Agile can drive lean development and operational automation, towards improving response back to the end user. In this whitepaper, we will explore how DevOps can help streamline the agile development process and provide with a more e cient collaboration across departments.
Setting the Tone
In today’s world, customers are demanding high service and businesses need to respond. Rapid customer response through efficient development and deployment are critical in creating a positive customer experience. Traditional development and operations silos don’t scale well for rapid response, an approach that is end-user driven is needed.
Development and operations are traditionally siloed departments. Communication is limited to handoffs and optimization efforts are focused locally, hence cross- department collaboration is often discouraged.
Bringing together development and operations into a single team may not always be feasible, there are external factors that can affect this type collaboration, working hours, processes, and geography can limit having a single, committed, rapid response team.
When DevOps comes in place
DevOps is achieved through the collaboration and knowledge sharing between development and operations roles to deliver fixes quickly and develop with an operational mindset. This approach adopts several Agile practices to achieve this goal: frequent information transfer through collaboration, continuous and regular release of solutions to end users, and prompt response to end-user and system feedback and change.
DevOps concepts are not new but they are constantly evolving. Nowadays, when talking about DevOps concepts like Agile, lean, development and operational automation need to be considered.
Where does DevOps provide value?
- Improves relationships with Operations: Helps take in the perspectives and concerns of other teams as you perform your responsibilities which increases the success of hand-offs. With more weight lifted from the operations teams’ shoulders, they can dedicate more time for system improvements and streamlining processes to increase throughput.
- Helps reveal problems early: DevOps practices emphasize the importance of early and continuous testing during the development of the application and continuous monitoring after it is deployed. The goal is reveal and address business and technical defects early in the lifecycle, ideally before it is exposed to production environments and end users. This will help reduce the downstream costs to fix defects.
- Bringing operational insights into development earlier in order to improve delivery throughput by mitigating operational risks early, and to identify opportunities to fine-tune products for better performance and end user experience.
- Quickly Fix Defects: DevOps embraces cross-functional teams where each member has some knowledge and skills with development, testing, operations, and architecture. Teams know immediately who to contact to troubleshoot the issue if it is beyond their skill set to address. Since deployments are also smaller in size, the scope of complications is smaller and typically less complex, which reduces the time needed to assess and fix defects.
- Creating optimized development and operations environments as well as integrating the two with a focus on the end user will help resolve issues faster.
- Shortening the response time to user needs.
The tangible Impact of DevOps
- 23% increased collaboration between departments.
- 22% improved quality of deployed applications.
- 20% reduced time-to-market for software/services.
- Produces 63% more frequent software releases.
- Results in 33% more time devoted to improving infrastructure.
- Reduces 60% of time spent handling support cases.
Where does DevOps fit into the Agile Roadmap:
Where does DevOps fit into your business:
Much like any other Agile development technique, the success of DevOps is based on how your teams interact with each other. Implementing processes and technologies on top of a shaky communication foundation can lead to:
- Internal conflicts: individuals with the traditional mindset will not know how they are involved in DevOps environments, leading them to question their value to the project.
- Wasteful activities: teams hand-off artifacts to other teams that do not meet their expectations, take on repetitive tasks, or complete tasks that contribute little business value.
- Widening existing mistrust: without a clear understanding of what it means to be done in the context of operations, applications will be deployed against incorrect requirements or will be unreliable in production.
Understanding the current state of your development and operations teams to determine the focus of your efforts is the first step towards developing an effective DevOps strategy. Relying on an experienced team of consultant, can provide guidance towards defining your business needs and the right approach.
At Icreon, we work with our clients reviewing their current development and feedback processes, and identifying the root causes behind painful process inefficiencies, inconsistencies, and miscommunications across departments.
There is no silver bullet towards DevOps, every business is different and represents and might encounter different problems during their project iterations. Even the structure of a DevOps environment will vary. Tailor your solutions to the context of each team and regularly review its effectiveness.
Alleviating the bottlenecks in your deployment and operations processes is one of the most tangible results when the right DevOps practices are in place.
DevOps will help create a more continuous flow of work from development into operations by alleviating the bottlenecks from large batch releases and inefficient activities. Optimize your entire deployment process, rather than individual functional groups or phases. Your overall throughput is only as good as your least optimized step.
DevOps can help uncover people and process issues that were previously masked, such as communication issues. Leaving these complications unaddressed will cause frustration and poor hand-offs between teams, which leads to further delays.