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Has Your Company Really Adopted DevOps?

Traditional operations are well-defined. But DevOps is not a definitive experience. DevOps is organic communication among people.

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Traditional operations are well-defined. But DevOps is not a definitive experience. DevOps is organic communication among people. Emerging from the need for improved quality in development and accelerated innovation, DevOps has increased in popularity among software deployment teams. However, transitioning to the cultural change is incumbent upon an organization.

The purpose of DevOps was introduced into the software deployment process to break down the traditional barriers between development and operations. 

DevOps focuses on cooperative communication between developers and operations, involving those who are responsible for software deployment, system infrastructure, and consumers to foster smooth deployment. Traditionally developers have delivered software to QA teams and operations to test and run software within the sphere of production. Within the hand-over method of the traditional production model, neither development nor operations teams have been able to effectively maintain responsibility for the quality of software output.

The goal of DevOps is to empower development and operations teams to collaboratively take responsibility for production towards the outcome of smooth, quick, and continuous software deployment. Communication between development and operations integrate the two teams, such that developers can ‘own’ their coding, even during testing and production processes, while operations can provide integrated feedback to development as to performance, defects, and needed updates—the ultimate goal being enhanced customer experience.

Transforming from traditional operations to DevOps methodologies is a challenging cultural shift for any organization. To mitigate possible risk and overcome resistance, businesses at times instill certain DevOps procedures into their organizations without introducing needed cultural shifts. The quick, continuous, and reliable deployment objectives that DevOps is designed to meet cannot be effectively executed by simply selecting the most easily implemented procedures without recognizing the organic nature of the cultural shift.


DevOps continuous loop of integration and release

Analyzing and conceptualizing prospects that introduce DevOps into the workplace and the workforce is one way to anticipate the integration of operational requirements into DevOps methodologies. Management and deployment teams can collaborate on the formula through which the transition is staged and enabled.

Researching successes and deficiencies in deployment and how these relate to current challenges in delivery can also detail and direct focus towards utilizing DevOps. Analysis of organizational needs can delineate operations to which DevOps methodologies can apply, inform analysts on the DevOps process, assist in envisioning alternatives to traditional deployment, and calm resistance to the cultural transformation. Teams can explore:

  • What makes DevOps an improvement over traditional software deployment?
  • What are the critical needs within the organization that use of DevOps can possibly address?
  • What are the biggest opportunities for improvement that use of DevOps can possibly address?
  • At which point is it most optimal for organizations to initiate DevOps?
  • Where is the current organizational level of exposure to DevOps?
  • What deployment timespan would provide required reductions in cost to market?
  • What is the continuous speed of deployment that satisfies consumer demands?
  • What types and degrees of innovation competitively enhance user experience?
  • What has been the DevOps transitional experience for other organizations?
  • Which questions should teams and organizations explore before launching DevOps?

Create an Initial Plan

As with most newly adopted methodologies, DevOps cannot successfully engage performance without up-front planning. Companies which attempt to introduce DevOps into their operations by increments, usually do so experimentally without following a planned strategy for transition. Transition to DevOps focuses as much on people as it does on tools and process, as does building support for the transition. The overall challenge is building collaborative power across teams, departments, and eventually throughout the organization.

To best initiate transition planning, select realistic transition timelines and executable objectives. Incrementally adjust transformation timespans according to the length of time required for effective organic evolution into the DevOps culture. Choose an initial project that indicates a solid outcome with the requirement of design through an incremental focus on the end result.

Measuring the Mirror of Results

When DevOps transition and implementation analysts apply DevOps metrics to the process, they retrieve clarity as to how fully the organization is utilizing DevOps methods. With the comparison of anticipated outcomes to actual results, metric tools mirror the extent to which a project has adopted DevOps methodologies. Continuous and iterative discussion, production, and reflection are primary concepts within the DevOps method. Retrospective analysis with the inclination to critically assess processes and results essentially promotes dynamic improvement in adopting DevOps, with efficiency in the delivery pipeline being the primary objective.

Everyone Works Towards the Same Goal

If the transition to DevOps is not as yet in the process of transforming siloed self-absorption into cooperative communication, the adoption of the DevOps culture is primarily incomplete. Remember that all DevOps participants are working towards the same goal. The transformative culture of DevOps encourages that individual preference acknowledges collaborative choice as the overriding consideration. Candid and honest interaction among participants is essential, as is a collaborative concern for the success of all members and the overall project. Automation can moreover facilitate continuity in communication from remote locations. Tight collaboration within a more empathetic culture empowers operations to accomplish an in sync coordination towards efficient results.

