We all learn from mistakes, right? But it would be better if we learned faster and didn’t repeat them in our future exercises. And this is exactly what we will discuss here in this blog.
For a while now, we’ve been overwhelmed by the idea of the DevOps principle. We love how the collaboration between development and operations provides room for automation, continuous integration/delivery and enhanced time-to-market.
But what about the tiny shortcomings we overlook in the process of continuous delivery?
Listed below are some of the don’ts—or, rather, lessons learned from our DevOps implementation in 2018:
Gauging Employee Capacity Over DevOps Delivery
When Carmen DeArdo, Tasktop’s senior value stream management strategist, posed two questions to a crowd of 200 people, they had no answer to give. What were the questions, you might ask?
- How many treat their delivery pipeline tooling as an integrated product with a product owner and an architect?
- How many have any measure of how long it takes for them to deliver a feature or defect?
Companies treat their delivery pipeline tooling as different components along the delivery chain. And, when it comes to measuring time taken, all that matters is getting the product to the finish line.
These components are important if companies need to avoid obvious mistakes on the path to success. Consider the above questions the next time you set out on your DevOps mission. Within this aspect, measuring team happiness is as important as an integrated delivery pipeline tooling, and time is taken to introduce a feature.
Companies need to strike a balance between managing work and achieving team happiness. This is important if the company has a long-term vision. Unhappy employees burdened with work don’t deliver the expected results. A sustainable pace helps companies ensure that employees don’t succumb to pressure.
Revise the Management Strategy
Organizations need to encourage their managers in a way that they are not put off by the DevOps process but rather motivated to build and maintain their team.
Most organizations emphasize giving managers incentives to deliver expected results, maintain quality, expand team size, set immediate goals and rake larger profits. However, this strategy could backfire when applied to a DevOps implementation.
Companies instead should encourage their managers to create an environment where the teams grow and become flexible, not only contributing to that process but also adding value to other processes, hence, the organization’s overall success. This thought process will lead to a chain of positive outcomes.
Upskilled and Cross-Skilled
Gone are the days when specializing in a particular skill was rewarding! The competitive market is looking for a workforce that is upskilled and cross-skilled. In short, employees need to be a package of multiple skills, with an emphasis on soft skills.
Being multi-skilled not only supports transformational goals but also supports an organization’s goals. When the lack of new skills becomes a constraint, companies must invest in hiring individuals to propel transformation, which is equivalent to investing in automation.
Automation ≠ DevOps Success
Somewhere between adopting the DevOps culture and being DevOps-equipped, professionals have shifted from the purpose of DevOps to automation.
In the process, people have lost control over the overall management of DevOps. Either professionals are in a situation in which the code is not built in the intended way or that the automated part is managed but the steps required for automation are not.
Organizations instead should refocus their attention on the scalable nature of DevOps, building a new, fully automated process rather than automating an end-to-end process over time, as it is difficult and also time-consuming. Hence, automation does not equal the DevOps mission accomplished!
From Idea to Blackboard
DevOps once was more an idea of a team discussion rather than full-fledged process. But we saw 2018 transform DevOps from a mere idea to a part and parcel of everyday business—so much that it defines the way businesses plan their finances, regulations and organizational strategy as a whole.
Additionally, DevOps experts in 2018 emphasized the need for value delivery than just focusing on details of technical practices. This can be achieved by constructing a managerial framework that bridges the gaps between business and technology.
Relieve Your DevOps of Old Tech
Last year also witnessed DevOps professionals moving toward new technology such as containers, Kubernetes and serverless. Why? It’s obviousthese technologies enable DevOps to deliver its promises. Trying to innovate the DevOps process or even innovate its end product with old technology will only take you backwards in the DevOps process.
In 2019, we should realize that holding on to old technology will mean limiting your organization’s capabilities and impact.
Identifying the Right DevOps Adoption Patterns
While there are several DevOps adoption patterns out there, some organizations choose a central DevOps team enabling standard CI/CD tooling. The approach is in sync with DevOps thought leaders’ approach of reducing global complexity.
However, this approach fails at catering to the needs of different teams. With the focus only on addressing CI/CD tooling, many centralized teams struggle with adoption.
In another approach, companies seek to engage ambitious and autonomous tools to use DevOps tools and practices.
This approach tends to match the common DevOps belief, ‘First prove that new work methods fit the enterprise, then spread.’ However, these teams are only successful in delivering projects with high levels of automation involved but have quickly failed to convert team-level experience to company-level.
A 2019 DevOps adoption approach should focus on having high levels of team autonomy and reducing global complexity.
Here are some tips to help you achieve this:
- The central architecture team collect and share recommendations about languages, libraries and tools.
- Teams consider these recommendations and experiment to see if there’s an opportunity for greater gain.
- If things aren’t working, teams can change change and undo dead-end technology decisions/ideas.
Now that we are ready with our lessons, it’s time to go live! Are you ready for your DevOps 2019 showdown?