Use DevOps to Respond Faster to End Customers

Fix, deploy, and support applications quicker.

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Your Challenge

  • Rapid customer response and efficient development are critical to creating a positive customer experience and remaining relevant in today’s marketplace.
  • The business puts significant pressure on development and operations teams to achieve these business objectives. DevOps is a popular approach to alleviate this pressure.

Our Advice

Critical Insight

  • Development and operations are traditionally siloed departments. Communication is limited to hand-offs and optimization efforts are focused locally. Cross-department collaboration is often discouraged.
  • Operational concerns are not accommodated early in the development lifecycle, leading to costly post-release fixes and poorly performing systems.
  • Focus only on your most impactful development and operations pain points. Trust your empowered teams to leverage the right DevOps practices to achieve quicker deployment throughput and better customer service.
  • Collaborate on the development and implementation of DevOps practices. Merging development and operations perspectives can help alleviate the tension between these two groups and initiate regular communication.

Impact and Result

There are many factors that may derail your DevOps initiatives, such as lack of management buy-in. Understand the current state of your development and operations teams to determine the focus of your efforts:

  • Conduct retrospectives: discuss experiences with previous projects amongst development and operations managers to identify issues that need to be addressed.
  • Complete a root cause analysis: review your development and operations metrics and processes to pinpoint the cause of your throughput inefficiencies, execution inconsistencies, and other pain points.
  • Develop customized solutions: there is no silver bullet. Each team and project may encounter different problems during their iterations. Tailor your solutions to the context of each team and regularly review their effectiveness.

Contributors

  • Ben Palacio, Information Systems Analyst, County of Nevada, CA
  • Scott W. Ambler, Senior Consulting Partner, Scott Ambler + Associates 
  • Kristen Morton, Associate Implementation Architect, OneShield Inc.
  • Rex Morrow, Marketing Director, Datical 
  • Pete Pickerill, Vice President of Products and Co-Founder, Datical 
  • Sreekanth Singaraju, VP of Solution Engineering, Alliance Global Services 
  • Erik Bjerkelund, Manager of Technical Services, Corix Infrastructure


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Get to Action

  1. Identify deployment and feedback issues and root causes

    Put the right people, process, and technology in place before DevOps adoption.

  2. Build the DevOps working environment

    Achieve a common understanding of the goals and benefits IT wants from DevOps.

  3. Streamline development and deployment process

    Ensure that optimization initiatives are beneficial and do not degrade the entire deployment workflow.

  4. Optimize customer and operational feedback process

    Modify DevOps practices, products, and production environments to build a better end-user experience and improve system resiliency.

  5. Monitor DevOps implementation

    Observe DevOps initiatives in order to conclude their value, and to gauge their overall improvement to deployment throughput and product quality.

Guided Implementation icon Guided Implementation

This guided implementation is an eleven call advisory process.

    Guided Implementation #1 - Identify issues and root causes

  • Call #1: Discuss your drivers for DevOps

  • Call #2: Review your deployment and feedback process pain points

  • Call #3: Review your DevOps maturity

  • Call #4: Review the candidates for the pilot project

  • Guided Implementation #2 - Build your DevOps working environment

  • Call #1: Discuss the DevOps culture in your context

  • Call #2: Review your solutions to implement a DevOps working environment

  • Guided Implementation #3 - Streamline your deployment process

  • Call #1: Review the solutions to alleviate your development and deployment issues

  • Call #2: Discuss potential impacts and costs from implementing your solutions

  • Guided Implementation #4 - Optimize your feedback process

  • Call #1: Review the solutions to optimize your feedback process

  • Call #2: Discuss potential impacts and costs from implementing your solutions

  • Guided Implementation #5 - Monitor your DevOps implementation

  • Call #1: Discuss tips and tricks for the implementation and monitoring of your DevOps initiatives

Onsite Workshop

Module 1: Identify Your Deployment and Feedback Issues and Root Causes

The Purpose

  • Address the misunderstandings of DevOps goals and benefits.
  • Build your case to begin adopting DevOps.
  • Consider a pilot project to gain visibility and further buy-in.
  • Evaluate your organization structure, deployment process, and feedback loop to identify your high priority pain points.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • A common understanding of what DevOps means to your organization.
  • Insights on your maturity to adopt DevOps.
  • Shortlist of cultural, organization structure, and deployment and feedback process issues to address immediately. 

