Ranger4 DevOps Blog

#DevOpsFriday5 with Kay Johnson

Posted by Helen Beal on Fri, Jan 9, 2015 @ 10:01 AM

It's the Ranger4 #DevOpsFriday5 series - today we will hear from Kay Johnson. Take it away Kay!

1) What’s your preferred definition of DevOps?

The IBM definition sums up DevOps from an Enterprise perspective, however I also like to think of DevOps being 'Agile on Steroids'.  Taking the agile and lean principles then extending them to include business and operations stakeholders

2) When people ‘do’ DevOps, what’s the most common mistake you see them make?

People think that DevOps is purely about the tools to support rapid release into production - DevOps is much, much more.  

The biggest mistake I see is to underestimate the amount of cultural change needed.  This cultural shift requires top-down executive support together with bottom-up buy-in and understanding.  

3) How do you recommend an organisation new to DevOps start?

Make sure you have executive buy-in, then start by realising this is a journey with cross functional teams and continuous improvement being key to success.  If your organisation operates using a waterfall methodology then:

1) Start by enabling the developers and testers to collaborate and together become responsible for implementing working software. (Agile/lean development)
2) Next I recommend that the business stakeholders (the people who define the requirements) are brought into the team so they can gain the benefits of prioritised requirements. If you can do step 2 with step 1 you will REALLY speed up your DevOps adoption :-)  
3) Finally, teams I have worked with quickly realise that the bottleneck in the workflow is release into production.  Therefore, bringing operations into the whole cross functional team, together with supporting tools, will allow the collaboration and continuous delivery that is truly DevOps.

Once you can say that the flow from requirements to implementation to production is 'on demand based on business prioritisation', then you are truly a DevOps organization.  

Of course none of this can really be achieved without tools.  An end to end collaborative lifecycle management (CLM) solution to facilitate collaboration from requirements to deployment, test automation tooling to enable speedy implementation, test virtualization to reduce burden on the environment and last, but by no means least, release and deployment tools to ensure full stack environment management for continuous delivery.

Also you can check out the DevOps Adoption Framework for a more detailed roadmap

4) What’s your prediction for what DevOps will look like in 2020?

As DevOps/Agile implementations become the norm, the organisation will need to understand how to manage and scale this across their enterprise, ensuring we continue to deliver the most valuable software to all the stakeholders. 

5) Where do you like to go to get a DevOps hit?

developerWorks DevOps community,is a community space where DevOps practitioners share their stories, practices and tips.

Additionally, I only recently discovered that Twitter is an amazing way to communicate with like minded people (I know, but I always assumed it was only for soap opera celebs and therefore I never felt the need to tweet). My favourites being, @ibmrational, @blueagility, @urbancode, @ScaledAgile, and of course @ranger4ltd.

Kay JohnsonAbout Kay:

Kay Johnson is an IBM Rational Europe Tiger focusing on helping clients understand the business value that DevOps / Agile can bring.  Kay has spent the last 12 years working with clients to define their transformation strategy and to determine which processes, practices and tools to adopt. Kay provides assessments of current capabilities followed by suggested roadmaps and coaching to enable continuous improvement. 

Prior to this Kay has been a consultant, development manager, tester and project manager.

Specialties: DevOps, facilitation, coaching, software development and testing, development life-cycle analytics, project management, consultancy.

Follow Kay:

On Twitter
On LinkedIn

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Topics: DevOpstastic, #DevOpsFriday5, DevOps