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Do you need to accelerate DevOps adoption in your organization? These five tips will help you get started today.
Realizing the full benefits of digital transformation involves much more than technology. You'll need to implement cloud native technologies. You will want to take advantage of efficiencies that automated tools bring to the software development lifecycle. You'll gain great value from new data-driven decision-making processes that can make your business more resilient, responsive and competitive.
You'll also need to put new operational processes into place. This includes overseeing a major cultural shift across your organization. Developers, operations teams and business stakeholders will need to think differently, collaborate more closely and bridge traditional departmental silos. After all, when DevOps initiatives fail, they almost always do so because of issues with organizational learning and change.
When adopting DevOps, it's essential to take a mindful and strategic approach to change management. Investing this care and attention at the outset of DevOps initiatives can help ensure they proceed quickly and seamlessly, accelerating the business's progress and speeding time to value.
Here are our top five change management tips for facilitating more rapid DevOps adoption.
No. 1: Begin with a lighthouse project
A lighthouse project (or, a proof-of-concept (POC) project) is a well-defined, short-term initiative that's limited in scope. It's called “lighthouse” because it can serve as a beacon for the enterprise as a whole, illuminating the value that can be gained through digital transformation. Plus, it shows teams the exact steps they need to take in order to get there.
It's also important to collect quantitative data documenting the project's results; these metrics provide clear evidence of what's been achieved that can be readily understood by stakeholders across the business.
The lighthouse project should entail more than technical or process change. Instead, try to treat it as an incubator for the full complement of DevOps practices. Encourage teams to experiment, iterate and collaborate. Deploy tools that make it easier for practitioners to obtain feedback on the success of their efforts in real-time. Celebrate communication and foster openness and engagement.
No. 2: Empower engineers to build
DevOps cannot succeed without both technological and cultural transformation. Both kinds of change must enable and feed one another. So, it is important to give DevOps practitioners the tools and platforms to learn and experiment, as well as to encourage them to take full advantage of these tools.
Choose automated tool sets that suit the enterprise's software delivery environment, the application and the task at hand. Invite practitioners to weigh in on the tool selection process by encouraging them to share their own experiences.
No. 3: Alleviate the fear of change with knowledge- and resource-sharing
It's human nature to be apprehensive about unfamiliar things. After all, people are comfortable in their old ways of working, which most often, are all they've ever known. However, embracing DevOps does entail taking on a new mindset. Fear of change is one of the biggest obstacles to rethinking your professional self-image.
Educate stakeholders across the business on the value of the change, perhaps by sharing the results of your lighthouse project. The more you communicate, the better everyone will be able to understand the value of cloud migration, automation, continuous testing, rapid deployment or any other aspect of your new work streams and agile processes. Formal training in the tools, language and practices associated with DevOps can also be invaluable.
No. 4: Celebrate and encourage openness
Today's corporate cultures are more open than they've ever been before, which means there's never been a better time to be an engineer. Support the shift toward greater openness within your own organization by scheduling frequent meet-ups (either virtual or in-person). Provide DevOps teams with forums and outlets where they can engage with colleagues and discuss their problems. Collaboration tools enable developers to share their successes and challenges in real time.
No. 5: Empower developers to give back to the community
The open-source software movement has revolutionized the way development communities innovate and solve problems. Open-source technologies allow for more rapid building and troubleshooting because many engineers are working on the same problem in concert. And because everyone has full visibility into the entire code base, reliability and security are improved. Much open-source software is modular and componentized by design, making it compatible with services-based cloud native architectures.
Non-profit technology consortiums, such as the Cloud Native Computing Foundation bring together some of the world's top developers and most groundbreaking projects. This makes the resulting software ecosystems freely available to anyone who can benefit from their use or play a part in their evolution.
The DevOps philosophy encourages practitioners to contribute to open-source projects as a means of furthering their expertise and sharing it with the broader development community. This is part of the ethos of openness and free exchange, but also helps engineers spark greater innovation and creativity.