What is DevOps Culture ?

by StarAgile

August 17, 2020
Category DevOps


DevOps Culture

Have you heard of this phrase Jack of All trades! Commonly, one can know many things but master one and become an expert. This applies to IT projects as well. We are talking about the trending framework that is dominating the business in the last few years. You guessed it right.

What is DevOps Culture?

It stresses on the cultural shift that focuses on the small and multidisciplinary team that work independently and take the collective accountability of the software product that they are making for their customer. Everything the DevOps team does is to make the customer's lives better with experience.

DevOps teams apply best practices of the agile and also work in small batches with a focus on improving the customer experience, by reducing the waste and hurdles along the way. There are no silos or no blame game as the teams take collective responsibility and accountability of the entire projects.

In the past, the culture was to have lengthy processes that do not fail and only tries to build the culture of silos. However, in DevOps, there is a shift to smaller processes that can fail but can transform the smaller failure into large successes and also build faster processes. The DevOps team does the transition from optimizing the Mean Time between the Failure (MTBF) to Mean time to Mitigate (MTTM) and Mean time to Remediate (MTTR).

In DevOps, the members must have skills and experience in both the development and operations. The principle is if you build it, you run it. That is if the developers develop the application he is also responsible for maintaining it by sharing the roles of checking the health of the running services. DevOps teams do not think of roles but think and believe in competencies.

DevOps Culture Change

There are 5 key transformations required for building the DevOps culture.

  1. Have a bottom-top approach - Here the DevOps cultural change is transformed at the smallest team level where there are developers and operations people. Start by making small changes and bring in the responsibility and accountability of every team member. 
  2. Bring in the trust - The DevOps team must be formed at the ground level and instill trust in them by the senior management. It is not a one-time activity but focuses on a more disciplined approach to cultural change. There is no blame game in the DevOps but every member has to take accountability. The team members must have trust in each other and collaborate and bring success at the project level.
  3. Bring in more autonomy and empowerment - There needs to be autonomy in the DevOps culture without which it is a dead transformation. The teams working on the projects must show greater independence and there must be empowerment to each individual to perform better and show their credibility. It is not only adopting the digitization of the DevOps but requires thorough planning and execution of the DevOps culture.
  4. Promote Rewards - The DevOps culture change can happen if the members are rewarded for the right thing. All the initiatives must be directed towards the strategic business outcomes and the inquisitiveness to achieve them
  5. Testing and Improvements - Proceed for continuous testing along with continuous development and continuous deployment. Show improvement in all the small tasks and activities. Improvement in the processes is the key to DevOps culture. This transformation enables the testing activity after every task is performed for the improvement of the projects.

Steps involved in building a DevOps culture

The steps involved in building a DevOps culture are as follows,

  • Roles and Responsibility – The key step is to define the roles and responsibilities of each person in the team. As the development and operations are combined the members need to have defined roles. Identify and clarify who does what and how to work. Is there a skills gaps in the team etc needs to be done. Do this every time the team changes.
  • Rules of Engagement – Now that you have formed the DevOps team, the team has a lot of members from the cross-functional teams. So you need to develop a strategy of engagement how all the team members would interact and communicate with each other. This is one of the key steps in DevOps culture transformation.
  • Pre-Mortem – The normal tendencies is that you do the root cause analysis and take corrective action when you have incidents or issues. But how about real-time analysis of the project doing a pre-mortem and doing the things such as solving them when there is still time.
  • Retrospectives – Do continuous improvement in every task and activity that you do. Adopt early methods of agile processes. The retrospective identifies and provides a safe place to think about what is working and what is not working and what needs to change.

Aspects of DevOps culture

  •  Culture – As rightly said the DevOp is a culture and not a role. This is one of the key aspects of DevOps. Bringing in the changes concerning the culture in your organization is key to adopting the DevOps. By adopting the rules of communication, collaboration and team accountability is the culture that DevOps provides.
  • Automation – The DevOps culture transforms the whole traditional method of SDLC into DevOps life Cycle Management by adopting the culture and the tools that DevOps provide for the automation. Click on the links to learn about the DevOps tools for automation. Automation is key to DevOps principles.
  • Lean – Reducing waste is lean there for. Adopt this lean principle in DevOps for reducing the waste in every DevOps life cycle. Lean provides the 8 waste reductions with the 5 principles of lean. One of the important lean principles is the Value stream mapping which can be supported in the DevOps life cycle.
  • Measurement – The key to the success of the DevOps is the measurement metrics for every activity that you perform in the DevOps life cycle. Always remember to have and set the measurable goals and objectives for the DevOps projects.
  • Collaboration – Once the DevOps team has been identified the key aspects are to define the roles and how each member collaborates for the success of the projects.

DevOps Culture Challenges

Some of the Challenges the DevOps culture adoption must face and survive the DevOps culture shifts are as follows,

  • Gain the developer Buy in - Getting the developers to work on the operations work on their built project is a key challenge.
  • Incentive - One of the things is when a DevOps engineer is responsible for both the operations and development and needs to master a whole lot of tools they need to be paid accordingly
  • Making failure less costly - One of the DevOps strategies is to try out and embrace failure at an early stage, then detect it and smoothly run the DevOps life cycle by learning on from the failure. To adopt fail fast and learn is one the challenge that the DevOps team needs to adopt early on.
  • Developers on-call - Asking the developers to be on call for the operations related issues and work is the buy-in that DevOps team has to make from the traditional developers.  

DevOps is a Culture – Do this to Make it Successful

The 6 questions that the DevOps culture adoption must ask are,

  • Are you nurturing a culture of trust?
  • Do team members respect one another?
  • Is everyone in the team involved in the scrum, agile, and lean?
  • Do you produce value-added products?
  • Does the team contribute to the success?
  • Does the team collaborate?

Conclusion

Don’t stop just reading this blog on our website, but we recommend you to take on the online training in DevOps with StarAgile. You must also adapt to this culture to grow in your career as DevOps offers many benefits in real-time.

DevOps culture is used to having a growth mindset. The team uses the monitoring and telemetry for gathering the required audit trails and wherever there are implementations of the hypothesis for the better results the idea is to fail fast and learn from the experiences to succeed from that. If they do succeed in the first attempt without failing then they take this opportunity to lead the projects for the improvement.