Rachel Seaniger and Chris Morrison explain how to dramatically increase the likelihood of sustaining a DevOps initiative over the longer-term by following this cyclical framework, which integrates the ITIL® Continual Service Improvement (CSI) Framework with an adaptation and expansion of the Change Process Framework.
1 Scan & Evaluate
Scan & Evaluate: for any decision, you need some sort of data - preferably high quality – about your organisation’s strategies, capabilities and performance and its environment. The next step is to develop judgements on key discrepancies or gaps. E.g. “our deployment frequency does not support our business and ICT strategic goals of being agile and responsive to our customer/user needs”.
2 Case For Change
Identify your case for change: you need to clearly articulate what your burning platform is. Basically, why should anyone care about your finding? It may seem blatantly obvious to you, but you need to bridge this gap of understanding through communicating in new ways that resonate with your stakeholders’ perspective – not yours. It’s not about you. It’s never about you. It’s about them. E.g. “we can either continue the way we’re doing things, and fail, or we can change the way we’re doing things and exploit this opportunity/be successful/avoid failing. Make no mistake: if you don’t answer the “Why?” question, you will fail.
3 Vision & Goals
Set your vision and goals – at a high level what do you want to achieve? The benefits can be immense but pain areas to target are specific to each organisation.
Assess where you are at – put a stick in the ground. What specifically needs to change? Think about the key considerations listed above and assess where you are at for each component. Ask lots of questions like ‘do we share information between teams; do we have tools to share information; etc.).
5 Set Targets
So now you know where you are at you should be able to set targets (measurable so you can demonstrate what a valuable investment this has been).
6 Identify What Needs To Be Done And Make A Plan
Once you know where you are you can identify what needs to be done and make a plan. The plan needs to consider all aspects of the capability model. Most importantly, how are you going to mould a DevOps culture within your existing organisational culture? Keep the plan ‘DevOps’, that is, get some quick wins and be flexible, experiment and take some risks.
7 Check Against Your Set Targets
Once the plan has been implemented you need to check against your set targets that you’ve achieved what you set out to do.
8 Assess, Generate And Maintain Stakeholder Commitment
All the way through you need to assess, generate and maintain stakeholder commitment – any DevOps initiative will live or die based on the level of commitment you have from key roles and people of influence.
Return to Step 1 and Re-Evaluate. Further iterations are more likely to achieve the benefits a DevOps capability can produce for the organisation – test, learn and improve from failures. Keep it going! And keep it ‘DevOps’.
Want to learn more? Download our DevOps White Paper
In our recent paper Accelerate digital transformation through implementing a DevOps capability, we build on these insights and share our integrated capability model and implementation approach for successfully implementing DevOps.
- Accelerating digital transformation through implementing a DevOps capability
- Top 3 (Avoidable) DevOps Implementation Mistakes
- Bring down the wall between Dev and Ops
- Cutting through the hype: what 2016 looks like for technology leaders
About the Authors
Rachel Seaniger is a Principal Consultant and the ITSM Practice Lead at UXC Consulting. She has 16 years’ experience in senior service delivery roles including Queensland Police Service and Queensland Health.
Chris Morrison is a Senior Consultant at UXC Consulting. A Business Transformation and IT Service Management specialist, he has over 14 years of experience in the Federal Government central services sector.