Over the past few years, DevOps has been transforming the way software applications are developed.
DevOps is a set of practices that combines software development and IT operations. It is a software development lifecycle (SDLC) methodology designed to accelerate product release cycles, reduce wasteful process and improve end-user experience with every release iteration.
In addition to tools and processes that enable DevOps, the methodology is largely focused on culture, the people, and a more efficient mindset.
For instance, in DevOps, small multidisciplinary teams work together seamlessly across the entire spectrum of development, QA, and operations, with shared responsibilities. Teams are required to focus on product quality and speed of delivery through collaborative efforts, automation, and regular feedback from all stakeholders. DevOps aims to reduce bottlenecks for these collaborating teams by automating processes and removing certain manual tasks which cause delays.
With that in mind, if a cultural change is not embraced to enable DevOps in your own organization, your team may face conflicting goals and will not be able to realize the true potential of this innovative approach to development. Despite the available technologies and process workflows in place, we have seen many businesses fall into several pitfalls, thanks to resistance to such changes.
While every IT organisation is seeking the perfect way to deliver using the DevOps approach, there are some DevOps models which are failing to meet the expectations.
Fortunately, not only can we warn you of the most common reasons organizations fail with DevOps but we are also able to offer advice to help you avoid them.
1. Creating a new DevOps department: One of the most common mistakes organizations make when they adopt DevOps is creating a new department for managing the strategy and framework. Many organizations don’t consider how the new department would interact and impact all the other connected departments. Moreover, this is not what DevOps aims to accomplish with its philosophy.
To transition smoothly, you should take an approach wherein the existing development and operations teams work collaboratively, rather than creating a new department altogether. Do not forget the main objective here is to step away from old thinking and find innovative ways to streamline the new processes.
2. Overlooking organizational change: Neglecting organizational changes is one of the biggest reasons DevOps fails. When an organization tries to adopt and implement a new system, it should prepare its employees technically and structurally for the upcoming changes in the environment. The team should be given adequate time to transition and adapt, to give them the best chance of succeeding.
Do not overlook the cultural shift which is required to make the DevOps transition successful across all the teams involved.
3. Making speed one of the primary goals: Shifting to DevOps brings a lot of positive outcomes to the table, with speed being one of the most obvious benefits. But while speed will be a natural result of DevOps, it should not be the primary objective. This is because when organizations prioritise speed, they usually do it at the expense of quality.
You should always aim to directly align the speed of delivery with your quality assurance practices while transitioning to DevOps, and if you do you’ll be heading towards success.
4. Relying on manual procedures: Adopting DevOps involves building strong automation capabilities. Many organizations still rely on manual procedures, reluctant to change and let go of their legacy process to their own detriment.
To make the most out of your DevOps adoption, you must instil a level of trust, not only in your teams but also in the tools and techniques involved. Relying on manual processes while trying to implement DevOps will make the overall process frustrating, time-consuming, expensive, and will leave your delivery prone to human error and unnecessary bottlenecks.
5. Working in silos: Breaking down silos is one of the main objectives of implementing DevOps, as it encourages collaboration among teams and creates a culture that is agile, robust, and stable.
Many organizations tend to impart the DevOps knowledge to various teams individually and try to adopt DevOps in small phases. But this is counter-productive to the nature of DevOps, which is based on cross-functional collaboration, frequent communication, integration, and continuous delivery.
6. Micro-management: Micro-managing will have a negative impact on overall team performance and morale. It is extremely common for teams to feel suppressed and unable to work effectively if they are closely monitored on a daily basis.
Encourage your teams to be autonomous, to express themselves, and to and find new ways to get things done.
7. Underestimating the importance of the cultural shift: The first step to implement DevOps is to encourage a cultural shift first before you drive an organizational shift. DevOps culture blurs the lines between development, operations, and quality assurance. It requires teams to redefine their responsibilities on a continuous retrospective basis and involves increasing transparency, communication, and collaboration across the development and operational functions.
If you do decide to adopt DevOps, you must first prioritise getting the cultural aspects right before diving into process improvement and introducing new technologies.
If your organization is planning to shift to DevOps, it is important to understand the fundamental principles of the approach. You must also appreciate that being successful with DevOps takes time, patience, effort, and requires strong management and team support.
Additionally, it is crucial that you ensure all your teams and departments are willing to embrace the transformation. Daffodil Software is one such organization which adopted DevOps as a process for its clients and implemented the DevOps culture successfully.
If you are familiar with any of these pitfalls or have found yourself facing any of these challenges within your own organization, Testhouse will be able to help get you back on track with our wide range of expertise (click on each to learn more):
- Continuous Integration and Delivery
- Continuous Testing
- Continuous Deployment
- DevOps for Dynamics
If you would like to gain a better understanding of how to succeed with DevOps, drop us a note below or contact us to learn more.