Tuesday, 22 July 2014

DevOps change challenges

One of the challenges of DevOps in the setting of a traditional (i.e. siloed, waterfall etc) Enterprise is where to begin.

I'm a keen advocate that DevOps isn't just Dev and Ops (see http://enterprisedevops.blogspot.co.uk/2014/07/devbiztestreleasethingyops.html).

With that in mind, potentially you are talking about some fairly radical changes across a wide number of people of various skills, experience and personality types.  I guess it really depends on what your organisation is structured like, the skills of your team and many other factors.  For us however, it's meant some fundamental change.

That fundamental change has been sponsored by some early and small wins by implementing things like Continuous Integration and labelling it "DevOps".  Ok so it's not DevOps but if using that term starts to get visibility and movement within your organisation then I don't think that's a bad thing.

I always we believed we needed a banner for the modernisation of the department to fly behind.  If that banner reads "DevOps" then so be it.

That early small success was really vital to us. 

When we started out we had a look of push back and negativity....

Why are you telling me how to do my job?
You are using the wrong tools
I don't see the benefit
I know more about this than you do
What you are trying to do is easy
We don't have the right people
This is a hipster idea for the likes of Facebook
There are regulatory reasons this won't work

Basically everything under the sun.

That's stressful when you are trying to do the right thing and move the incumbent forward.

I don't think we helped ourselves too much to begin with.  There was too much of my team trying to pick up and change other teams technologies and processes.  Not enough leading the other team to water and helping them implement something themselves.  Lesson learnt.

Don't do DevOps to teams.  Help them do the doing.

More about what changes we've made a little later.

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