Diligent preparation, clearly defined workflows and watchful monitoring are key to delivering a high-performing DevOps project. DevOps is one of the hottest buzzwords in programming, but everyone seems to have their own ideas when it comes to structuring and deploying a DevOps team.
In basic terms, DevOps is the integration of developers and IT operations workers into a single group, with the goal of increasing the speed and quality of software deployment. Its creation was a response to concerns over the segregation of teams, which led to communication breakdowns and a lack of cohesion.
Since its inception, DevOps has grown in popularity, with 83% of IT decision-makers stating that they have implemented this style of working in some form.
However, transitioning business focus in this way does not guarantee an immediate change in fortunes–this dynamic represents an IT culture shift, with increased emphasis placed on collaboration and interpersonal skills. For this model to yield returns, engineers should be open to new information, technology and ways of working.
So, what vital steps must a DevOps team take to ensure the successful delivery of a project?
Understanding the Needs of the Client
The preliminary stages can make or break a DevOps project. If the team does not emerge with a vivid idea of what the client wants and how this can be delivered, the venture is doomed to failure.
It is crucial that both the team and the client are willing to put the time in to understand each other’s goals, ensuring that their visions align for the steps to follow. This can be done through a series of meetings and workshops, where objectives are identified and both establish a good comprehension of how the final product should look.
If executed correctly, the DevOps team will exit the project’s first phase with a well-defined brief and a crystal-clear understanding of what the client wants to see delivered. When this step is rushed, engineers will be held back by a lack of direction, increasing the chances that the finished product will not reflect the client’s hopes.
Configuring the Environment
This next phase is where the developmental process of the app begins, which is usually facilitated using a cloud-based solution. The team begins by preparing the environment’s aesthetic, working out the components it should contain and exploring how they should be configured to maximize efficiency.
It is during this period that cybersecurity measures are added so that the final version of the app is as close to impenetrable as possible. This shows why a DevOps team needs a diverse range of skill sets: Cybersecurity experts are few and far between, but there should be at least one member of the group whose knowledge can be called upon to ensure protective measures are properly implemented.
A successful developmental phase is underpinned by clearly structured workflows, with the project mapped out step by step and everyone involved understanding where they fit into the plan and how they can contribute.
However, a DevOps project is rarely smooth sailing from start to finish–development is often disrupted by missed deadlines, bugs and conflicting duties pulling engineers away from their stations. For this reason, agile and multi-skilled team members, who can ably jump in and assist in various areas, are extremely important for ensuring continuity when workflows are derailed.
Avoid Failing at the Final Stages of the Project
Just because the development of a product is complete and the app is live, this does not mean it is time for the DevOps team to rest on their laurels and move on to the next project. It is essential that they continue to monitor the app in its early stages so that any bugs can be identified and immediately fixed.
Engineers should be in place to see how much the environment is burdened and how it responds depending on the rate and number of new users. Any data obtained is a precious commodity and should be treated as such, with teams ordering and labeling results as soon as they are collected.
Once the baseline data has been gathered, results can be analyzed to pinpoint which parts of the app may need recalibrating. After making these improvements, the final result should be a product performing at an optimal level while also meeting the client’s specifications.
Don’t Rush the Project’s Process
At the conclusion of all three phases, DevOps teams should have absolute confidence that the project is headed in the right direction and that they are fully equipped to execute the next procedural steps.
A well-designed app is far easier to produce when a team is made up of specialists from an array of fields eager to collaborate and communicate with one another. Assembling the right personnel will aid the smooth transition between the stages of a DevOps project.