As we expand our digital world, there is an ever more urgent need to look after businesses that need to operate faster and with more agility. Because of this, DevOps has grown quickly and become central to a lot of organizations as they pursue a competitive advantage. However, some organizations struggle to implement DevOps as they are unsure how to approach them.
Here are our top six tips on how your team can integrate DevOps successfully.
Discipline and Process
It isn’t just a case of installing DevOps and then getting started with the tools. Your whole company needs to have real clarity about what DevOps is and what exact business needs it can solve. Most importantly, all your team needs to be prepared to change the way things have been done in the past.
Start this process by working out your current application value streams. This is the process needed to move your products from development to production. Being clear on what your constraints, bottlenecks and wait queues are will help you to identify activities to concentrate on.
By identifying areas of inefficiency in your current delivery process, you have an opportunity to make changes in your organization. Encourage your team to ask questions: “Why do we do this? What’s its business value? How can we make it more efficient?”
Any initiative within DevOps should focus on your business’ requirements and be specific to you, not just about getting improved tools. Try not to launch a DevOps initiative before getting clear on the business reason for doing so.
Instead of just focusing on release rates and how to do things faster, look at the business value that will enable. So, for example, an improved release rate could help your team to innovate more quickly.
Many people associate DevOps with automation processes, but it is primarily about collaboration and communication. If you do not have strong collaborative practices that are embraced by everyone in the team, and across all stages of development, simply automating the processes will not give you the benefits that your business is looking for.
By using collaboration, you can get the input of the whole team into which areas need the DevOps implementation first and what impact it can have to each stage of the development process.
Communication and Culture
Here we need to look at your company’s manual processes, which tend to be the most frequent cause of mistakes and delays. Look at your pipeline and keep an eye out for the word “manual.” This could be manual testing or deployment. Anywhere that involves your team communicating through a ticket process. These are classic problem areas for waste and may be where DevOps automation could lead to big rewards.
To achieve this, you need to get your teams onboard with the changes, especially operations, as they are often overlooked when achieving buy-in. The whole organization needs to be excited about the changes and the same process needs to be implemented across the pipeline.
Get Clear on Data
Select metrics that are closely linked to your business goal. How long does it currently take for your product to get from idea to market?
There are three pieces of data to measure to determine this. The lead time, deployment frequency and mean time to recover. All three of these are key to understanding which parts of the process can have the biggest impact when you implement DevOps.
The important thing is to use the same automated system whenever a product goes to any stage of the pipeline, whether that’s development, quality assurance or production. You do not want team members having to manually click configuration steps, or copying software. Each deployment should have the same automation so that the process can operate smoothly.
Starting first with the slowest part of your pipeline, introduce automation one stage at a time. Once the slowest has been automated, look at the next slowest. This way you are always improving processes but getting the biggest shifts each time.
Provided that you have all team members in alignment with the purpose for DevOps, every new step of progress is a win. Then win more support for the bigger steps that the company may need to make.