Expresso (Android UI tests)
  • JUnit (Android unit tests)
  • Ktlint (Android Linter)
  • Mokito (Android unit tests)
  • LeakCanary (A memory leak detection library for Android)
  • DexGuard (Protecting Android applications and SDKs against reverse engineering and hacking)
  • CodeCov (Produces code test coverage %)

The introduction of these tools allowed Planned Parenthood to enhance quality assurance while preventing faulty code from entering production. Once the team was integrated into the new processes and workflows, we provided (and continue to provide) technical oversight of code development, product architecture, and the team’s performance.

Looking to the future, we plan on expanding the role we play in coding on complex features and any detailed factoring that needs to be done.

Workflow challenges

In the early stages of the collaboration, the Planned Parenthood team was a little concerned about how the implementation of the new processes was going to affect their workflow. 

To gain buy-in from the team, we slowly helped PPFA adopt the changes and showed them that security, CI/CD, and automation, helped them develop higher quality products. After we got over this hurdle, the PPFA team fully understood why we were there and how the changes would benefit everyone involved.

The Results

Enhanced Security – We made the PPFA app more secure by implementing static, dynamic, and behavior analysis tools. This makes it so the PPFA product and leadership teams no longer have to worry about any major security issues now that they're using best practices for security.

Improved Quality
– PPFA now has more confidence in the quality of their products because the proper review protocols are in place. With the implementation of test automation, the PPFA team can catch bad code before it’s released to the public and use phased rollouts to test new features.

Standardization of Processes
– By standardizing PPFA’s build processes, everyone who works on the projects can understand the workflow and stay on the same page. Furthermore, these standardized processes can be reapplied to new projects, boosting speed and quality along the way.

For Example: The documentation and processes that we created and implemented for the first mobile app project will be used for an upcoming one with a new team.Instead of starting from scratch, we can easily onboard this new team who will reap the same benefits as the previous one. 

Time and Cost Savings – By automating a large number of processes, PPFA is now saving around 10-20 hrs per week generating builds. Instead of spending countless hours manually creating releases, the automation allows developers to focus on building new features, which is a huge win.

By exploring this collaboration between Majestyk and PPFA, it’s clear that Mobile DevOps entails much more than simply launching a product. There’s a lot of work put into the continual oversight of the processes, updates, tools, security, and team performance that lead to a successful and stable product. 

Mobile DevOps requires different expertise and experience from Web Development teams. If you don’t have this expertise in-house, it’s wise to work with a trusted partner to ensure that your project can come to life.

If you’re interested in learning more about Mobile DevOps, release management, or any of the tools we mentioned in this article, feel free to reach out to Majestyk with any questions!

Sign up for Our Newsletter

Stay in the loop! Join our newsletter for monthly updates on industry news, company updates, recent work and job openings.


Let's Work Together

Get In Touch 😊