5 Reasons DevOps Is About Collaboration, Not Just Automation
November 08, 2021
DevOps has come under the spotlight in recent times with mega-brands like Netflix and Amazon adopting it. In simple terms, DevOps helps eliminate any roadblocks in the process of creating and updating software. It creates a synergy between the software development team and the IT operations team. There is often a gap between planning and coding the software and implementing it in real-time for feedback. DevOps helps bridge this gap to make the process smoother.
It is true that DevOps relies on several automation tools to enable this. However, what most companies fail to understand is that the success of your DevOps transformation depends on collaboration between various teams.
Here are five reasons why DevOps is more about the people involved and not just the tools.
Everyone In Your Team Needs to Be Onboard With The Transition Into DevOps
One of the biggest challenges when it comes to DevOps implementation or transition is the resistance to change. Whenever you talk about applying drastic measures to existing processes or systems, you are likely to have some backlash. This may come from the stakeholders of the company, or from your employees. For most employees, the primary fear with DevOps is that it will replace manual work. There is also a good chance that your teams are unwilling to let go of legacy tools that are not just inferior but are also standing in the way of optimization. The easiest way to resolve this is to start making the transition in increments. The best approach to this is to take a stack slice from an existing application and then implement DevOps to it. When your employees begin to see the benefits, they are going to be onboard when you suggest bigger changes in the future. Working with smaller changes removes the fear of the unfamiliar, helping your team ease into the new processes.
Your Current Team Should Get Into A DevOps Mindset
Once you have eliminated the pushback from your team towards the changes, the next step is to help them develop a DevOps mindset. When you achieve this, your team begins to feel a sense of ownership. This is key to ensuring that they truly embrace the changes. The most important part of creating this mindset is hiring the right people to steer you through this journey. Your DevOps manager should be a strong leader who can offer support and motivation to your team. If he or she is able to establish the strategic intent behind DevOps, you have won half the battle. Strategic intent, in simple terms, explains why this transition is necessary. So, before you overwhelm your team with the ‘what’ and ‘how’ of DevOps, talk to them about the ‘Why’.This will make it very easy for your teams to let go of existing procedures and accept the changes. Even when you are making these changes, create a task list and share them in bits with your whole team. As they advance through each task, they will feel more motivated and develop the mindset which is vital for your transition to be successful.
You Need To Identify The Issues That Exist For DevOps to Be Successful
DevOps is not just about throwing codes into a tool and expecting to see results. DevOps is a mindset that is focused on eliminating any hiccups that you may face from the time of developing a code until its release. The challenges faced by each organization are different. Naturally, the DevOps tools and processes that you use will also be quite different. The first step towards ensuring proper collaboration between all your teams is creating a plan based on the issues that exist. Make a list of tasks that are wasting manpower. Anything that is repetitive and mundane can be automated. You must also strengthen your feedback system to reduce the time between creation and release. The easiest way to identify the issues that exist is to shift the focus towards your customer. When you can answer the question, ‘How can I improve the experience of the end-user?’, you will automatically identify the issues that exist. Then, talk to your teams about the challenges that they encounter on a daily basis. This keeps them involved and interested in the whole process. The advantage of collaboration between people and technology is that it frees up your manpower to actually think and innovate instead of getting bogged down by the mundane. Your team becomes more productive and motivated when they are able to focus on tasks that are actually pushing the company towards its goals.
DevOps Is About The Team, Not The Tools
The purpose of DevOps is to support, empower and maximize the output of a talented development and operations team. This cannot be achieved only by implementing tools. You need to create business value by allowing your teams to innovate and create the best products for the end-user. If you have tools that create a clash between your development and operations team, it will affect your transformation. The best way to avoid this is to sit down with both teams and find tools that can integrate their functions smoothly. Try to empathise with your teams, identify the issues and then adopt necessary tools. The focus should always be on interdepartmental collaboration. You need to integrate your building, design, operations, testing and other teams into a shared environment where they are working towards a common goal. Making the transition simple is also the responsibility of the DevOps manager and the leaders of the organization. This can be achieved by continuous learning. When you help your teams build a mindset around learning and sharing, automation becomes very easy. You must also be patient with your team during this period of transition. Whenever you encounter failure or issues, take it as an opportunity to innovate. Avoid blaming the members of your team or creating a negative outcome. The result of this is more security for every member of the team. This ultimately leads to less resistance to change.
DevOps Must Be in Sync With the Culture and Goals of Your Organization
This is the most important thing to keep in mind with DevOps. Remember, that DevOps is a culture in itself. It will determine the productivity of the team and the outcome of all the work that they put in. Yes, there needs to be a cultural shift within the organization. This can happen over time. In the initial period, you have the option to tailor your DevOps processes to match the current culture of your organization. At the leadership level, you should be very cautious not to implement changes without creating an environment that allows your teams to operate and function with a positive frame of mind. First of all, identify what type of culture your organization propagates? Is it collaborative, creative, controlling, or competitive? Based on that, choose the tools that are most suited to achieve the goals that you have set for your company. As you advance, the more you lean towards a collaborative and creative culture, the better are the results of DevOps. Communicate goals clearly to your teams, use metrics to improve consistency and make sure that your goals are not unattainable. This is key to keeping the people in your company motivated and excited about the changes that are taking place.
In order to overcome any of the challenges mentioned above, you need strong leadership at the helm of DevOps. BitCot helps you find the best managers and consultants who are not only technically skilled but also have the necessary people management skills to take you through the process easily.
Raj Sanghvi is a technologist and founder of BitCot, a full-service award-winning software development company. With over 15 years of innovative coding experience creating complex technology solutions for businesses like IBM, Sony, Nissan, Micron, Dicks Sporting Goods, HDSupply, Bombardier and more, Sanghvi helps build for both major brands and entrepreneurs to launch their own technologies platforms.