In general, websites are fast becoming the face of any institution and therefore lots of attention is paid in making sure that the services offered on websites are optimum. This is a fundamental reason why we use Akamai's services!
Now when you have to make any change on these websites, everyone and mostly the change control team would scrutinize the details of the change to make sure they understand the impact, risk level and complexity. The key decision factor for an approval is the fact that you have tested the change in Staging and everything went well. Therefore you are ready to move to Production.
But when Staging is not an option, how do you get your approval? How do you convince the change control team that everything will work as planned?
This is a reality in the Akamai world as not every change can be staged first before being promoted to production (this is the case of slot changes).
One way address this challenge is to:
1- get a list of known cases where staging is not an option;
2- educate the change control team on the fact that there is no way to test the change in a staging environment. Make sure you have supporting document from Akamai. This will take some time during the change control meeting and you need to go straight to the point, avoid to be too technical and give allowance for questions. Make sure you give the list of cases where staging is not an option, thus anticipating future changes;
3- make sure you have a testing team ready for smoke testing and validation after the change is deployed;
4- make sure you have a clean and simple backout plan (Akamai has a good versioning plan!).
This is just one way to look at this challenge and I will love to hear from the Akamai community how they address this situation.