DevOps is all about agile transformation, which reaches beyond agile development into production to achieve continuous delivery.
DevOps practices provide help for the necessary next step after agile development to leverage the full potential of agile and avoid massive post-delivery changes through the development teams, but before they are ready to go into production.
It’s not just about technology! In a world of ever increasing consumer demand, rapidly evolving technology and aggressive competition, we will support the evolution of your team to help your business win.
Here at DevOpsGuys, we will support you in creating and delivering a strategy to transition your team towards a DevOps approach, which will:
- Align to the overarching business strategy and priorities.
- Remove departmental silos and bottlenecks.
- Increase cross-team collaboration and transparency
- Reduce waste within your delivery process.
Beginning the Transformation Journey
Culture and Strategy: Dev Ops requires a strong vision and strategy and its success will depend on the awareness, knowledge, skills and motivation of your employees. This pillar addresses the effectiveness and alignment of your awareness-building and ennoblement programs as well as your inactivation system with regard to agility in all involved units, Dev and ops. It also includes a snapshot of the sentiment and motivation of people to make such a change reality.
Automation: This pillar addresses the maturity of your organization in terms of IT automation as an important prerequisite for continuous delivery. Both the application architecture and the Dev Ops automation tool chain are assessed. Relevant automation capabilities in application configuration, provisioning, deployment, test, infrastructure and application monitoring are included in the assessment. The maturity is assessed across the tree layers infrastructure, platform and application, and by technology stack—for example, your SAP platform, .NET or Java stacks—and then combined into a single level.
Structure and Processes: The current organizational structure and methodologies and processes in use within all involved units are assessed with regard to their effectiveness for continuous delivery. This focuses on their agile fit and maturity. Governance and how agile teams and processes are embedded into the broader organization are part of the assessment scope as well.
Collaboration and Sharing: Collaboration and sharing between development, operations, infrastructure and middle ware teams are crucial to accelerate the delivery process and make it leaner. The assessment looks at particular sharing vs. redundancy of tools (e.g., tools used for deployment), information (e.g., the status of a package in the delivery pipeline), processes (e.g., an ITIL release process and a development release process) and functions (e.g., a release engineer in development and a deployment expert in production).
Embarking on an organizational transformation with can be a massive undertaking
In fact, it can be downright overwhelming when you consider the scope and size of the changes it requires. DevOps represents a major cultural change, so keep your expectations in check. Don’t expect the organization to change overnight, and don’t expect the entire organization to change at the same time. Consider following these four steps for a smooth transition.
1. Start at the right place at the right time
Decide where you’ll plant the seeds of change and grow your future DevOps leaders and experts. Where can you harvest quick wins and learn what works and what doesn’t? Start with the business:
- Does it demand speed and velocity from IT?
- Is management desperate to go faster?
- Are they open to change?
If not, you may never get off the ground. Next, look at the IT team supporting the business. Are they receptive or resistant to change? Will they adopt changes and apply DevOps discipline to the way they work? This is a prerequisite.
Then, consider the technology the IT teams are using. If possible, try to choose areas where technology is more cloud and web oriented. It’s not that DevOps is only suitable for web and cloud; it’s that newer technology with lower legacy debt will make it easier for your first time out the gate. Finally, look for an area where the teams will be empowered.
This area should allow them to drive change, own the results, and know when to get out of the way and trust their teams.
Now, to take a page from the shampoo commercials, it’s time to “lather, rinse, and repeat,” following the wisdom of USAF Col John Boyd’s Observe Orient, Decide, Act (OODA) loop.
2. Lather (observe and orient)
Observe and measure how things work today. How long does it take for a new requirement to get to production? Find the areas with the greatest pain, and find the biggest bottlenecks. Get some data, create a baseline, and figure out how to update it.
One word of caution here : Don’t get stuck measuring for the sake of measurement. Do just enough, and then get moving.
3. Rinse (decide and act)
Do something different. The team knows where the problems are, so fix those. If the problem is in coding and builds, work on source control and continuous integration. If testing and QA are the biggest issues, automate and implement continuous testing to streamline those processes.
If the problem area is the deployment and delivery of apps and infrastructure, continuous delivery is the s the place to start.
As you start making changes, don’t forget to pay attention to the data. If the data gets better, then keep going. If things get worse, don’t hesitate to go back to the drawing board.
Don’t rush things. Give the process enough time to sink in with the team. It may even be a month or more before you can go back to the beginning. Any team needs to use the new process and tools several times before they’ll feel confident that it works better than it did before. When your team is finally ready, start again with the data and search for new bottlenecks and pain points.
This is your next opportunity to improve, accelerate, and streamline delivery.Your participation in the DevOps transformation will vary with your role in the organization. IT leaders need to empower the team so they can own the change and the results.
The partnership between IT leadership and the team must be built on mutual trust based on a shared goal of delivering more value to the customer.
But don’t stop there. The improvement loop for DevOps has no end: It’s really all about continuous improvement.