For IT professionals, change is constant. As a company, Xceed Group is used to staying abreast of the newest technologies, programming languages and project methodologies, embracing change and enabling our customers to do the same. We know that traditional businesses can fail when they don’t consider how IT and technological advancements can be used to leverage their business strategy.

Collectively, we understand that technology businesses are swallowing up more and more of the real world and changing the way we approach tasks. Uber, Netflix, Amazon and Deliveroo are prime examples of how technology is shaping the way we do things, as we continually look for new ways to carry out day-to-day tasks more efficiently. Despite this, we can be resilient to change in the workplace. Technology moves fast, but the organisational structures behind it often do not.

How can IT Departments Adapt to Continual Change?

DevOps is a relatively new movement that is sweeping IT departments globally. The term is a contract of “Development” and “Operations” and alludes to an IT team where both parties work collaboratively in enhanced symbiosis. For traditional IT teams, maintaining physical infrastructure was the most important thing. Software formed relatively little capability, while the teams responsible for running the IT infrastructure were weighted heavily in favour of the operations.

Now, the situation is reversed. Operating, maintaining and developing software takes precedence. This has allowed development teams to grow and now software developers are among one of the most highly paid professions. With the rise of Software Defined Datacentres and Software Defined Networking, there are gradually less and less traditional jobs for IT ops, but an increasing amount for developers. DevOps is both a cultural shift, and a tooling change. Through a process named “continuous delivery”, DevOps promotes changes in the IT practice that has the potential to completely change the IT department as we know it.

Amazon, The King of Continual Change

Amazon deploys new code into its environment approximately every 11 seconds. In order to do this, it uses automated tooling and processes, such as automated testing or environment virtualisation, which speed up the release of robust code into the live environment. The pace of this changes means the structure of traditional projects is challenged.

What Does This Mean for Future IT Projects?

Projects normally address a static need - the requirements of key stakeholders at a specific point in time. Prince2 states: “A project is a temporary organisation that is created for the purpose of delivering one or more business products according to an agreed business case.” ‘Temporary organisation’ denotes the short life span of a set of activities. However, products managed in today’s IT ecosystems require continual maintenance, enhancement and support. This means that they continuously undergo small, incremental changes until the product becomes obsolete.

Traditional projects simply cannot be this flexible.

Projects run using incremental delivery methods, such as Agile project management, do a lot to solve this problem because it use fast iteration cycles delivering little, but often. Unfortunately though, it cannot address the lack of project end date. In a truly DevOps environment project start dates are also omitted, because there is the expectation that software products will receive continuous tweaking across their lifecycles. There is no defined end or start. There is no defined project teams.

Now, this does not mean that all IT projects are on their way out. There are still use cases that must be considered as out of scope to this way of thinking. For example, this would be a poor way to approach a datacentre migration or a completely new software solution. For these cases, a project with a defined start and end cannot be replaced. But for the day-to-day operation of a software defined IT department, change is afoot. Although a “Bleeding Edge” way of working today, DevOps and by extension #noprojects is set to become Modus Operandi of tomorrow’s IT department.


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