Ranger4 DevOps Blog

#DevOpsFriday5 with Karen Ferris

Posted by Priyanka Jain on Fri, Aug 5, 2016 @ 16:08 PM

Find me on:

It's the Ranger4 #DevOpsFriday5 series and we have a brand new set of questions for your reading pleasure! Here to kick off the new batch is Karen Ferris. She's DevOpstastic!

1) How do you think bi-modal IT complements or contradicts DevOps principles and practices?

I think bi-model IT will have exist for some time. Not every organisation can immediately adopt a DevOps way of working, especially if using Agile approaches and supporting legacy systems. Some organisations will be more risk adverse than others and will want DevOps to prove itself before moving more and more development and support into a DevOps model. For those organisations born digital it is an easier transition if not a transition at all, but for those that were not born digital it is a cultural change (or a change in an established way of working) that may take some time to establish.

2) How do you think an organisation can achieve end to end ideation to realisation? (Measuring the cost of a feature from inception to delivery and its value when operating in production)

Reducing the cycle time is necessary to reduce costs and deliver innovation quicker. Lean in other industries has proven this. Do we need to strictly measure this to drive success however? Probably not. Is the business improving quality, reducing costs, delivering more value? Those are true measures. Measuring the cycle time of an idea is difficult to measure and drives a short-termist view. Other simpler measures can be used.

3) How do other frameworks or movements like Lean or Agile impact your ability to do better, faster, safer to drive up customer satisfaction and lower cost of service?

I believe that Agile is critical if IT is going to deliver faster, fail faster, deliver more often to meet increasing demands. No longer can the business wait 6 weeks or 6 months for a monolithic release and miss an opportunity to get to market. Frequent iterations towards an end goal are required rather than trying to deliver the big picture. Waiting for the whole rather than utilising the parts as they are delivered no longer makes business sense. Many organisations see DevOps and Agile practices as raising risk whereas the approaches and the associated automation reduce the risk. A monolithic release has far more risk due to its size and complexity than small iterations that if they fail can be fixed fast. Frameworks such as ITIL for IT Service Management can and should co-exist despite the healthy debate that ensues. Gene Kim has written much on this and has been interviewed on this subject numerous times so I will leave the reader to read the words from the expert

4) What are the key pieces of advice or encouragement you would give a devops change agent driving improvement?

Organisational change management. Organisational change management. Organisational change management. Introducing DevOps means a change in the way in which people work and organisational change management will be key. Where is the resistance to the change? How do I recognise it? How do I overcome it? How do I reinforce the change. These, and many more, are the challenges that organisational change management will address and help to smoothly transition people from the old way of working to the new.

5) What metrics really matter when you are doing devops?

Deployment rates, Lead times, Time to recover, Failure rates, Reduction in unplanned work e.g. remediation, Employee engagement e.g. net promoter score (NPS), Customer satisfaction. It is important to measure both the qualitative and quantitative

About Karen:


Karen Ferris is an internationally acclaimed service management professional with a reputation for providing both strategic and practical advice, assistance and insights for organisations in their implementation and maintenance of efficient and effective Service Management.

She has worked as a Service Management practitioner, trainer, consultant and manager since 1994 and is a V3 ITIL Expert. She is an organisational change management practitioner.

In 2011, Karen authored the acclaimed itSMF publication ‘Balanced Diversity – A Portfolio Approach to Organisational Change’ introducing a new and innovative framework for ensuring that service management changes become embedded into the fabric of the organisation. In 2014 she was awarded the lifetime achievement award by itSMF Australia for her contribution to the industry.Karen is a Director of Macanta Consulting and an internationally sought after keynote speaker. 

Follow Karen:

On LinkedIn
On Twitter

Do you have something you'd like to say about DevOps? If you would like to be featured on #DevOpsFriday5 click the button below.

Topics: #DevOpsFriday5, DevOps