When organizations start their DevOps journey, they typically focus on shiny new tools and initiatives such as Infrastructure as Code, automation, and CI/CD. These initiatives may create short-term wins for the company; however, long-term issues will result if they’re the sole area of focus. People, process, and culture also play a crucial role in the success of DevOps initiatives. Here are four things organizations can do to foster success with an Enterprise DevOps approach.
Developer enablement is essential to DevOps, removing roadblocks and allowing developers to release software with greater autonomy safely and securely. Paving a clear path to production for developers enables organizations to build more reliable software faster. This requires:
- Close communication and alignment with DevOps, application, operations, security teams, and any other supporting teams and stakeholders.
- A top-down view of current application needs and comprehension of future development team needs.
- Understanding technical debt, how it impacts the current environment, and any risks it bears.
- Focusing on automating repetitive tasks or deployments.
- Prioritizing innovative and differentiating business applications and services.
- Aligning with operational excellence and improving business service level agreements where needed.
Focusing on developer enablement creates more available time to support development teams, organize around products, and provide value to the business.
Include Enterprise Architects
Organizations struggling with DevOps often don’t have a solid enterprise architecture function or haven’t involved enterprise architects in their DevOps processes. Although the two may seem unrelated, clear alignment across the enterprise can set up a DevOps environment or tool chain for success.
Architects have oversight across all teams and systems. They provide direction to the technology realm, ensure products and investments are leveraged efficiently, and identify issues before they become big problems. Their unique role gives them the ability to bridge the DevOps gap. They ease interactions between Dev and Ops, incorporating feedback into the architecture that improves delivery, portability, and scalability.
Take a Top-Down Approach
DevOps is most effective when technical and non-technical management is engaged and fully aware of the DevOps initiative and its goals. Without solid backing from leadership, spreading DevOps efforts throughout the organization will be difficult. Teams may be more reluctant to embrace change, and stakeholders won’t be driving towards the same results.
In addition to gaining necessary support from executive leadership, a top-down approach to DevOps can ensure consistency across the enterprise. Without consistency, your company will be limited in its DevOps capabilities, especially in areas such as automation and CI/CD. A great place to start is with organization-wide reference architectures and company standards. These will ensure deployments happen in a repeatable fashion and everyone across the organization follows the same processes.
Align with Product Delivery
Organizations often launch DevOps efforts with unclear expectations and insufficient consideration of business outcomes. Prioritizing products that support IT’s responsibility to the business is key to successful DevOps initiatives. Here are four main areas that help keep DevOps aligned with product delivery:
- Business KPI’s: Aligning deliverables to business KPI’s can help measure the success of your DevOps initiatives and link them to business outcomes. This alignment will help the team manage daily, weekly, and monthly prioritization.
- Executive Roadmap: The DevOps team can sometimes become a “catch-all” for asks from other teams, without regard for proper work estimation processes. Aligning DevOps priorities to the C-level roadmap can help provide structure and clarity against competing tasks.
- Intake: A structured intake process for new work will help the team maintain focus, set proper expectations for timelines, and help level set when new, expedited deliverables are added to the backlog.
- Agile Alignment: Investing in Agile maturity will create efficiency around DevOps tasks and support capacity planning.
Have you noticed code isn’t being deployed any faster, products aren’t getting to market quicker, and innovation hasn’t improved? With proper focus on people, process, and culture, organizations can create a well-aligned, healthy, and successful DevOps community. Reach out to the experts at DragonSpears if you’d like to see more value with your Enterprise DevOps initiatives.