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Bridge the Business-IT Chasm With BizDevOps

DevOps took the industry by storm. Successful organizations see significant improvements in their software delivery process and product quality with automated and collaborative IT practices:

  • 61% of highly mature DevOps organizations with fully integrated security practices were able to deploy on demand (Puppet, CircleCI, and Splunk, 2019).
  • Compared against low DevOps performers, elite performers have 208 times more frequent code deployments, 106 times faster lead time from commit to deploy, 2,604 times faster recovery from incidents, and seven times lower change failure rate (Dora and Google, 2019).

While the prospective DevOps benefits are enticing, speed and quality are not everything. The question is whether the latest products and changes deliver business value. Enter BizDevOps.

What is BizDevOps?

Unlike Agile, the industry does not have a consensus of what BizDevOps (or even DevOps) means or what is required to be BizDevOps (e.g. manifesto). Info-Tech proposes that BizDevOps is an operational philosophy that seeks to promote an improved relationship among development, operations, and lines of business (LOBs) by breaking down barriers, aligning all groups to a common vision, and becoming jointly accountable for customer value delivery.

BizDevOps extends the principles and lessons learned from Agile and DevOps. See our Implement Agile Practices That Work and Implement DevOps Practices That Work blueprints for more information.

How Do I Implement BizDevOps?

Stakeholders are swayed by the praise they hear and see from those who have successfully implemented or provide BizDevOps practices, and they want to invest. However, BizDevOps brings significant organizational, process, and technical changes that the business and IT are often not prepared or willing to adopt. Tools alone will not solve BizDevOps implementation challenges despite the urging of certain industry perspectives and vendors.

Delivery tool vendors (such as Blueprint Software Systems) and delivery practice thought leaders (such as Disciplined Agile) attempt to clarify BizDevOps as a set of collaborative activities and/or as an integrated pipeline, but they stop short of providing consumable and achievable implementation guidance. The overwhelming and intimidating list of suggested initiatives (or lack thereof) create a perceived barrier to entry and confusion about where to start.

Recommendations

Info-Tech recognizes that the crux of successful BizDevOps implementation is centered on the strategic adoption and optimization of five key delivery capabilities, which serve as a launching point for other delivery and collaboration practices:

  • Good requirements and roadmap – clear business rationale of the problem IT is requested to solve, which is then used to commit to an achievable delivery plan.
  • Increased delivery frequency – short release iterations to enable quick value generation and early product verification and validation for future enhancements.
  • Formal and continuous engagements of all participants – bringing business and IT together at the most opportune times to improve delivery effectiveness using the appropriate method for the team, application, and type of work (e.g. Scrum, Kanban, Hybrid).
  • High fidelity environments – non-production environments (e.g. development, testing, staging) mirror production in order to generate and test features and changes against realistic conditions.
  • Post-production support – continuous monitoring of the production environment in order to proactively address risky areas and identify application and system optimization opportunities. Work closely with support staff and end users to expediate the feedback loop.

With the right foundation, leadership, support, and willingness to change, organizations will begin to see higher-quality products delivered with satisfactory throughput. This reputation will strengthen the business-IT relationship and shift IT’s role from a trusted operator to a trusted partner.


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