Planning to jump on the DevOps bandwagon?

These are the 5 key traits your DevOps team should have.  By Ash Ashutosh, CEO, Actifio.

So what exactly is DevOps?

It’s growing so fast in popularity according to Gartner that a quarter of Global 2000 organisations will deploy it by the end of this year.

At the heart of DevOps are four crucial elements: speed, quality, control and cost. Speed is fundamental to competitive execution and market positioning. Quality is vital to successful implementation and long-term viability. Control, the command of data use, security, access and process is essential to safe operations. And cost as we all know is a key element of nearly all business decisions.

While it is a common assumption that implementing DevOps is a primarily technical process, we see that the cultural aspects and adjustments are equally as important. Every DevOps team need to possess certain traits in order to successfully tackle this cultural shift.

Communication

Until recently, IT professionals had defined roles and responsibilities that allowed them to work more independently rather than collaboratively. With this model, communication skills weren’t a priority for when putting together an IT team.

However, as rapid deployment and streamlined processes have emerged, communication has become key to making smooth transitions from one phase of the project to the next. Enforcing good communication can lead to better results in a shorter amount of time. Better results equals successful project outcomes.

Flexibility

Flexibility is a key element in effectively implementing a DevOps methodology across a business. While it’s common for organisations to experience a clash between development and operations teams when first implementing a DevOps strategy, successful interdepartmental integration requires collaboration in order for the team to reach their goal of satisfying the needs of the business.

Think of implementing DevOps as working with a team of teams. While each team brings different skills to the table, it is important for all teams to provide support to deliver the most powerful results as effectively and quickly as possible.

Change

We’ve all heard the saying that the only constant in life is change, whether it involves something as small as adjusting our daily commute or as big as a new career. Like everything else, the implementation of DevOps brings about a large cultural shift for an organisation.

Gartner analyst George Spafford recommends implementing a cultural change programme to make team members aware of the mutual goal. To begin, he encourages developing a small pilot plan to test the waters initially by deploying tests and taking careful note of what works and what doesn’t. It’s important to know your team and what works best to motivate the group to keep them positive and interested. Laying out such a road map and embracing the cultural change will result in a more focused team that will optimise the outcome.

No fear

You just have to run an Internet search to know that there are just about as many articles on DevOps failures as there are successes. To be on a DevOps team you need to accept that failures can happen, but you can’t fear it. According to a Gartner study, 75% of enterprise IT departments will have tried to create a bimodal capacity by 2018. However, less than 50% of them will reap the benefits that new methodologies like DevOps promise. Be willing to fail. Being patient is crucial for a team to get the most out of their DevOps efforts.

Enthusiasm

A successful DevOps team needs people that want to make a difference with the excitement to drive a significant business transformation. This involves the willingness to listen to customer feedback and adjust accordingly. Since customers are the main driver on continual software updates and releases, it is crucial to be interested in what they have to say and be more than willing to be accommodating.

Your DevOps team needs to maintain continuous enthusiasm for the journey ahead of them. There will be many highs and lows.

By considering these five traits, your team will be able to successfully implement a DevOps strategy and navigate the minefield of cultural change that comes along with it.

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