Ranger4 DevOps Blog

Helen Beal

Helen is Head of DevOps at Ranger4 and has 20 years of experience working with organisations of all sizes and industries to transform their digital landscape. She's also a novelist and fond of llamas.
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Recent Posts

Booking Now Open for November’s Digital Transformation Experience

Posted by Helen Beal on Thu, Oct 10, 2019 @ 17:10 PM


Evolution in business is at the heart of what we do here at Ranger4. We devote a lot of our time to helping clients harness new, more efficient ways of working. From tightening processes and cultivating new working cultures, to speeding up service elements and helping you delight your customers - we put a premium on high performance development.

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Full Enterprise Adoption: Ways of Working

Posted by Helen Beal on Tue, Jul 23, 2019 @ 17:07 PM

I’ve been observing a pattern for quite some time now with my clients that in 2017 I referred to as BizIT - that is, these conversations about Ways of Working* have been seeping out of the technology teams and into ‘the business’. It’s digital disruption that is driving the global evolution towards these ways of working that are characterised by:

  • Incremental change to reduce risk and create fast feedback loops
  • Small, dedicated, autonomous, cross-functional, multi-functional teams
  • Long lived product centric thinking, unlearning project centric habits
  • Empowerment, participation and peer-review
  • Breaking dependencies, impediment removal and streamlining processes
  • End-to-end, value stream thinking and experimentation
  • Focus on customer delight and the delivery of value outcomes
  • Increasing throughput and stability as equal forces
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Topics: Ways of Working

The Concept of Scenius

Posted by Helen Beal on Fri, Jun 28, 2019 @ 13:06 PM

At the DevOps Enterprise Summit this week in London Gene Kim drew the audience's attention to the concept of 'scenius'; the communal form of genius. A term coined by musician Brian Eno, it counters 'The Lone Genius Myth'; the belief that innovation comes from a few great chosen ones. Eno defines it as:

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Topics: DevOps enterprise summit, Gene Kim, Scenius, DOES

Jayne Groll at DevOps Enterprise Summit London 2019 on The Three Ways, ITIL4 and SRE

Posted by Helen Beal on Tue, Jun 25, 2019 @ 14:06 PM

The fourth London DevOps Enterprise Summit kicked off in London today and the CEO of the DevOps Institute, Jayne Groll, talked about ITIL4 and SRE. Jayne asserted that value is only created when you use a service and that service management is still relevant - this hasn’t changed in DevOps. It will always need to be managed but the way it is managed is different in DevOps.

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Topics: DevOps, CASM, Agile Service Manager, site reliability engineer, DevOps enterprise summit, SRE, The Three Ways

Measuring to Learn, Measuring to Improve

Posted by Helen Beal on Thu, Jun 20, 2019 @ 05:06 AM

Having this week delivered one of our DevOps Metrics workshops in Saudi Arabia, while it's fresh in my mind, I thought it worthwhile sharing some detail about this learning experience and how its outcomes drive DevOps adoption and evolution.

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Topics: Business metrics, devops purpose, devops assessment, metrics

The Phoenix Project Game: Learning Outcomes

Posted by Helen Beal on Fri, Jun 14, 2019 @ 12:06 PM

It's a game, it's fun, it's playing, it's my favourite thing to do! It's not work then, is it? I mean, how can playing be serious and useful and result in a practical improvement? Here's how:

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Topics: Enterprise DevOps, DevOps Game, The Phoenix Project, Simulation Game, The Phoenix Project Game, Experiential learning

Setting an Organisational Why

Posted by Helen Beal on Wed, Jun 12, 2019 @ 12:06 PM

Simon Sinek's Golden Circle is a key tool we use when we are helping people understand DevOps principles. For people that are coming from a place where DevOps is about automation this can be a little perplexing, but this is a core cultural asset, and DevOps is as much about culture as it is about automation. I love Chris Little's quote from the DevOps Handbook: "DevOps is about automation, as astronomy is about telescopes."

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Topics: Leadership, organisational why, golden circle, devops purpose, devops assessment

DevOps Leadership

Posted by Helen Beal on Tue, Jun 4, 2019 @ 11:06 AM

The DevOps Institute (DOI) will be releasing V2.0 of their DevOps Leader course imminently. As an instructor, it's my favourite course to deliver and I've thoroughly enjoyed participating in the update along with many other global DOI REPs and instructors - it's been receiving fantastic feedback. Some have described the new version as 'dense' or 'meaty' but I like to think of it as rich. The course is designed for people who are leading DevOps evolutions or transformations - either within their own organisations or acting as coaches or consultants for their client organisations.

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Topics: DevOps Leader, Unlearning, Leadership, Bateson Stakeholder Map, Ways of Working, Ways of Thinking, Learning, Transformational Leadership

Your DevOps Brain: Ways of Thinking, Ways of Working

Posted by Helen Beal on Wed, May 15, 2019 @ 12:05 PM

One of the DevOps myths I frequently have to address is that DevOps is all about automation and tools. Whilst they are an essential element to attain the DevOps goal of optimising the flow from idea to value realisation in order to deliver better value outcomes faster and more safely, early on in the evolution of DevOps, Damon Edwards and John Willis came up with the CALMS acronym to help explain the lenses of DevOps concern and the C taught us that Culture is also an essential element. This thinking is supported by this Gartner article that shows in their research that 50% of people asked say that people issues (as opposed to process, technology and information issues) present by far the biggest inhibitor to the adoption of DevOps principles and practices - and also my own observations with my clients who tell me culture is the most difficult challenge they face today.

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Topics: Neuroscience

DevOps 2019

Posted by Helen Beal on Mon, Jan 7, 2019 @ 11:01 AM

Happy New Year one and all! Whilst time, or at least the Gregorian calendar, may be a human construct, I do enjoy the annual opportunity for navel gazing and setting intentions for a new dozen of months. I’ll be working with Zen koans daily in 2019 as part of my evolving interests in meditation and the brain. This however, represents my thoughts about the world of DevOps in the coming year, and is also a reflection on my thoughts on the same a year ago.

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Topics: DevOps Leader, DevOps Toolchain, DevOps Predictions, State of DevOps 2018, Value Stream Mapping