Cost, Quality & TimeI have been asked so many times in the last couple of years “What is DevOps?” and “What are the Benefits?” As the last 11 blogs in this series have given a good insight to the first question, I will concentrate on answering the benefits question.
Working with senior ‘C’ Stakeholders there is a common theme: COST/QUALITY/TIME. C Level Execs, whether the CFO, CIO, or CTO, are looking to reduce cost, improve quality, and improve time to market. This could be through the guise of many different strategies – for example increased productivity, better products (available quicker) for customers, “Cost, Pace, Quality”, “Faster, Better Cheaper”, or “Do more with less…” They all point to the same anticipated outcome.
In my view, if you address quality, you can reduce both cost and time. An example being by improving quality, you can reduce the number of defects, therefore reduced testing cycles, which in turn reduces cost and in turn leads to quicker delivery and ultimately fewer customer impacting production outages.
How to measure & realise the benefits
Over the last 11 days, through the blog series, we have talked about “People, Process & Technology” and rightly so! In order for this to happen, the two foundational elements of People and Process are key to any successful DevOps adoption. Obviously leadership is key, as with any strategy and a culture of enablement and recognition needs to be created where colleagues understand and buy into the journey. They also need to feel empowered to make things happen. The technology is just an enabler. Without underestimating the role of technology, it should be modular and enable a flexible and adaptable approach, allowing “switch out- plug and play” at any time. It’s also imperative to understand at the outset, how bad, or how good your organisations software development lifecycle metrics are. Establishing a baseline before embarking on a DevOps adoption is key to measuring how effective your implementation has been. It can also be used as ammunition to win over the naysayers, who see DevOps as nothing more than fairy-dust.
Balance between agility and controls
The process side of things is slightly different. I think, that we in Technology, are great at providing solutions for our business colleagues and helping them to automate processes. Yet, from an IT perspective, the engineer in us still wants to “build” things, meaning we don’t let go of what we believe we are good at. For me, it is about getting the balance right – how to automate the manual and laborious time consuming tasks. Agility is one of the industry buzz words at the moment, and is seen as an underpinning for DevOps.
I would agree to an extent, but it is also about getting the balance right. We tend to put a lot of constraining controls in place. For me, the controls should not be policing, but more around quality checkpoints. This way we will encourage innovation and quality solutions.
In order to realise benefits, it is important that we understand what we are trying to achieve, our current ways of working, and therefore have the MI to measure, quantify and qualify target benefits.
While we at Xceed, in our devX methodology concentrate on the 4 main pillars, equally as important is to have an integrated environment with a single source of data to provide individual views for all stakeholders (albeit Exec, PM, Developer, Tester, Service Manager, etc.) This should be overarching the Demand & Supply, SDLC, and Production Service Take-on processes. This will enable a holistic, real-time view at any given time and also allow linkage between the actual time/effort/cost continuum and the benefits tracking and realisation.
I hope you have found the last 12 blog posts enlightening. I am also sure that you can see from the blog series that we at Xceed Group are truly passionate about DevOps and the value it can bring to our clients. If you want to learn more about how DevOps can help you, then contact our DevOps Team via email: DevOps@xceedgroup.com. Stay tuned in 2015 as we continue to blog, tweet and webinar about DevOps. We have some really exciting announcements set to land that we hope will appeal to our customers. Until then, have a fantastic and safe festive season.
Thanks for reading.