In the push to adopt DevOps among enterprise IT organizations, cohesion has been one of the biggest challenges in collaborating effectively. Historically, departments within a business existed in disparate locations, or silos. Marketing, IT and operations all had their own teams and their own communication channels, which made it difficult for members of separate teams to work successfully with one another despite the fact that they were working toward a common goal.
However, with the continuing adoption of DevOps, IT admins are finding that projects are easier and more well-executed when all the parts of the development cycle—creation, coding, testing and deployment—are working in tandem. Therefore, it’s becoming ever more critical that agile product teams are on the same page when it comes to their DevOps projects.
Why is it so important to have a development team that coheres as one entity and communicates effectively among all its members? Let’s take a look:
Quicker feedback cycles
When team members are working as one unit instead of disparate entities, testing and development cycles don’t have to be long, drawn-out affairs. One of the biggest benefits of DevOps itself is the ability to shorten time to market and deploy code more quickly, with fewer errors—so enabling teams to communicate can only enhance that benefit.
According to DevOps.com contributor John Balena, facilitated collaboration allows teams to achieve continuous testing goals and streamline processes. This can lead to a continuous delivery cycle, which is the goal of DevOps in the first place.
“DevOps can best be realized when IT operates in a social, collaborative environment that ensures all groups are working with a visual model in their context with the necessary information from downstream and upstream teams, as well as in collaborating with relevant experts at the moment when clarifications are needed or issues arise,” Balena wrote.
With a collaborative DevOps culture, no one person or group of people is responsible for the entire project. It is a team effort that doesn’t rest on anyone’s shoulders unnecessarily. This makes the project more of a shared endeavor, which everyone is invested in and cares about. With silos, when something goes wrong, members of different teams may try to lay blame on one another, which lowers morale and may defeat the entire purpose of DevOps. But when teams are communicating effectively, they can share blame—but they also share success.
This mindset enhances the teamwork aspect of software development and can help get rid of the culture of fear, according to DevOps.com contributor Claire Agutter. When teams work together within a blameless culture, they can more quickly see and learn from their mistakes.
Throughout all of the steps of the software development life cycle, another important advantage of teams working together is that they share a common vision of how the company should progress. Business needs and customer satisfaction are both critical factors in the DevOps cycle, and team members should all be on the same page when it comes to these goals.
In all, it’s critical for IT managers to support a culture of collaboration and communication if their DevOps endeavors are going to succeed. You need the right tools for the job, but you also need to have the right attitude.
“Culture is like quality,” DZone contributor Jim Bird wrote. “You don’t build culture, or quality by talking about it. You build it by doing things, by acting, by making things happen and making things change, and reinforcing these actions patiently and continually over time.”
A collaborative DevOps culture can improve project success.
About the Author/Sanjay Zalavadia
As the VP of Client Service for Zephyr, Sanjay brings more than 15 years of leadership experience in IT and Technical Support Services. Throughout his career, Sanjay has successfully established and grown premier IT and Support Services teams across multiple geographies for both large and small companies. Most recently, he was Associate Vice President at Patni Computers (NYSE: PTI) responsible for the Telecoms IT Managed Services Practice where he established IT Operations teams supporting Virgin Mobile, ESPN Mobile, Disney Mobile and Carphone Warehouse. Prior to this Sanjay was responsible for Global Technical Support at Bay Networks, a leading routing and switching vendor, which was acquired by Nortel. Sanjay has also held management positions in Support Service organizations at start-up Silicon Valley Networks, a vendor of Test Management software, and SynOptics.
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