Build a DevOps-Focused Enterprise

On Information Week, June 20, 2017,  and  Health Medicine Network, June 21, 2017

Sharing values and principles

DevOps is a philosophy that’s easily ported to many enterprise sectors, says Alan Zucker, an Agile, DevOps, and project management consultant based in Arlington, Va. “The values and principles of DevOps can be applied to almost any business value stream, from finance to marketing,” he notes. “Nearly all organizations will benefit from close, collaborative relationships with other functions on the same value stream.”

…Meanwhile, departments such as finance, HR, and marketing are all responsible for major repetitive processes that affect other business sectors, even when only incrementally improved. “All HR organizations go through annual process cycles: benefits, enrollment, goal planning, performance review, etc.,” Zucker notes. Procedures and applications for executing these cycle-oriented tasks are often developed within a silo. “When the rest of the organization has to execute these processes, there are (often) issues,” he says. DevOps allows every part of the enterprise with a stake in the final outcome of a process tasks to have its voice heard.

…Want to understand the 9 Big Mistakes DevOps Teams Make? Check out the InformationWeek slideshow.

Zucker notes that DevOps has the potential to make the development of key business procedures, such as BYOD policies, a true team effort. “Envision iterative development where people provide feedback on the HR procedures as they are being implemented with a focus on monitoring and continuous improvement,” Zucker says. “Imagine how differently HR would be perceived by the rest of the company.”

…Building Buy-in

Managers must need to see that DevOps is not the flavor of the month, Zucker says. “Senior leadership is committed to the changes; they also need to see the benefit and understand the impact to their roles and their teams,” he notes. The rollout should proceed from success-to-success. ‘When managers see the small wins, the improvements that make their lives better, they will be persuaded.”

…DevOps adoption is widely viewed as an organizational change effort. “The two biggest causes of failure of all organizational changes are a lack of executive support and a lack of organizational patience,” Zucker says. “The CFO, CMO, COO or whoever is sponsoring the transformation must be committed for the long-haul.”

Organizational change is never easy, though. “Most organizational change efforts fail or fall short of their goals because there is a real lack of executive support and long-term commitment and DevOps is no different,” Zucker says. “People at all levels of the organization must be empowered and incentivized to do the right thing.”