DevOps

How to Achieve a DevOps Transformation

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SO – you’ve decided to join the DevOps movement by creating an environment of continuous improvement, collaboration, automation, and support.

You must be feeling great about yourself and the future of your organization. But you also might be wondering “what are the right methods to follow to make this transition as seamless as possible?”

Well, you’ve already made the first best-step – choosing to integrate the practice of operations and development teams coming together in harmony – and by reading this blog, you’ve made another right decision! We’ll guide you through a tough but important process that will impact your success or failure with DevOps. Let’s get started!

Plan for Success

It’s important to step away and understand the business objectives you’re trying to achieve with DevOps. Looking at this from a short, medium and long-term perspective will be beneficial in determining what strategy makes the most sense for you from a business, people, culture and tooling perspective.

Remember, there’s no silver bullet to a lot of these questions, but if you start thinking about what the low hanging fruit in each area is, tackling these challenges may become a bit easier.

Break Down Silos

We hear this term a lot. Basically, what this means is having cross-functional teams which will assist in your transformation. Though, this isn’t always easy or practical.

Before we can break down silos, we need to focus on collaborating better together. In essence, that’s really what the concept of “breaking down silos” is trying to achieve; that and making work more visible to everyone involved is going to be key in any DevOps movement. This, in collaboration with communication, will drive the overall success of the movement.

Incorporate Collaboration Tools

No one tool is necessarily better or worse for collaboration than another.

A whiteboard with cards taped to it can be just as effective as JIRA or other collaboration tools, as long as it’s used well and embraced by everyone. Regardless of what you do, everyone should have access and it should enable collaboration. Everyone should know what tools are used for and how to use them effectively within your organization.

Measure, Iterate and Improve

Before any DevOps transformation initiative, teams must think through the business challenges they’re trying to overcome with DevOps to understand the KPI/metrics they want to achieve. Make sure your decisions in DevOps revolve around this and ensure you have a way to measure improvements when introducing new tools.

Most of all, it’s important to iterate and understand what this iteration looks like in terms of short, medium and long-term time frames and how you will measure success with each iteration for the business.

Train Your Team

Before you decide on any tools, however, you must think about how a tool will be leveraged throughout the organization and how training/enablement will be conducted. We see a lot of success with teams adopting DevOps tools successfully but are challenged by scaling the usage across the organization. In our opinion, this strategy for scaling and utilization is actually more important than the implementation of the tools itself. No matter how good a tool is, it won’t ever bear fruit unless it can be fully adopted.

Offloading

With more tools becoming available as SaaS offerings, determine if offloading some of the management of these tools makes sense within your organization. Take a look at the TCO required for implementing and maintaining the tools you select, as managing every piece of the DevOps toolchain may not make sense to successfully execute your DevOps transformation.

Address The Skills Gap

Right now, the DevOps space is really hot and good resources aren’t easy to come by, train and retain.  Are you prepared to build out the team yourself? Do you have the budget and organizational resources to do so? Are you going to hire contractors or work with consulting/service providers to get you through part or all of your journey? At the end of the day, you need to own the overall solution, but there are multiple ways to get there depending on what resources you have at your disposal.

Are You Ready for a DevOps Transformation?

While software continues to eat the world at an ever-increasing pace with DevOps, the challenges and struggles of companies implementing DevOps is very real. We all can overcome these challenges by working together, improving our tools, processes, knowledge and training our workforce.

We truly hope this post helped shed some insight into the steps it takes to achieve a DevOps transformation. If you’d like a more hands-on approach, or just want to chat further, contact us today!

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