How to Use DevOps to Become a High-Performance IT Shop

 
 
By Chris Preimesberger  |  Posted 2015-09-04
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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    1 - How to Use DevOps to Become a High-Performance IT Shop
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    How to Use DevOps to Become a High-Performance IT Shop

    High-performance IT organizations deploy their services much more frequently and much faster than average shops, thanks in large part to their DevOps practices.
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    2 - Use Lean Management and Continuous Delivery Practices
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    Use Lean Management and Continuous Delivery Practices

    When you apply lean management practices to technology—limiting work in process (WIP); introducing visual displays to monitor quality, productivity and WIP; and monitoring data to help inform decisions—you get results. The culture becomes more generative and performance-oriented; people experience less stress in the workplace; and IT performance improves. The DevOps report shows that both culture and IT performance predict organizational performance, so improvements in these areas lead to better performance outcomes—including higher financial performance—for the entire organization.
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    3 - Focus on Rearchitecting for Testability and Deployment
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    Focus on Rearchitecting for Testability and Deployment

    A major criticism of DevOps is that it can be applied only to greenfield projects. The 2015 State of DevOps Report shows it doesn't matter how old or new your systems are; high performance can be achieved if the application is architected with testing and deployment in mind. So if you think you can't implement DevOps practices because your app runs on a mainframe, think again.
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    4 - Increase Diversity of Your Teams
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    Increase Diversity of Your Teams

    There's plenty of research linking the presence of women in leadership positions to higher financial performance, stock market performance and hedge fund performance. Unfortunately, the Puppet Labs 2015 State of DevOps Report shows that few teams are truly diverse with regard to gender. Teams wanting to achieve high performance should do their best to recruit and retain more women, and improve diversity in other areas, too.
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    5 - Be Mindful of Culture, Investment in DevOps and IT Performance
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    Be Mindful of Culture, Investment in DevOps and IT Performance

    When it comes to culture, leaders can improve matters by enabling specific DevOps practices and by visibly investing in DevOps. Managers can also facilitate big improvements in IT performance by taking care to make deployments less painful. Finally, IT managers should make performance metrics visible and take pains to align these with organizational goals, and delegate more authority to employees.
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    6 - Invest in Developing Capabilities of Your Team
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    Invest in Developing Capabilities of Your Team

    When it comes to culture, leaders can improve matters by visibly investing in their employees' professional development. A couple of examples: Establish a dedicated training budget, make sure people know about it, and give staffers the latitude to choose training that interests them. Also, encourage staff to attend technical conferences at least once a year and summarize what they learned for the entire team.
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    7 - Avoid Burnout Using DevOps Best Practices
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    Avoid Burnout Using DevOps Best Practices

    Just like any industry where the work is high tempo and high consequence, IT is plagued by employee burnout. Managers who want to avert employee burnout should concentrate their attention and efforts on fostering a respectful, supportive work environment that emphasizes learning from failures rather than blaming; communicating a strong sense of purpose; investing in DevOps and employee development; asking employees what causes deployment pain and then fixing those things; and giving employees time and space to experiment and learn. Last but not least, employees must be given the authority to make decisions that affect their work and their jobs.
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    8 - Gauge IT Performance by Painful Deployments
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    Gauge IT Performance by Painful Deployments

    With traditional methods of software development, deployments are often infrequent, painful and disruptive. In organizations practicing DevOps, deployments are regular, pain-free and dependable. Statistical analysis revealed a high correlation between IT performance and deployment pain: The more painful code deployments are, the lower the IT performance, organizational performance and organizational culture. The data also tells us that painful deployments result in higher change fail rates.
 

High-performance IT organizations deploy their services much more frequently and many times faster than average shops. They also have fewer failures and recover data much faster in disaster scenarios. Now in 2015, it is often the use of DevOps practices that set these top performers apart from the pack. In 2014, Puppet Labs' State of DevOps Report linked IT performance to organizational performance, proving that IT is not just a cost center; it provides real business value. It also confirmed that DevOps practices lead to better IT and organizational performance. This year, the report—which canvassed 4,976 IT professionals—found that while throughput for the high-performing group was no different from last year, stability was significantly better. According to the data points in the report, high-performing IT organizations continue to deploy 30 times more frequently with lead times that are 200 times shorter. They experience 60 percent fewer failures and recover 168 times faster than their lower-performing peers. This supports the widely held belief that DevOps practices equip organizations to embrace more and more change, rather than fear it. The report also found that lean management and continual delivery practices contribute to both throughput and stability. In this eWEEK slide show, we use data points from the 2015 State of DevOps Report, with information collected by IT Revolution Press and data verified by PwC to offer tips on using DevOps to become a high-performance IT shop.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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