April 8, 2020 // By Prasanna Ramkumar
The integration of development and operations (DevOps) benefits businesses by eliminating silos, improving efficiency, and focusing on continuous improvement. Everybody’s talking about DevOps. Of course, talking about it is one thing. Implementing it (and implementing it successfully) can be quite difficult. Here are the five biggest challenges of finding DevOps success.
Challenge 1: Gaining Executive Buy-in
DevOps is at the forefront in helping to drive the agility needed for transformation if done properly with the right level of support. One of the biggest challenges these initiatives have had is communicating the right value to the executive level to achieve support. The key to gaining executive buy-in is working closely with the client to select a program/project that support the company initiatives. Then ensure that from the beginning the costs and budget for technology is baked into the initial ask to executive leadership as part of the larger initiative. This helps implementing a DevOps process as part of the bigger initiative.
Challenge 2: Culture and Mindset
Development works one way and operations works another. Asking both of them to give up their way of life can be problematic and produce a lot of hostility. It can be extremely difficult to take two different cultures and merge them into one. You have to get both teams to buy-in to a common set of goals and to understand that when everyone works together, it’s easier to achieve those goals, and it’s a faster process to get there. Open and frequent communication is key, and every team member has to know that they have a say in the way business gets done.
It's also a great idea to have a member of the operations team work directly inside the development team and vice versa. This gives each team the ability to see the other’s perspective in real time as development happens. This process can lead to greater understanding, increased communication, and a higher quality product.
Challenge 3: Collecting Clear Requirements
Today there is a very large gap in communication on what the actual requirements are and what it will take to deploy them. The costliest mistake is not having a clear understanding on the requirements. Innovation never happens in a vacuum. It is important to team members in the decision-making process to ensure that both vision and reality are aligned. It also provides a clear picture of requirements. As part of the seat at the table it is important that the DevOps Leaders to conduct a field trip to observe (not speak or instruct) how the users of the service are actually using it.
Challenge 4: Select the Right Projects
One should be diligent when selecting the right project(s) to use, as not every project will be ready for DevOps. If you are working to scale your software quickly and gain more speed from its agility, then DevOps is a smart choice. Also, DevOps doesn't work all the time and so it should not be treated as a go-to solution that will solve all your problems. For instance, if you are using an older system, it is better to stick to old methods and processes as it is not possible all time to find automated systems for these systems.
Challenge 5: Creating a Consistent DevOps Environment
Dealing with multiple versions within a DevOps environment can result in slower production timelines and increased bugs and issues. It’s also important to change the mindset from individual developers “doing their part” to one cohesive team that is responsible as a collective whole for the outcome of the product. All members of your DevOps team should know exactly what the others are doing at all times. Communication and transparency is key. This can be achieved through communication tools or simply with daily stand-up meetings.
DevOps can be truly successful only when there is a clear focus on and dedication to teamwork excellence as opposed to individual success. Click here to learn more about Magenic’s DevOps practice and how we can help you move faster.