January 16, 2018

Four tips for successful DevOps implementation — how to avoid typical misconceptions

Tapani Tirkkonen

Lead Solution Consultant, Tieto

The DevOps way of working has already proven to be highly effective, yet many companies are still in the beginning stages of their implementations. I share useful tips on how to avoid the bumps and hurdles along the way.

DevOps (Development & Operations) is a unique software development approach for businesses that are looking for shorter time-to-market lead times, lower development costs, improved quality and continuous improvements in products and services for customers and end-users. 

The transition into fully utilizing DevOps is a journey that affects many elements inside an organization: processes, technologies, organizational culture, structure and even employee habits. This transformation has both opportunities and potential obstacles. But this should not be discouraging. With the right approach, adopting DevOps is easier than it might seem at first glance.

Below I list tips for avoiding typical misconceptions about DevOps implementation.

 1. Be realistic in your implementation time schedule

Misconception: DevOps implementation is done within a few months

It is important that the entire organisation understands that they will soon undergo a vast renovation. This change requires a considerable timescale — likely measured in years, rather than months. Also, be aware, that this is a journey without an end — you should strive for continuous improvement.

2. Ensure you have enough human resources

Misconception: We will succeed because a few people received DevOps training

This transformation requires the right scale of dedicated human resources. This is not a task for one person that has undergone training and participated in a series of workshops. As DevOps implementations are highly interdisciplinary, you will need a network of professionals across the organization that can foster collaboration in tight-knit teams.

3. You simply can’t outsource DevOps implementation

Misconception: Skilled external consultants will make the DevOps transformation for us

The DevOps journey will impact your organization as a whole. This means that it cannot be handled from the outside by another organization. The bulk of the work will be done inside your own development teams. However, an external entity is useful for advocating change, guiding your path and helping the process along. 

4. Look for quick wins with low-hanging fruits

Misconception: DevOps transformation will show benefits only after years of work

Approach the transformational challenge the right way to obtain considerable benefits quickly. Based on my experience with clients, Value Stream Mapping has been extremely useful exercise for many organizations. Through this process, we have identified the most challenging areas and the areas in which DevOps will yield the most benefits. This detailed process enables us to identify the needed changes and the required effort to implement them. Thus, we have a clear roadmap, with “low-hanging fruit” at the beginning and bigger challenges waiting further along the journey. This path, which is divided into achievable incremental steps, reassures teams by continuously demonstrating that DevOps is the correct way to go. Moreover, the early results help drive the organizational change and speed up the transformation.

DevOps results speak for themselves, although it is necessary to note that each DevOps transformation is unique. In one recent Tieto DevOps service delivery, the customer’s development efficiency increased by 250%, while infrastructure and operational support costs were lowered by 50% — with further cost reductions visible in licensing and tools.

Read more DevOps insights here — Innovate and bring new services and products to market faster with higher quality.

Tieto DevOps Advisory Services can help you proceed towards real DevOps benefits, whether you are just evaluating DevOps for your organization or have already implemented DevOps practices.

Read also the blog by Mika Tuohimetsä - Eager to bring higher-quality offerings to market faster? With DevOps, you can.

 

 

 

 

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