Ranger4 DevOps Blog

2016 DevOps Resolutions

Posted by Daniel Breston on Thu, Jan 21, 2016 @ 15:01 PM


Pivoting is the action of readjusting after you have tried something and realized that you are not on course or achieving your goal. DevOps did a lot of this in 2015 as it continued its journey as a movement towards business transformation based on better, faster, safer technology use.  

These resolutions or experiments are directed at people wanting to use the philosophies behind DevOps. Let us know yours please and Happy 2016!

Create your own language

What is DevOps to your organisation? What does the senior leadership think it is and how do they translate that definition to everyone involved in the stream that creates value for your customer and therefore for your organisation?

We used to think DevOps was simply getting development, operations and maybe project teams collaborating. Others thought it is about using automation tools to quickly release software. I think that DevOps is the movement trying to improve the flow of work to acknowledge, accept, create, validate, release, support and improve an idea can be enabled by the use of technology.

I define technology as people, suppliers, processes, software and hardware. We are now at the state that technology drives the business, so DevOps helps create how technology best serves an organisation. But you need your own definitions to ensure success so what are yours for words like release, deploy, continuous, DevOps, agile, agility or others?

KPIs and metrics

Now that we have a definition wouldn’t it be great to have a target? KPIs are indicators of performance that are key to your success. They are few in number and should align top down so you can collaborate, communicate and cooperate on the why, what, how and value of achieving a goal or removing an obstacle. I find KPIs work best when each layer of an organisation gets to create their metric that matches the layer above.

Coach your teams how to create metrics that are actively managed and bring results. Keep them few in number so 25 maximum for an entire organisation. 2 more challenges: make the IT metrics map to business metrics and let cost efficiency be an outcome not a goal.

Get involved leadership

Ask yourself this question: How do I know if I am having a good day?

When we ask managers this question, the responses are typically no one is yelling at me or things are up.

What if you could answer the question from the perspective of a business stakeholder every time: Today is good because I helped remove an obstacle to a business issue or I helped achieve a business goal and I can prove it. How would that type of thinking change the way you manage or view how technology is performing?

Get involved leadership means going to where the work occurs or the work is delivered and seeing the truth. Stop hiding! Go see and you might be surprised at how you can help others have a good or even great day.

This sentiment might help you consider your leadership style and approach in 2016: “Good management is the art of making problems so interesting and their solutions so constructive that everyone wants to get to work and deal with them” (Paul Hawken)

Continuously Improve

Almost all of the senior DevOps, Agile, Lean and ITSM enthusiasts share this one 2016 resolution: we need to create a way to improve every single day.

Think about an airplane pilot or ships captain. How often do they check where they are going versus where they think they should be going? How do they encourage the rest of the team to help? How do they use technology to enable getting to their destination better, faster, safer?

We in IT need to do the same. Monthly report decision-making or annual budgets are things of the past. Iteratively checking, giving people the freedom to change their behaviours and work models without having to wait for approval, coaching improvement, finding time to create countermeasures to problems are all paramount to business success. Maintain governance but enjoy agility.

Set a target of 80% work utilisation and 20% learning and trying. Make it fun, reward effort and success. Listen to Franklin D. Roosevelt: “It is common sense to take a method and try it. If it fails, admit it frankly and try another. But above all, try something.” 

Technology is an enabler not a replacement for people

Name me a company that since the downturn has continued to grow, attracted staff and customers, made a positive contribution to improving the value of its bottom-line and community without spending on technology. Just one.

Now look at the list that used technology and see whether they fired people. What you will find is they found ways to use people better. Give people the opportunity to do less fire-fighting and more innovation through retraining or moving them to other roles.

Stop creating business cases that say spend and we will pay for it by firing this number of people.

In summary

My own resolution is to help senior leaders use the benefits of adopting and adapting DevOps to help their organisations do better, faster, safer business.

I hope it has inspired you to consider what will make 2016 a great year for you. Tell us your expectations and let us know if we can help.

Topics: DevOpstastic, DevOps