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The Enterprise Guide to DevOps Transition: Assessing Your Maturity and Performance

How do you decide where to start the DevOps transformations in your organization? Knowing the key principles of DevOps and the current best practices is one piece of the puzzle. The second main component of a successful transition is knowing exactly how to apply those guidelines.

DevOps is not about solely adopting new tools for automating certain development and operational processes or applying “patches” to the problematic areas. The key to success with DevOps is to embed its core principles in your company’s culture and relentlessly encourage their adoption and adherence by staff at all levels.

There’s no unified framework for “Doing DevOps The Right Way”, but rather a set of steps transitioning companies can take to facilitate the process as per our experience.

Develop a Vision for Your DevOps Culture

To succeed, you need a clear business justification for embracing DevOps. The process will require a sit down with not just the development and operational teams you will want to merge, but with all business teams.

Take the time to understand the teams’ current needs, the common struggles and pressing pain points that prevent them from operating at full capacity. Optimization without a proper vector is useless. You will have to define very specific objectives and measurements for success during your vision development sessions.

The result of your sessions should be:

  • Strong justification for implementing DevOps;
  • The overall vision of how it will work for your company.

Draw Your Current Value Chain and Flow

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Every company has its internal drivers for creating certain value. It can be purely monetary reward, social responsibility, industry leadership or any other positive outcome you are trying to achieve.

Each and every value is pinned to certain actions, performed by your staff and respective systems or tools. Investigate into these matters. Start with one business unit (the development team) or a business system (Quality Assurance Workflows) and expand from there.

Look into how new features are currently developed, deployed, and then used by customers. Consider how you can make the entire process less wasteful – reduce zero-value processes, increase efficiency of individual actions and the cumulative team effort.

As a Product Owner, you should be asking the following questions:

  • What is our current process for this?
  • Why are we doing it this way?
  • How long does this action take on average?
  • What prevents you from doing it faster? What bottlenecks are you dealing with?
  • How long does it take to develop this feature and hand it to Ops?

Next, map existing processes and teams to the value chain and define the critical path towards your ultimate goals. See what obvious optimization routes are available. Repeat the same thought process for different teams and look for hidden and indirect opportunities for further optimization.

Communications is a really big place to get started. Getting everyone educated. Developers need to be able to tell the ops team the big things that are coming. Ops will then be well aware that this is coming. Visibility is key here – much more visibility into what’s going on in a day to day basis. – As Matt Bentley, Solutions Engineer at Docker

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