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Questions to Ask Before Implementing DevOps

DevOps is a method of collaborative software development that stresses on the interdependence of technology operations, software development interdependence, and quality assurance teams.


Do You Need DevOps?


Before you get ahead of yourself to implement DevOps, you need to be sure that it’s not some basic but useful remedy for poor collaboration among your team. Some concerns that will arise include:

  • How to implement DevOps
  • Does DevOps need significant restructuring?
  • How can DevOps teams interact with the rest of the teams in infrastructure and applications?
  • When can a DevOps team sit in the company structure?

As a concept, this certainly improves handoffs and collaboration between operation and application development teams. However, the goal is to focus on the challenge of interaction instead of opting for DevOps just because other companies like it.


Three essential questions to ask


As an infrastructure executive, you need to consider the following questions to ensure you enjoy returns on investment (both time and money) in switching to a DevOps methodology.


What’s the objective for implementing DevOps?


You should not implement DevOps just to get a generic fix for teamwork. It’s important to focus on the software development lifecycle since that’s where better collaboration between the operation and development teams will create more value. Note that this will vary across companies, so the form DevOps takes, including the objective, will vary as well.


Implementation needs to start and proceed once you have a clear understanding of the needs DevOps is meant to address in the company. Always remember that DevOps does not need to be ” all or nothing.” Most firms start with piloting DevOps bit by bit and then later scale it up over time.
What are the responsibilities of the DevOps teams?


To improve coordination via DevOps, you need to reassign responsibilities that traditionally were distributed across various sections of the IT department. These teams need to make decisions that connect with both Applications and Infrastructure. In most cases, this may cause conflicts, particularly in high-pressure cases that involve IT operations hence defeating the main aim of adopting DevOps. Be sure to clearly demarcate decisions your DevOps teams should take and make sure they account for their decisions by aligning the DevOps team goals with project/service objectives.


Are there some constraints the staff will face when implementing DevOps?


Shortage in competencies and skills are some of the major challenges to the adoption of DevOps. It is vital to understand the various skill requirements of any model you decide to adopt. Leading companies always select one of these two approaches when staffing DevOps teams:

  • Building teams whereby different people bring in their specific skills.
  • Training the staff, so each person in the team has multiple skills across applications and operations.

Another great challenge that comes with implanting DevOps, just like other process or organizational changes, is staff resistance. You can overcome this if you take time to understand and address the cause of the resistance instead of exclusively monitoring how they adhere to the changes. As long as they feel that they were considered during the transition, you won’t have to worry about resistance.


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