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Elements that are Crucial for DevOps

We show that the real power comes from a team that has both the possibility and the power to provide an integral and intrinsic service to your client to achieve real customer success.
Ernst Veen
May 12 2019

In the two previous blogs about DevOps, the first about increasing productivity with DevOps culture in the office, and the second about implementing DevOps as a manner of working, you read about what DevOps is, and the principles that a full DevOps implementation should meet. In this third blog, we will show that the real power comes from the psychological effect- namely, the realization of a team that has both the possibility and the power to provide an integral and intrinsic service to your client to achieve real customer success.

We love to talk about teamwork and working together. Let DevOps be built entirely on the principle of a team. Investing in the elements of group development is important for the team to fully come into its own, which is marked by them pursuing a common goal and achieving it through complementary skills. Harness the power by working together.

In Competition with Typical Grouping Elements

Bruce Tuckman, in his 1965 Team-Development Model, understood group development in four stages: forming (each for himself), storming (group formation), norming (closed team) and performing (open team). Every new and existing team has to deal with these stages. In addition, the team will always have to face a relapse, particularly when someone leaves, or a new team member joins the team.

 

Forming: The starting phase. Enthusiasm, exploring boundaries, building trust.
Storming: First disappointment
s. Arguing about rules, possible conflicts or distrust.
Norming: Decision
s. We can do this better, creating clarity about cooperation, agreements.
Performing: Top performance
. Only now is the team more than the sum of its parts.

In short, the rules of a team apply. Trust in each other and the realization of the common goal has a key role. This creates the opportunity to work towards a high-performing team. Such a team naturally adds a lot of value to business processes. In this phase, the team members also get a lot of energy from working together, namely due to being complementary to each other. The groups that we traditionally call "teams", for example the “infrastructure team”, are not teams according to this definition, due to lack of complementary skills. It is important to note that I am clearly taking a dividing position here.

In Competition with All Elements

Okay, now that we know what DevOps is and how we can benefit from it, we must invest in complementary teams and make these teams fully responsible and competent. In short, break down the micro-management culture and implement a new one. For many organizations, that feels like losing control. How do you bridge that gap?

Like in the first blog about this theme, DevOps is a culture, and one can not impose a culture. However, everyone feels this differently. If we look at DevOps as a method, there are elements that can apply to everyone. In the previous blog, there were six principles deemed important. I believe it is about five themes: attitude and behavior, performance, organization, processes and tooling. And finally, let technology work for you.

There are various tools available to make life as easy as possible, certainly when you want to build in reliability when it comes to the many changes and functions that have to be brought to production. In this way, you want to closely supervise the entire flow of activities through DTAP. With technology, you can increase the release frequency to a level that you never have to manually keep up with. For example, Microsoft offers an integrated platform with Azure DevOps.

More Agility and Efficiency with the Elements

Becoming more agile is handy. We have nice jargon for that in our field (think: Agile, Scrum, etc.). The trend around DevOps is driven by agility- on the one hand on the software development side, and through smart containers and automation on the system management side. In short, apply maximum focus so that you can do what you are good at. DevOps could be considered if you want to gain a significant advantage in terms of maneuverability, efficiency and quality. Another very important side effect, is that you will have happy people.

Do not opt ​​for the elements of DevOps to save costs. The biggest advantage is achieved with a change in mentality in the company: permanent functions are eliminated and the focus shifts to the dynamic development of important IT skills. This requires a substantial investment in training. A quick day training in between is not enough.

All together, DevOps is a highly desirable development. Certainly with the potential to be able to enter the market at a rapid pace with changes and new functions. Moreover, the elements of DevOps fit in seamlessly with the promise to customers to add more value. And yes, of course to reap this potential, management teams and managers must be willing to change the organizational form and to set up a structure to deliver value with the associated tooling, attitude and behavior, processes and performance.

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This is the third blog in our DevOps series, written by Ernst Veen, Azure Product Owner for SaaSplaza.
Click here to read the first blog, Increase Productivity with DevOps Culture in the Office.
Click here to read the second blog, The 6 Principles of DevOps That Will Speed Up Productivity.

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