Whilst I am an avid supporter of DevOps, long before it was mainstream; that doesn’t mean using it for the sake of it. However, I constantly try to challenge myself to find genuine reasons why more enterprises or organisations are not adopting this or something similar; is it because they see it creating more disruption and complexity? Or simply they feel they are already undertaking comparable initiatives which are just as effective – suggests they are just not bought into trendy buzz words to evidence progress or innovation?
There is no doubt having cross technology and departmental teams working seamlessly together helps identify challenges early in the life-cycle of a project or programme – challenges that otherwise wouldn’t be apparent until further down the product development life cycle.
The ability to fail, roll-back quickly and try again is key – let’s face it, if you have ever been involved in Agile, DevOps or some sort of Scrum you usually find that you experience the “pain” together even if it is not within your area directly. Generally I find this naturally breeds compassion for others and as a result an overwhelming energy to help each other to resolve complications in-flight.
Above all, this approach tends to mitigate the need for departmental handovers and internal department gate-keeping; we have all experienced the time delays this creates before a project can be accepted into service when considering from a traditional waterfall perspective.
When we explore C.A.M.S; the single biggest hurdle out of the four is Culture; when we consider Automation, Measurement and Sharing these principles broadly speaking should follow if you can get the culture.
The following came from a Leadership outline from a Forbes Article:-
“Changing a culture is a large-scale undertaking, and eventually all of the organisational tools for changing minds will need to be put in play. However the order in which they deployed has a critical impact on the likelihood of success.
In general, the most fruitful success strategy is to begin with leadership tools, including a vision or story of the future, cement the change in place with management tools, such as role definitions, measurement and control systems, and use the pure power tools of coercion and punishments as a last resort, when all else fails.”
Now I’m a believer that we all have a responsibility when it comes to leadership. We should all have a focus on progress; after all speed matters in today’s market place. That usually means calculated risk taking but it also means there has to be strong bonds of trust between all parties, with respectful challenge and commitment when a decision is reached.
Of course organisational size is a huge consideration; however, the challenge is to ensure all levels of personnel are included in the journey. Else without it is destined for some form of communication breakdown or misunderstanding; if you get to coercion and punishment, then you are definitely on the road to failure.
One danger is underestimating the investment required to successfully achieve such a journey and\or the endurance required to capture people’s hearts and minds.
Fundamentally what gets in the way? Having the vision and the story behind the journey is one thing. However process reviews are equally as important, without this shift in approach it typically creates constraints and blockers. A good example would be how departmental cost and profit centres interact and how groups\teams are incentivised for success both from a monetary and technology perspective.
So in summary its Culture that matters; with large helpings of inspiration and clear information, mixed with can do attitudes, being open to new ideas, owning ambiguity and above all collaboration, then you can truly achieve amazing things.
Whats your view ?