Skip to main content

DevOps at Microsoft- a successful transformation story

When Microsoft started our own DevOps journey, we quickly realized that our transformation to DevOps would have broad organizational impact. Every DevOps conversation needs to focus equally on people, processes, and tools to ensure a successful transformation.

Our DevOps journey began by gradually changing the way we work. For example, on the people front, we were able to reduce team sizes from over 20 members to 8-12 members, and we also shifted from working in private offices to working in team rooms. The DevOps journey also allowed us to flatten our hierarchy over time. Smaller teams working in a more collaborative environment increased our ability to more effectively present, test, and implement solutions more quickly.

From a process perspective, we changed from our established 4-6-month milestones to 3-week sprints with features shipped upon the conclusion of every sprint, instead of annual shipments. With the sprint format established, we also transitioned from lengthy planning cycles to a continuous planning and learning cycle. Ultimately, this journey allowed Microsoft to complete one of the most important mindset changes—success is now determined by user satisfaction as opposed to installation numbers.
Lastly, our DevOps journey changed the tools we used. While we once relied on creating time-intensive 100-page spec documents, we now create agile mockups in PowerPoint. Azure DevOps provided the tools we needed to streamline our work process, to share our ideas with the right audience, and to change the way we thought about our work. Over time, we were able to introduce broad mindset changes that our organization now actively embraces and lives every day. These changes have improved our organization and the way we work.


Popular posts from this blog

SCRUM- Who should write a user story

Traditionally user stories (or requirements) were written by Business analysts. They used to prepare big documents after months of study. It was a herculean task. I used to get such UI/Functional specification documents. I have fixed a lot of bugs because I missed few text in such 1000 + pages document. This is not the only interesting part. Some of the requirements were so weird that I often wondered why I am creating the features which no one is going to use. If I had the option I would have recommended a better option. If the BA’s misunderstood some requirements & customers failed to correct those few words in the epic requirement then we will have a nice situation. In the agile world the story is different. Product Owners are primarily responsible for user stories. But can anyone else also contribute? Yes. Definitely yes In actual environment many users write user stories. The first requirement may come from end user. The PO, tech architect, scrum master, BA’s... anyone can up

PDCA & SCRUM (or Agile); Why is it important?

The PDCA (Plan DO Check Act) cycle was made popular by Dr. W. Edwards Deming. This is a scientific cyclic process which can be used to improve the process (or product). This is cyclic in nature and usually time boxed. Plan  This is the first stage of the process. During this step the team discusses the objectives, the process and the clear conditions of exit (conditions of acceptance). This stage sets the measurable and achievable goals for the team. DO Team works together to achieve the objective set in the planning phase. Team works with the set of agreed process. Check Once the implantation is done team regroups and verifies the output and compares it to the agreed conditions of acceptance decided during the planning phase. The deviation, if any, is noted down. ACT If any deviation in planned tasks is observed during the Check stage, a root cause analysis is conducted. Team brainstorms and identifies the changes required to prevent such deviations in future. Team also

What are the rules of scrum?

A relatively new person to scrum asked me this question last day. My answer to that person was yes. But really does the scrum have any rules? Scrum is a framework which helps us in developing software. It has very few rules and apart from those basic rules rest of them are guidelines like best practices. Some of the rules  The roles of Scrum • Scrum Master - • Product Owner • Feature Team The PDCA cycle (  )  frequent communication about risks (daily) • Plan – Sprint planning • Do – Actual engineering sprint – deliver a potential shippable code • Check – Sprint review • Act – Retrospective  The scrum guide @ will be a good guideline for teams/companies planning to start scrum. If you are following the recommendation in these then you are following scrum. Apart from these rest of