A transformation can’t come from simply changing some tools or tweaking some antiquated processes to create improved collaboration. This is ultimately setting yourself up to fail. The magic comes from creating a universal change. You want to just improve your DevOps teams? Why not improve your entire organization? Be dramatic—organizational opposed to departmental. It sounds long and hard, and it will be. But ultimately, many companies must disrupt themselves to survive.
Among many other benefits, DevOps breaks down the walls between development and operation teams. But what about the other walls? We (almost) got rid of cubicles and separate offices a while ago. Now, the walls between the wider teams must also come down to become a modern organization.
Change is OK. It’s necessary, it’s powerful and it’s now. Change is about stepping out of our comfort zone and working on new and efficient ways to collaborate, all while bringing new processes and modern technologies to compliment the needs.
“Our only security is our ability to change.” — John Lilly
Take risks or die not trying. In a world of change, we can take a few calculated risks along the way. The status quo has changed and we are continually driving collaboration and communication. When the people get together ideas are born. Let’s give those ideas a shot.
“It is not necessary to change, survival is not mandatory” — Edward Deming
Agility across the business. Allocate guilds within the teams to continue to develop and foster this new change of culture. Focus on connecting one small team to another to start, rather than conquering the world, and then roll out to more and more teams over time.
“Success today requires the agility and drive to constantly rethink, reinvigorate, react and reinvent” – Bill Gates
Hire the right mindset and not the right tools. The winning hires are the people who join your organization not just to implement some fancy new orchestration tool and automate a few processes, but those who come in with the “multiple hats” mindset. In DevOps, job titles mean less. An implementation and automation engineer is more than just an implementation and automation engineer. The quicker you understand that, the better your DevOps hires and transformation will be. Here’s a great article from my friend Conor Delanbanque that offers more insight on scaling teams.
“If you don’t understand how to run an efficient operation, new machinery will just give you new problems of operation and maintenance. The sure way to increase productivity is to better administrate man and machine.” — Edward Deming
Constant feedback is necessary. As part of a successful transformation, feedback to the business must be considered as important as the feedback during all phases of continuous integration, testing and deployment. I have seen many successful transformations in which the business side has been actively involved to ensure feedback was effectively passed along to other teams and departments within the organization.
“I think it’s very important to have a feedback loop, where you’re constantly thinking about what you’ve done and how you could be doing it better.” – Elon Musk