DevOps Culture and its Transformative Power

Most people, when they think or talk about DevOps, think about Dev and Ops working together, greater collaboration, and using the right tools. These are all great concepts and will be revisited further in this blog, within the frames of the Atlassian approach. However, I want to focus on another aspect of DevOps, the DevOps Culture

The Effective and Efficient Teams Triangle

The effective and efficient teams triangle provides the foundation to keeping teams aligned and focused on the same goals. Below I’ve illustrated each of the key components of this triangle:

  1. Transparency: Everyone is informed through increased flow in communications. Information is controlled at a minimum and each member of the team has access to the same source of information.
  2. Collaboration: Problems are solved together as one team. The roles and responsibilities are only intended to focus effort, but ownership and responsibility are shared among everyone. There is no “throwing over the fence and washing my hands”.
  3. Automation: For teams to be able to put their energy into innovation, process improvement and analysis common and repeatable tasks are automated.

As with any other new process, an iterative approach will be needed to become more effective and efficient teams.

Expanding DevOps Beyond Dev and Ops

Although DevOps was born as the idea of Dev and Ops working together, its culture can provide much more value within an organization by starting a transformative process when the rest of the company adopts its culture. However when only a small team in the organization adopts this culture, it can often be more difficult. Business Requirements delivered in a traditional way, as well as traditional PMO practices will prevent DevOps from showing its full potential.

Reinventing Obsolete Policies and Processes

The bigger an organization becomes, the more it relies on policies, processes, and procedures to function. However, it is very common that these rules are not revisited on a regular basis and soon become obsolete. We often forget that policies, processes, and procedures are created around tools and the technologies available at the time they are created. For instance, when email became mainstream, we gradually stopped using memos to send official communication within an organization. Now is the time to review and reinvent the policies, processes, and procedures that have been used for decades and replace them with updated models aligned with the technologies, tools, and culture that this time requires.

Slowing Down to Go Faster

We live in an era where everyone wants to go faster. The speed at which technology evolves forces us to keep up with change and adapt quickly. So, how can we slow down? We need to allocate capacity in our time, teams, and organizations to make sure we can improve the processes that make us work harder, not smarter.

Failure as a Measure of Progress

We hear this all the time. But do we get it? Traditional organizations and management have been trained to avoid failure at all cost. This approach has made individuals overly cautious and not willing to take controlled risks, but understanding what doesn’t work allows us to move closer to find what does. DevOps provides a framework where experimentation and controlled risks can be taken. As a result, business value is delivered quickly to customers and when problems are found, the framework is setup to fix them quickly.

Excessive Planning as a Measure of Stagnation

Traditional management practices have tried for decades to plan every single aspect of a project. Studies have shown that 60% of requirements defined at the project start are changed during the lifecycle of a project. To create a more dynamic structure with faster results and shorter time to market start to focus on planning major initiatives.

Iterating Small and Often

DevOps uses Agile methodologies as part of its foundation. Getting feedback from the work we are doing and making corrections as quick as possible, not only allows us to provide quicker business value to the customer, but also reduces risks and the possibilities of introducing problems into the final product.

Using The Team Playbook

Atlassian also provides a free tool that gives teams the opportunity to asses their health and figure out which areas require some work and improve the performance and capabilities of the team as a whole. We strongly recommend organizations and teams take some time to do this exercise. You can find more information at: https://www.atlassian.com/team-playbook.

Escape Chaos: DevOps Event Hosted by Blended Perspectives

Introducing the transformative power of DevOps culture was the cornerstone of our recent Escape Chaos: DevOps event. The teamwork of solving puzzles in the escape rooms was a great way to illustrate escaping chaos through DevOps. In addition, it was a lot of fun!

Nothing is greater than teaching individuals and organizations the power of DevOps to make their teams effective and efficient.

Stay tuned for part two where we will explore the Atlassian approach to DevOps! In the meantime, check out the DevOps with Atlassian ebook.


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Blended Perspectives is Canada’s largest Atlassian Solution Partner providing Consulting, Managed Hosting, Installation, Data Migration, Performance Tuning and Certified Atlassian training. We have deep expertise in all Atlassian products with certified experts covering the full lifecycle for SDLC, Service Desk and broader business application support.
Founded in 2007 after years of experience serving clients in Canada, Europe, USA and Australia; Blended Perspectives’ mission is to enable Corporations to unleash the power of their teams and to leverage the true potential of their business via enhanced tools and processes.

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