Integration of Specialization

Operations is the component of the DevOps team responsible for monitoring application interface and system performance. At times, operations overlooks the feedback process, which disengages the collaborative basis of DevOps. Traditionally, operations has conducted testing and monitoring as a stage subsequent to coding, with little feedback communicated to development. DevOps methods require that monitored operations are integrally communicated to coded development as integral to the process of completing the deployment pipeline. Smooth deployment relies on seamless communication among participants.

Traditional development tends to focus more on design and innovation than interface and operation. If the development component of the DevOps team is still somewhat siloed invested interest and lack of communication, there is a breakdown in collaboration on code production essential to the method. The project is then short on adopting true DevOps. Coding simply for the sake of application that generally foregoes the requirement for operation, can at times block the application interface, slowing deployment with the need for retesting and recoding. Coding within DevOps takes into account flexibility of application and consideration for system infrastructure. Essential collaboration between development and operations thereby better ensures smoother deployment.

Lead With Culture Rather Than Tools

As does any organized process, DevOps operates by procedures. However, procedures support, rather than lead, the DevOps process. The culture of cooperative communication fuels the journey towards project completion, while procedures coordinate collaborative determination. Organizations that focus on metrics and related automation tools over the process of communication fall short in adopting reliable DevOps methods.

Collaboration also expands expertise among project team members to prevent single-expert bottlenecks due to workload. By simultaneously employing unified brainpower to more smoothly and decisively arrive at solutions, cooperation among team members as well prevents unanticipated occurrences as a source of extreme or frantic concern. 

DevOps continuous delivery

Source: Grégoire Détrez

Expediting the Deployment Pipeline

Release management, as affected by the entire DevOps team, requires a well-defined finality of production. A unified understanding and completion of each consideration within the deployment pipeline results from the discussion, production, and reflection cycles that, through iterative increments within the DevOps process, have become intuitive. The culture of envisioned outcomes and interactive operations smoothly produces a completed product primed for delivery. Non-conclusive results indicate a break down in cooperative communication at certain points within the deployment pipeline.

DevOps Is Automated Shared Delivery

Shared values and systemic coaction characterize the DevOps method and require a challenging change in culture for most organizations. The extent of cultural transformation in production processes determines the success of DevOps within the organization. Hence the inquiry, “Has your company really adopted DevOps?”

DevOps requires a business environment that embraces change, and must, therefore, be supported by executive management and top stakeholders. Without a management buy-in, a project can be highly challenged in fully and effectively implementing DevOps. Upfront investment in people, time, test management tools, and training requires devotion to the transition. Therefore managers usually set expectations and quick demonstration of incremental successes to buy into the process. A small initial project that achieves objectives can be effective in engaging management support.

A Cloud host necessarily automates the DevOps method. DevOps cloud environments are consistent in supporting automation. Installation of cloud-based tools and add-ons facilitate tasks with continuous integration, process management, and configuration in design. Preparation of cloud-based operations to manage calculations within DevOps projects is essential for quick and accurate results.

Rather than simply motivating discussion, it is DevOps’ purpose to actuate deployment by shared discussion. Precise planning and efficient production by DevOps teams generates qualitative feedback from managers and users. The process is never-ending by definition, contesting the preference of those who prefer finality in results.

Streamlined continuity in delivery is the DevOps manner of facilitating the introduction of innovative applications to user engagement. Continuous delivery of high-quality software advances enterprise reputation and ROI, as it also efficiently manages the software lifecycle. Adoption of each attribute within the DevOps methodology establishes a cultural environment where the coding, testing, and release of software applications can reliably, rapidly, and frequently occur.

As a production culture, DevOps is here to facilitate software architecture and delivery. Properly utilized the methodology empowers development and operations to combine resources to continuously deliver reliable software and expedite fixes to software deficiencies. The quick, continuous, and reliable deployment objectives of the DevOps methodology utilizes a combined skillset, mindset, and toolset -- all three of which are essential for intended goals.

Organizations must display willingness and ability towards progressive planning and executed production within a consumer environment of dynamic shifts. To this end, DevOps radically empowers teams with cross-functional synergy through the culture of cooperative communication skills. Solid preparation on various production fronts, flexibility in coding and configuration management, and a continuously speedy journey towards deployment are the attributes with which DevOps benefits business interaction with consumer demand.

Learn more on how other teams have implemented DevOps processes by attending the upcoming session of Atlassian Summit 2016: Scaling Without Expanding: A DevOps Story

The DevOps zone is brought to you in partnership with Sonatype Nexus. Use the Nexus Suite to automate your software supply chain and ensure you're using the highest quality open source components at every step of the development lifecycle. Get Nexus today


Published at DZone with permission of Francis Adanza. See the original article here.

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