Activities: Outputs:
1.1 Understand the common myths with DevOps
1.2 Realize the problems that DevOps is designed to address
1.3 Select your DevOps pilot project
  • List of pilot project candidates
1.4 Gauge your DevOps maturity
  • The organization’s DevOps maturity assessment
1.5 Conduct your retrospective
  • Pain points experienced in past and current projects
1.6 Assess your organizational design
  • Communications and reporting gaps in existing organization structure
1.7 Evaluate your deployment process
  • Gaps and inefficiencies in existing deployment process
1.8 Evaluate your feedback process
  • Gaps and inefficiencies in existing feedback process
1.9 Look at your metrics to reveal additional issues

Module 2: Build Your DevOps Working Environment

The Purpose

  • Surface the values and concerns of your development and operations teams.
  • Establish the principles of your DevOps working environment.
  • Bring development and operations together.
  • Create a DevOps escalation team.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Aligning the needs and activities of development and operations.
  • Establishing the foundation of a DevOps culture.
  • Creation of a team to handle DevOps related issues.

Activities: Outputs:
2.1 Embrace Agile values and begin the implementation by addressing your communication issues first
2.2 Establish strong leadership to drive DevOps success
2.3 Understand the dynamics and values of development and operations teams
  • Discussion of the alignment of development and operations drivers and values
2.4 Build a DevOps working environment based on your context
  • Established DevOps guiding principles and user stories for establishing a DevOps working environment
2.5 Create a DevOps escalation team
  • Identification of members of your DevOps escalation team

Module 3: Streamline Your Development and Deployment Process

The Purpose

  • Address your development and deployment concerns from a holistic perspective.
  • Inject operations needs into the planning, development, testing, and deployment of your applications.
  • Develop your continuous delivery and automation toolchain.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Optimized development and deployment processes addressing your high priority issues.
  • Strong release planning, development, testing, and deployment practices.
  • Identification of the right development tools for your organization.

Activities: Outputs:
3.1 Take a holistic approach when optimizing your deployment process
3.2 Leverage operations thinking in your release planning sessions
  • Optimized release planning process including a grounded definition of ready and done from an operations perspective
3.3 Instill strong development and source code management practices
  • Optimized development process and user stories to address your development and source code management pain points
3.4 Establish continuous testing
3.5 Streamline your deployment into production and automate your systems recovery
  • Optimized deployment process and user stories to address your testing and deployment pain points

Module 4: Optimize Your Customer and Operational Feedback Process

The Purpose

  • Ensure support tickets are promptly addressed and routed to the right team.
  • Establish instrumentation to gauge system and application performance.
  • Inject feedback into the project backlog and future maintenance plans.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Enhanced support escalation criteria.
  • Optimized feedback process addressing your high priority issues.

Activities: Outputs:
4.1 Embed development into operations
4.2 Take in and address end-user feedback and feature requests
  • Enhanced triaging process to quickly handle support tickets
4.3 Gauge your system and application performance with appropriate instrumentation
4.4 Ensure enhancements are injected back into your product backlog and system reconfiguration plans
  • Optimized feedback process and user stories to address your feedback process pain points

Module 5: Monitor Your DevOps Implementation

The Purpose

  • Create your prioritized DevOps backlog for implementation.
  • Continuously monitor the implementation of your solutions.
  • Generate new solutions based on feedback from retrospectives and metrics.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Identification of DevOps initiatives to be addressed in upcoming sprints.
  • List of metrics to measure the success of your DevOps initiatives.
  • Tips to consider during your implementation of DevOps.

Activities: Outputs:
5.1 Size and prioritize your DevOps user stories
  • Sized and prioritized DevOps backlog
5.2 Take note of the challenges with adopting DevOps
  • List of possible roadblocks and impediments during your implementation
5.3 Monitor your DevOps implementation
  • Monitoring plan for your DevOps adoption
5.4 Continuously improve your DevOps practices and processes

Workshop Icon Book Your Workshop

Onsite Workshops offer an easy way to accelerate your project. If you are unable to do the project yourself, and a Guided Implementation isn’t enough, we offer low-cost onsite delivery of our Project Workshops. We take you through every phase of your project and ensure that you have a road map in place to complete your project successfully.

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Application Development Map

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Search Code: 75643
Published: August 6, 2014
Last Revised: January 14, 2015

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