Earlier last week, we hosted our Continuous Discussion video podcast, this time discussing ITIL and DevOps. The episode featured expert panelists Jan-Joost Bouwman (ING), Kaimar Karu (AXELOS), Jeff Sussna (DevOps writer and speaker) and Simon Morris (ServiceNow). During our discussion, we uncovered the similarities and differences between ITIL and DevOps, and discussed tips for how to align the two methodologies in an organization. Read on for the top highlights, best practices and key takeaways from this week’s expert discussion.
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Pro tip: You don’t have to obey every page of ITIL manuals. Simon Morris says, “Any company which slavishly follows the manual is on the path to nowhere good.” In fact, companies should think about adapting any model – whether it is ITIL, DevOps or Agile – to their business needs. In other words, ITIL is the blue pill and DevOps is the red pill – if presented with both, take both.
DevOps is more of a mindset of how you want developers and operations to work together in an organization, but it doesn’t tell youhow to do your Ops. Solution: “Look at what parts bring value and keep them, and those that don’t produce value, lose them.” – Jan-Joost Bouwman
Why choose ITIL? “It’s an antidote to chaos,” says Jeff Sussna. ITIL is a good way to get control over what you are doing; however, the danger is when you become too focused on the process. The process tends to get ossified and loses touch with the underlying service premise of ITIL. Keep the focus always on service.
It’s not about Dev, Ops, software or servers, it’s about the service. Go beyond Dev and Ops when thinking about service. Think about the product/design/support, how we teach people how to use the product and how we get feedback. This gives the ability to evolve a product.
The phrase “Incremental ITIL” should not exist – you cannot do that. ITIL should be adopted – in terms of mindset, and adapted – take as much or as little as you need. It’s less about the process and more about the organizational capability. – Kaimar Karu
DevOps brings back the human factor on two levels: 1) Getting teams to work with each other to solve problems instead of in a queue, and 2) Focuses on automation so that humans can focus on working together. – Jeff Sussna
ITIL does not support a culture of learning like Lean or Agile or DevOps – fragile infrastructure companies most likely do not support a culture of learning. People who follow DevOps are more attuned to learning from failure. – Simon Morris
Use incident management straight from ITIL, but reserve capacity in sprint planning for operational stuff; for example, use 30% of sprint planning for solving incidents. Items that are ready to go into production should then be checked by an automated CAB.
Dev and Ops should work together and should understand the other persons’ skill – but there are still people that are better at coding and people that are better at learning. Let each do what they are best at. – Jan-Joost Bouwman
Nine things you should keep in mind for ITIL that also align with DevOps: 1) Focus on value 2) Work holistically 3) Keep it simple 4) Design for experience 5) Progress iteratevly 6) Collaborate 7) Start where you are 8) Observe directly 9) Be transparent. – Kaimar Karu
When something goes wrong, ITIL companies tend to think the answer is to add more process. To them, learning means: “How can I get people to do more work to get more work done?” DevOps says “Let’s get to the root cause,” whether it’s lack of infrastructure or available rollback. – Simon Morris
If you don’t automate, you will never mature – it needs to be step number one. Do not have people doing stuff that can be automated, it creates poor IT and infrastructure. – Anders Wallgren
+Bonus: I don’t want a neurosurgeon in the morning doing thoracic surgery in the afternoon. Same goes with DevOps – don’t hire someone that can do both on a mediocre level, hire someone that specializes in one or the other. – Anders Wallgren