Oh my! Is that a flaming clickbait post title? I believe that management really needs a reality check on this one, and maybe this direct attack will help to catch people’s attention.
It looks like DevOps is the “flavor of the month”. Companies do not know why they need this new shiny term in their development department, but damn if they are going to be left behind in this new trend. So they start setting up small DevOps teams, defining deadlines, and then… Miserably fail these initiatives.
DevOps is not something you can develop outside of the usual development chain. Remember: we are talking about the joint effort of development, operations and testing. There is already expertise on these three pillars on your business, so why are you looking “outside”? Perhaps you believe that someone outside of the actual development change can bring in some fresh air. A new point of view can be handy to solve the current predicaments. New hires are then sought, and brought into… Their own “DevOps department”.
That’s mistake number one.
DevOps it’s all about collaboration, information sharing, and speeding up processes. “External agents” to the work flow will see the sticking points in the pipeline, but will hardly have the power to drive any real change. They might even be perceived as a threat by those whose work are trying to change, despite pushing improvements. After all, who are these “new guys” to tell them how to do their job?
This reasoning is even worse when the new DevOps are young or inexperienced, which brings us to mistake number two: junior hirings.
You could think that “doing” DevOps is about technology and automation. Allow me to correct this misconception: is about people and communication. Is about removing unnecessary paperwork and outdated protocols. Is about reacting to change, about daring to be wrong and fix what was broken. And thus, in the end, DevOps is about managing people and their work. Someone without the adequate mileage will be utterly lost trying to use technology to automate a process, when the issue is the process existing, and pursuing to improve procedures. Or, if they have the correct ideas, those could be shut down because elder workers will not heed what the new blood is growing better.
Now, don’t despair. Not everything is lost yet. You can still make DevOps work. What do you have to do for that? Locate and designate those senior elements in your department that have the drive to polish and refine methods. Find out who talks loudly about change, who tries to bring in new ideas. Do not put a label on someone, because DevOps is a verb. You are doing collaboration; you are improving what you already have and making it something better.
If you really want your business to succeed and expand, start by taking the following test: http://devopschecklist.com/ . It’s a handy way to see how far is your agile evolution going. And then, start by noting down those items that you failed, and let your teams know what is necessary to be improved.
And then, you will also be DevOps-ing.