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Implementing DevOps

Simon Ratcliffe

Simon Ratcliffe
Principal Consultant, Advisory

In order to accurately implement DevOps, organisations need to understand that it’s more of a philosophy than an objective; think of the DevOps model more as a set of guiding principles which, if adopted, emphasise collaboration and communication between development and operations and assist in the automation of infrastructure changes and software delivery.

The challenges of implementing DevOps

Changing a philosophy within an organisation invariably takes time. No matter how beneficial it might be, changing how multiple departments communicate and approach their work is no easy task. Successful implementation requires coherent objectives that provide a clear vision. For some organisations, developing a clear vision can be the biggest obstacle to overcome.

Three steps toward implementation

Breaking down the DevOps model into essential pieces can help organisations with successful implementation. At a high level, DevOps can be viewed as a three-pronged approach that requires the following:

  1. Changing the way business is engaged
  2. Creating a new culture that alters current skills and processes
  3. Establishing the relevant infrastructure, tools and ecosystem

Viewed this way, organisations can begin to wrap their heads around which area they should tackle first. We can even go a step further to achieve a granular view of DevOps that allows us to measure core elements, establish an overall view of an organisation’s maturity and create a roadmap to attain the desired level of maturity.

It’s important to categorise DevOps by definable elements that can be easily measured in order to identify where augmenting an organisation can help emphasise the philosophical change that is required. The most effective approach to philosophical change in an organisation is the ability to break the change into small identifiable units that allow incremental change to be applied. Small changes are easier to implement and tend to ease the transition for greater changes.

An initial exercise that establishes the level of maturity required allows the production of a change program across the organisation. Roadmaps detailing the change programs can be produced and show where external assistance can be used to enhance the speed and efficiency of change within an organisation.

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