Thinking About a DevOps Implementation – Consider These Before You Start

Many organizations - from startups to huge enterprises - have bought into the philosophy of DevOps -- faster, more frequent releases, a collaborative culture, a cloud toolset, and the must-have idea of automation.


The benefits of DevOps are clear: High-performing organizations deploy 200 times more frequently, with 2,555 times faster lead times, according to a study of more than 25,000 tech professionals from Puppet and DevOps Research and Assessment. High-performers are also twice as likely to succeed with product deployments without service impairments or security breaches. And when something does go wrong, they can fix it 24 times faster.

The evidence is impressive. Speed and reliability go hand in hand in the DevOps world.

If you’re looking into a DevOps implementation, consider these:


Mitigate risk by starting small


“If you have not yet mastered the DevOps methodology in your organization it would be wise to opt-in for a smaller project to show results and gain buy-in from all involved in the organization,” said Ziv Kashtan, CEO of Automat-IT. “Implementing DevOps is a s much a cultural implementation as a technical one. Start with goals like Continuous Distribution or small-batch changes. Over time you will get to end-to-end overall automation, but it’s wise to start small.”


“DevOps is sometime viewed as ‘an IT thing’ around the organization and showing the tangible benefits of it will be difficult if you start too small,” Adds Ziv. Director of Development or even Chief Architects are expected to show the business or operational benefit of every project they pitch for. When scaling your initial project, it is recommended to choose a project estimated to show real (even financial) results in terms of efficiencies in resources or benefits to a customer. This will help you gain more credibility inside the organization, and secure more budgets to complete a full-scale transformation.”


Start by educating everyone involved and foster a culture of experimentation


Not all organizations excel in making sure their teams are adequately educated and informed before the launch of an implementation. “There’s no one check-list you can follow that tells you what tools to use or how to organize your team”, remarks Rami Rinot, VP Business Development at Automat-IT. “We’ve handled a many implementation where the first step was to get everyone in one room for a week-long education session about the basic principles of Agile, and the current tools available, including a thorough review of case studies and best-practices from our own customer implementations.” He adds.


A good foundation in knowledge and understating of basics will help your team adjust as circumstances change. No implementation ends up exactly as planned and your team’s ability to change course can be a make or break for the project.


Get the buy-in from the get go


You’re excited about starting an implementation. You bought-into the benefits and tools. Now make sure your entire stakeholders eco-system is supportive as well.

“This is crucial,” said Ziv Kashtan, CEO of Automat-IT. “Your project will succeed or fail depending on how much support you have from your individual contributors, as well as top-management.”


“The best way to gain support and buy-in is to involve everyone in the project from the get go is to emphasize the value their role brings to the project and to the other teams. Everyone must do their part and understand the importance of their part in delivering value to the team, the organization and ultimately to their customers.” Remarks Rami Rinot, VP Business Development at Automat-IT. “Examine incentives, potential elements of motivation, opportunities for team collaboration as well as individual advancement, reward desired behavior,” he adds. “Emphasize how important it is to work together. Working in silos will doom your project to failure.”


Bring in the experts


Your team is busy doing their job and their focus should be on delivering value to the organization and their customers. Designing an implementation in detail is much to expect from a busy team and may result in failure in spite of good intentions.


“We often start conversations with executives looking to do everything in-house,” Said Ziv Kashtan, CEO of Automat-IT. “They sometimes need reminding the extent of effort and work required to just start off the project. Brining in outside help will ensure every detail has been carefully evaluated. This doesn’t mean you will not have control over the project. On the contrary, an outside team working as your team’s extension will expand your ability to implement the project AND deliver results fast. It will also eliminate the blame game that often occurs internally when things go wrong. One central authority to manage the implementation will help you control every aspect and make sure your team is set up for success.”

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