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The cultural aspect of Agile & DevOps transformation

I get a lot of request for “help” for  agile and DevOps transformation. Many sincerely want to do this but many do this because everyone else is doing and they contacted some some consultants who gave them their marketing pitch with all the technical jargon and modern buzzwords. 

There is a lot of hype around DevOps and most of the consultant companies I interacted had many nice slide decks with lot of keywords but implementing them was very difficult.

Adding "Ops" at the end of any normal technical word doesn't turn it into the next stage of DevOps. The team and company needs many years of practice and rigor before they can master the trade. Until you create a team/company which is interested in reducing the overall cycle time  and who is wiling to take the feedback and act on it don't think about ChatOps, DevSecOps, DataOps and a lot of other xOps. These ops jargon looks good on power point slides but in reality these are just common sense, the next thing you do as part of DevOps transformation.  The key objective of Agile or DevOps is to reduce the cycle time , to get frequent feedback and act on it.
Agile & DevOps - A collaborative team effort from start to finish

I have lot of presentation/artifacts for DevOps. Most of these are customized according to the need and the objective of the team/application. In my experience helping many teams to do Agile and DevOps  I found that the technical part of DevOps is only around 30-40 % and the rest 60-70 % is the cultural change. It takes  many months and sometimes years of agile transformation before many teams could really start planning for DevOps.

Your team should be willing to do frequent releases (daily, weekly or at least monthly)  and act on the feedback received. If you prefer to work only in silos then Agile & DevOps is not for you. Many teams just do the build automation and forget the people part. It is more difficult to change people, to push them out of their comfort zone. The business analysts , developers, testers, Ops - everyone will (and should) work together to deliver product. For this to happen people should start thinking about the larger picture  and not on the small personal roles and responsibilities. Based on my experience this is the most difficult part 

If you are starting the transformation journey , I will not suggest a big bang transformation. Most of the time such transformation will end up in failure. My suggestion is to make gradual changes keeping the long-term objective in mind. 

Do these in small cycles 

  1. Plan for the small increment of changes, 
  2. Make the planned changes
  3. Collect data/observe the impact of change
  4. Identity next steps or areas of improvement 

With every cycle you will have improved your delivery pipeline

Some of these changes could be technology related  but most of them will be related to people, process and coordination. There is no silver bullet  which can solve all your problems. You will have to identify each bottleneck and solve them. Experienced coaches can guide in this transformation but they cannot solve your problems with flashy power point presentations. They need your help to help you.


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