The recent IBM InterConnect 2016 focused on plenty of tools and technologies, from cloud/SaaS solutions to containers and automation, but there was another popular topic of conversation heard in the halls—the culture of organizations. The basic premise of these conversations was that unless you get the culture right, all the technology in the world won’t get an organization to where it needs to be to compete in the ongoing digital transformation.
At Nationwide, we have developed a foundational DevOps model that has two main pillars built on top of Gene Kim’s “The Three Ways” and lean and agile principles.
While there are initiatives to implement the DevOps-related practices such as continuous integration using Jenkins, continuous delivery using TaskTop and UrbanCode and version control everything using GIT, how does one influence culture? Because clearly if the culture is not correct, technology solutions will not be enough to reach the goals of DevOps in terms of reducing lead time and enabling the business areas to be more responsive to market needs.
Trust: The Foundation of Culture
A key component of what underpins culture is trust. This was emphasized in a blog written by Lee Reid last year titled, “The Simple Math of DevOps.”
So how does one build trust? Here are 13 behaviors that build trust from Steven Covey:
Colin Powell, in a video on the Essence of Leadership, talks in a powerful way about this, saying that one way to build trust is to “Do what you say and say what you do.” He also stresses that successful leaders are those who provide selfless service to their teams.
I don’t claim to have any magical formula to build trust, but clearly an organization’s transformational success must include a focus on culture and trust. Without this, the true promise of DevOps won’t be realized.
You can read more about my session, “Achieving continuous visibility across the DevOps Lifecycle” at InterConnect 2016.
About the Author| Carmen DeArdo
Carmen DeArdo is technology director at Nationwide Insurance. An ardent advocate of DevOps and a leading speaker in the DevOps and technology related events, Carmen is responsible for driving continuous delivery utilizing DevOps, lean and agile techniques across mobile, distributed and mainframe and other technologies.