Need to create a DevOps culture? Sounds easy, right? From a purely technical perspective, the divide between your development team and your operations team is easily bridged with the right set of tools. But even with best-in-class Dev Ops tools, you are unlikely to realize the benefit of Dev Ops without appropriate cultural changes.
The DevOps Movement
The movement is aimed at breaking down silos and encouraging cross-department collaboration. Here are three best practices for leading your organization through this shift in 2017:
Encourage an Attitude of Shared Responsibility
A cultural attitude of shared responsibility is an aspect of Dev Ops culture that encourages collaboration and accountability. Traditional enterprises often fall short in this respect. For example, it is easy for the development team to become disinterested in and disconnected from an application when it's handed over to a different team to manage. On the other hand, when the development team shares the responsibility of a series of business goals with the operations team, the teams are able to work together and better serve the organization for the long-term. In practice, this begins with an increased awareness from the developers of the operational concerns of the business. Importantly, there is no room for silos in a Dev Ops culture. In fact, some experts encourage having the developers and operations staff co-located to facilitate communication and to help them work better together.
Conquer The Fear of Failure
Most managers and executives have never, at any point in their careers, been given permission to fail. Entrepreneurs and designers, on the other hand, often think of failure the way most people think of learning. Darden Professor Saras Sarasvathy has shown how her expert entrepreneurs make decisions; they must make lots of mistakes to discover new approaches, opportunities, or business models. Similarly, your developers and operations staff need the latitude and autonomy to make decisions and apply changes without convoluted decision-making and approval processes. This involves trusting your teams, changing the way risk is managed, and creating an environment that is free of a fear of failure.
Pursue Continual Improvement
When shifting to a more agile way of working, start small. Doing better takes time, and you must have confidence that the time invested is more than compensated for by what you get in return. Remember this: The cultural shift to Dev Ops is not a standalone initiative nor a self-contained goal; it must align with strategic business objectives. Companies that have successfully implemented a Dev Ops culture achieve results through rapid testing, iteration, and learning – prioritizing the workload based on market or customer demand. By its nature, the shift takes place in increments.
Ian Head, research director at Gartner predicts that by 2018, 90% of organizations attempting to use Dev Ops without specifically addressing their cultural foundations will fail. In other words, changing behaviors and culture are fundamental to the success of Dev Ops. Using these tools can help your team work in a more Dev Ops manner, but creating a culture that is supportive of the ideals of the DevOps movement is crucial.
Since 1981, Oakwood has been helping companies of all sizes, across all industries, solve their business problems. We bring world-class consultants to architect, design and deploy technology solutions to move your company forward. Our proven approach guarantees better business outcomes. With flexible engagement options, your project is delivered on-time and on budget. 11,000 satisfied clients can’t be wrong.