Any time you embark on a new initiative across your organization getting buy-in is critical. This is especially true of DevOps initiatives. The nature of DevOps dictates that adopting it impacts engineers, sys admins, quality assurance, and the executives setting priorities for quarters ahead. For most modern organizations these teams are the lifeblood, responsible for delivering value to their customers.
With such broad impact, there is no shortage of opinions when change is on the table, and opinions can become roadblocks. So how do you get a quick win and earn buy-in?
Pick a Team
Getting buy-in for such a large-scale change can be challenging, and often a recipe for failure. Focusing on a single team provides a more manageable project scope, and reduces the number of stakeholders to please.
It is also a great path to executive visibility. Instead of a PowerPoint with theoretical cross team benefits, you can show real world success of a team and how it can be replicated across other teams. A win for the team is a win for the executive, and a win for you.
Find Your Agents of Change
Identify who gets excited about change and are eager to improve company processes, but also have the respect of the peers. We call these agents of change, and every team has at least one, sometimes a few. Knowing who they are, and what pain points they currently have is a great way to identify possible quick wins.
When you tend to one of their pains, these individuals will become ambassadors for you. They will not only drive the first few quick wins on the team, but will become your best ambassadors for future changes.
Celebrate the Win
A big goal of the quick win strategy is visibility across the organization. When your chosen team and agent of change gets the win, celebrate. Have breakfast brought in, or do a happy hour. Make it public that the team is celebrating the success of a new initiative. This drives visibility. Other teams will want success and recognition. Executives will be all too happy to buy a few rounds if it means greater productivity and more efficient value delivered to the customer.
The best part of this formula is repeatability. You can identify a new team, a new agent of change, and plan another celebration. After a few cycles momentum will build, executives will buy-in and then you are ready to tackle the larger organization-wide changes. Good luck!