DevOps, the connection between development and operations teams, has been used as a development concept for 10 years and represents one of the biggest IT transformations of the past 30 years, so organisations that aren't effectively incorporating DevOps into their businesses should take stock and see where they can improve.
The timeline for DevOps is variable based on each organisation's current DevOps maturity and business objectives.
Early adopters are seeing massive benefits but adoption is slower than expected.
Australian organisations stand to gain from accelerating their DevOps journeys.
There are four key aspects of DevOps that organisations should consider when determining where they are in their journey:
DevOps requires a culture of continuous improvement.
Because culture plays such a huge role in employees' focus, this is the first thing that organisations need to have in place to successfully adopt DevOps.
Organisations should, therefore, set a deliberate strategy for defining the desired actions and behaviours that will support DevOps, then design the work processes to reinforce those behaviours.
When employees realise that DevOps adoption will be rewarded, they will be more likely to do it.
Continuous delivery requires organisations to automate as much as possible.
Automation means processes are repeatable and can be done the same way every time, leading to improved quality.
Automation also frees up staff to innovate and add value beyond tedious, manual tasks.
Organisations should review their current level of automation and consider where more automation can be added to further streamline processes and support innovation.
A good rule of thumb is that high-performance teams manually test just 20% of the time versus 80% automated testing, according to a report by DevOps Research and Assessment (DORA).
When measuring the success of DevOps initiatives, it's important to ensure that the business is measuring the right thing.
Speed of development means nothing if the team has developed the wrong thing.
Therefore, measurement must be based on how well the team has delivered according to current business needs.
Outcomes are more important than outputs because they measure tangible benefits to the business and its customers versus simply benchmarking how productive the business is.
By demonstrating business value, teams can provide a clear mandate for their DevOps initiative.
Reporting facts, exchanging ideas, and sharing responsibility and collaboration are all essential for effective DevOps.
Visibility is key and everyone in the team needs to have full visibility into all related information.
This reinforces the culture of continuous improvement and helps teams stay on the same page, leading to improved trust and, eventually, better outcomes.
Companies on a DevOps journey are likely to be trying to move fast, so it can seem like a waste of time to step back and measure progress.
However, doing so can lead to valuable recalibrations and issue resolution, which can help the business overcome barriers and move forward even faster.
Therefore, it's advisable for organisations to measure success at least half-yearly if not quarterly.