Creating a DevOps Culture at Your Organization

Amazon, Etsy, Netflix, Adobe, Sony, NASA, and Hertz are just a handful of the many businesses around the world that have embraced DevOps. By now, it’s clear that it’s not just a fad: it’s a mindset and way of operating with proven success.

When implemented well, DevOps speeds up software delivery, prioritizes quality assurance (QA), fosters collaboration, and improves the overall development process. At its core, it’s a culture. If you’re just starting to make the shift to DevOps at your organization, it may seem like an intimidating process, but it doesn’t have to be. Keeping these tips in mind will help you and your organization make a smooth transition.

Prioritize Quality Assurance

Given that efficiency is key, much of quality assurance testing is automated in DevOps, but that doesn’t mean QA professionals don’t play an important role in the process. In fact, they’re vital at every stage.

Testers must work closely with developers and often need to be equipped with at least basic programming skills and knowledge so they can give feedback and help establish a strong foundation from the beginning, as well as build and run automated tests early on in the cycle.

Foster Teamwork and Collaboration

Teams must work together toward the common goal of delivering quality products efficiently — this is one of the primary objectives of DevOps. That means that collaboration is essential. Individuals wear multiple hats in this culture — for example, QA experts are involved in the development process, while software developers are involved in testing — but the atmosphere must be free of the fear of a colleague stepping on another teammate’s toes.

In DevOps, it’s all about the team’s efforts, not the individual’s. Team members must work together to brainstorm and problem-solve. Ultimately, the goal is to deliver quality products efficiently, and that means uniting forces to work toward this common objective. When they achieve it, it’s a win for everyone.

Communicate

Communication goes hand-in-hand with collaboration. Teams must continually communicate with one another and stay apprised of each other’s progress and efforts. In addition, leaders should inform everyone involved of requirements, overall evaluations, metrics, results, and needs for alterations. This transparency benefits everyone and helps them understand how they can improve individually and as a team.

Put the Customer First

In DevOps, teams must have the customer in mind at every stage of the development process. Creating a product that satisfies the needs of the customer base and delivers an innovative experience is the end goal.

DevOps takes feedback into account quickly and adjusts the product accordingly. It also allows for changing course if a product is not satisfactory to stakeholders. Teams must do this efficiently, gathering data at each step to ensure that they’re on the right track and making alterations when necessary.

Remember that The Cycle is Continuous

The development cycle never really ends when you implement DevOps in your organization. Customer needs and wants change. New technologies are created. Processes evolve. Bugs come to light. Compliance regulations are reassessed and implemented. All this means you can never think of the product cycle as fully complete.

Have continuous improvement at the forefront of your mind. Keep monitoring performance, even after a product is released. As a leader, make sure that your employees are apprised of evolving priorities and help them work together to meet them.

At the end of the day, establishing a DevOps culture doesn’t mean errors won’t happen. It does, however, change the way you view and deal with these issues. Rather than seeing them as failures, consider them opportunities to learn and adjust. This, most of all, will foster a positive culture and atmosphere, which will ultimately translate into increased efficiency and quality product delivery.