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 Lukasz Panusz. He's DevOpstastic!
1) How do you think bi-modal IT complements or contradicts DevOps principles and practices?
Bi-modal IT is designed to handle the status quo. However, it is dangerous to think of it as a solution. Bi-modal does not stimulate transformation. The prize is reduction of costs, digitalisation of the business using new methods and new technologies. This is not only happening in the front end, if this has to really matter in terms of customer experience, it needs to touch the system of records. Thinking that both worlds can live independently from each others and organisations can function as 2 tier is regressive and won't lead the needed transformation.
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?
Agile - as bringing companies to a state of Agility, able to progress from frequent iterations, gain customer feedback is a great way of driving innovation. Too often however people expect cost reductions, better architectures, etc out of it, whilst it does very little for this. As a consequence Agile implementing an Agile process generally fails because enterprises lose sight of the real objective of improving delivery. This is why Agile should be combined with a Lean approach in my view that is more transformative, effectively drives quality and cost savings through elimination of waste and debt.
4) What are the key pieces of advice or encouragement you would give a devops change agent driving improvement?
To drive DevOps transformation, applying some of the Lean techniques is very useful.
Use the theory of constraints to identify the bottlenecks and progress to subordinate the rest to the bottleneck and/or improve on the bottlenecks. The 5 whys are also useful to do root cause analysis which can be used to resolve the bottlenecks. DevOps is made up of a lot of bottlenecks, only a discipline attitude to go and resolve those one by one sees progress being made.
5) What metrics really matter when you are doing devops?
One could mention many metrics attempting to measure the performance. Measuring performance is difficult, measuring quality and waste is easier. Quality is a constant of all companies that have implemented Lean successfully and so every effort should be made to aim for quality and avoidance of tech debt. Metrics should be determined to assess quality (conformance to coding standards, achieving definition of done, etc). Waste is relatively easy to approach but unusual to consider in IT. It takes some education to look at different dimensions of waste to calculate it.
Philippe is the Executive Delivery Manager at GFT and institutional disrupter - helping institutional organisations catch up with rapidly changing technologies and management techniques.