When an organization says it is ready to adopt DevOps, it is also saying it is ready to embrace change. Certainly, successful DevOps implementation is largely dependent on an organization’s willingness to adapt to significant internal changes.
Typically, an organization’s DevOps roadmap and strategy may face strong opposition from various stakeholders. DevOps implementation faces a number of challenges in the current rapidly evolving landscape of tools, technologies, and processes. It is preferable for an organization to prepare for the cultural shift before implementing DevOps.
Culture is at the forefront of the DevOps movement, thanks to frameworks like the CALMS model, which stands for Culture, Automation, Lean, Measurement, and Sharing. What is clear is that, while these elements work in tandem, fostering a culture of learning and change within an organization is essential if digital transformation initiatives are to be successful.
Get Rid of Your Bad Habits
Employees usually become second nature to what they do at work every day, and they develop a level of comfort with their work. Even if a more efficient process is available, they do not like to change their working style. It is difficult to break old habits. Any change is difficult to implement in an organization with hundreds of employees. The benefits of DevOps will never be realized unless an organization is willing to let go of its old practices as required.
When a company decides to embrace DevOps, it is critical to educate employees on the subject. It is critical that they understand that development, testing, and operations, as well as possibly other functions, will collaborate. They would no longer work in silos in the future, abandoning the old model of software development and delivery. It necessitates overhauling a company’s deployment process, communication process, organizational hierarchy, and the structure of various teams within, as well as individual team members’ roles.
Appropriate Mindset Bring Cultural Change
With a results-driven approach, DevOps aims to foster cooperation and collaboration amongst various divisions within a company. The lines between roles and responsibilities of various teams blur in a DevOps context. All of the parties involved have shared goals and duties when it comes to the quality and delivery of a product or solution. In this collaborative development approach, a developer may be needed to assume the role of a tester and test the code, while a tester may be asked to build the code with the required adjustments. Gartner predicts that more than half of IT departments would struggle with the new ways of operating software development projects if businesses do not make the cultural transformation required for Agile and DevOps techniques. “We anticipate that by 2018, 90 percent of businesses seeking to utilize DevOps without particularly addressing their cultural underpinnings will fail,” said Ian Head, Research Director at Gartner.
Challenges in DevOps Culture
“Push change from the top,” the authors of a 2017 McKinsey paper advise organizations trying to embrace DevOps. Begin at the beginning.” Nothing will happen quickly or unexpectedly, as with any cultural shift. Culture is difficult to alter. It is swayed, encouraged, and gradually shifts when presented with reliable facts.
While it may take some time to fully incorporate the necessary cultural changes across all departments in order to gain the full benefits of a DevOps culture and mentality, each stage of the transformation process brings with it more and more advantages. Every process in a DevOps culture must be examined on a regular basis to determine if it can be expedited or if there is a better method to achieve the same goal.
Every component of the value chain must be innovated and improved in order to accelerate software development processes. Microservices in containers, which are loosely linked and much finer-grained, are replacing large monolithic blocks of code that take months to conceive, code, and implement. They can create code, produce and deploy faster because of these savings. Even users are urged to work more quickly, especially when offering comments for future development. By enabling every member of the team to make improvements ideas and knowing that those suggestions will be heard, evaluated, and implemented, a system is created where the final product is significantly superior to a manual process.
Any procedure that may benefit from automation is mechanized as soon as possible because automation is considerably faster than a human is. Not only does automation outperform a person at the same duties, but also the workforce that would have been spent on those jobs has now been freed up to conduct more important work that helps the firm and increases each employee’s worth. The speed of performance is one of the acceptance requirements for any tool used in a DevOps environment. From servers and storage to code and compilers, faster technology is included at every level. Unnecessary and extra stages in the process are analyzed and removed.
Trust is the foundation of a DevOps culture
Approvals are your adversary. It takes time for approvals to be granted. Decision-makers who are not involved in the product development process may not see the need to approve things promptly and efficiently. Decision-making is delegated as far as feasible in a DevOps culture. There are also as many individuals as possible who are capable of making the necessary decision and acting on it. Checklists, inspections, and audits all add to the latency of any DevOps project and reduce its value. In order to build a successful DevOps culture, as many impediments as possible must be removed.
Teams become significantly more autonomous, enabled, and empowered in a DevOps culture, allowing them to make decisions and implement required adjustments without having to wait for someone else to go through seemingly interminable discussions. A DevOps environment encourages creativity by letting those who discover problems move forward with solutions rather than waiting for approval from those who are not involved in the process.
They grow more interconnected at the same time as they share responsibility for processes that pass from one to the next. The critical role of feedback in driving the next iteration of development only emphasizes the need for DevOps companies to cultivate a high degree of communication and cooperation.
The DevOps culture’s growth-oriented attitude tends to throw aside the old norms. It is fine to fail as long as you learn from your mistakes and recover fast. The ultimate objective is to provide high-quality, functional software often. Any regulation that causes this aim to be delayed must be disregarded or altered.
The absence of blame is another indication of trust. It makes little difference who is to blame for a specific failure or abnormality. Finger-pointing fades away in a successful DevOps culture, replaced by a shared desire to fix anything that has gone wrong promptly and without animosity.
Culture as a Product
Our panelists’ informed perspectives and experiences were fascinating to hear. I also discussed my strategy to accelerate a DevOps culture in your company with them: Consider your culture to be a product. The first step in this strategy is to prioritize the DevOps culture we want to promote and to include it in the transformative backlog. “What’s not in your product backlog doesn’t exist,” is a frequent adage at the companies where I have worked, including Microsoft. If a project is crucial and vital to the transformation’s success, we must prioritize it and guarantee that it is completed by adding it to the backlog.
That notion of prioritizing takes me directly into my DevOps culture acceleration and maintenance strategies:
- Make your DevOps culture a priority alongside other business strategy objectives.
- Identify the qualities, skills, and features that you want to see enabled in your DevOps culture collaboratively.
- Make a plan for cultural change.
- Determine cross-functional Objectives and Key Results (OKR) to promote DevOps adoption and collaboration across your organization’s functional groupings.
- Keep track of your progress.