DevOps has become a hot strategy for IT teams across just about every industry—and for good reason. DevOps is built around increasing the velocity of the development pipeline, and in businesses where time to market is a key to success, it’s easy to imagine why DevOps has gained traction. While the tools and processes put in place are certainly essential, building the right team—from top to bottom—is maybe the most important factor for getting the most out of a DevOps strategy.
To help get the most out of DevOps initiatives—and to set teams up for long-term, sustained success—here are some basic tips for creating the team that will take development pipelines to new heights.
Change Is Coming
When kicking off a DevOps strategy, it’s clear that changes will be made. But, the extent of those changes may be underestimated. To get the most out of DevOps, it’s not just about changing up the tool stack or switching up meeting styles. The mindset around DevOps is at least as important as the processes. To squeeze the most juice out of a DevOps initiative, make sure the company and leadership understand what all DevOps entails and create the understanding that it requires a lot of internal changes to the existing culture. Getting leadership on board with the cultural changes that come with DevOps will go a long way toward driving success.
This may go without saying, but it is imperative to build a team with the right skills for the task at hand. It can be easy to try to shoehorn people into roles, especially when trying to move quickly. But make sure to set individual talent up for success—both employees and the company will benefit. This means having DevOps engineers and leadership with the skills—whether they are technical, interpersonal or something else—to perform the work required.
Get Your Budget Right
DevOps helps create efficiencies. Leveraging automation, maximizing value delivery and getting products to market faster are all key tenets of a good DevOps strategy. But that doesn’t mean you should skimp on the important items. Like any project worth doing, it’s a lot easier (and more successful) when it is budgeted properly.
Make sure to have an adequate budget to create a team, perform the work and support the appropriate environments and infrastructure to perform the DevOps tasks and initiatives that need to be done. Doing this in advance will save a lot of headaches down the line and help develop a clear understanding of what is really needed to get from point A to point B—and help keep spending in line while the DevOps train is moving.
It’s Not Just About IT
Remember there are two parts to DevOps—dev and ops. It is often easier to get the developer side to buy into the strategy—after all, many of the tenets of DevOps speak to the technical teams. But overall buy-in is necessary for cooperation and involvement of all teams needed to achieve goals. That means development and operations—plus other departments within the organization, such as sales, marketing, the executive team, etc. Getting everyone on board with the process and rowing in the same direction will fundamentally change the mindset around how to design and deliver products. When the whole team is moving in lockstep, that’s when success can really be visualized.
By keeping the thoughts above in mind when planning a DevOps journey, organizations can help ensure teams are organized and set up for long-term success. But remember, every organization is different and has different requirements. What may work for one organization may not for the next.
When considering the potential of DevOps for your organization, it can be tempting to dive right in and skip some important considerations for setting up the initiative. But the key points listed above are tried-and-true and carry weight, no matter the size or scope of business. Having a leader who acts as a champion for DevOps efforts is essential, so IT professionals tasked with leading the organization into the DevOps transformation should arm themselves with these tips to be better positioned for success.