How to Handle DevOps Failure? | By Rebecca James

| collaborative article |

How to Handle DevOps Failure? 

Ever since the concept of DevOps was first introduced in 2008, organizations all over the world have now started to slowly but surely realize the potential that it has to offer, particularly in streamlining the development process and saving costs in the cloud.

With that being said, however, implementing DevOps within an organization, if not done correctly, can prove to be in itself an extremely tedious process. Perhaps the most natural way that we can use to explain the intricacies of DevOps integration is by comparing the process of changing the tire on a speeding car. And although that example might feel a tad bit exaggerated, it is precisely shifting to the DevOps process feels like. 

In most organizations making the shift towards the integration of DevOps, management has to oversee the delivery of new software, product, and updates under tight deadlines, along with taking on additional responsibilities and learning new skills and processes. The end result of these process changes is increased business efficiency, but it’s easier said than done.

Unfortunately, however, in some instances, many organizations topple over the pressure of adjusting business processes and fail to integrate DevOps within their organizations successfully. Typically, DevOps failure within a company is rooted in the fact that key players within the organization lose control of the culture shift, which is partly because of the inability to shift and adapt to changes brought on by DevOps amalgamation. 

However, taking into consideration the four essential components of successful DevOps integration, which include communication, tools, education, and leadership - organizations can ease their transition into DevOps. Furthermore, as an increasing number of companies welcome the culture shift into DevOps, it is high time that individuals come to terms with the fact that DevOps is a slow process, and requires the efforts of everyone in the organization.

In an attempt to aid our readers, we’ve compiled an article that dives into some ways through which companies can ease their DevOps transition, and consequently mediate and manage DevOps failure. 

#1 - Fostering Open Communications

As the name itself suggests, DevOps relies on the effective collaboration between the Development and Operations teams - a feat that can’t be achieved if an organization does not promote open communications. At its very core, the entire ideology behind DevOps dictates that departments collaborate to fulfill the delivery of continuous updates to the end-user. 

With the propagation of a culture that fosters communications, organizations can ensure that every employee - which consists of everyone from developers to customer support - fully understands their role, and the purpose of the work that they do, and how that work contributes to the DevOps cycle. Put, opening up communication allows the business to work faster, with increased agility, along with an increased focus on achieving the laid-out business goals. 

On a more practical level, the best way to promote open communication within an organization, between all the departments involved in the DevOps cycle is by frequently holding meetings. Although this method might strike some as being “too typical,” it enables a platform through which scrum teams can hold open discussions with other teams, which encourages transparency and allows others to know how far the DevOps cycle is currently. 

Furthermore, another way through which companies can create a workplace environment with effective and open communication is by arranging periodic touchpoints. As habit dictates, agile processes usually tend to take place in separate silos. Through scheduled touchpoints, this habit can be altered to the point where collaborating and being open about their progress becomes second nature. 

Lastly, organizations can also rely on the Scaled Agile Framework (SAF), which ensures that processes are being executed in harmony across the organization’s entire framework. Moreover, utilizing product roadmaps and updates also aids in enforcing visibility and collaboration, which ultimately results in the organization providing better customer experience and improved customer satisfaction. 

#2 - Educate Your Employees on the DevOps Integration

Although it is highly rare for employees to act maliciously against the best interest of their organization, as a business owner, the sooner you realize the great potential that your ‘human’ employees have to err, the better. 

Similarly, when it comes to the integration of DevOps processes within an organization, one of the biggest hurdles that prevent successful implementation of DevOps has to be the employees’ resistance to undergo a culture transition from the more traditional aspect of software development to cloud-based service development. 

Luckily, however, the resistance that employees display towards DevOps integration can easily be overcome through educating them. “The simplest way to do this is by explaining and educating employees about the advantages of switching to DevOps,” says Nathan Finch, a DevOps engineer at Sydney-based Aussie Web Hosting Reviews. He continues, advising that organizations should also “acutely focus on the benefits that DevOps offers to the developers.”

When it comes to educating developers, however, organizations need to adequately explain to them how their role as a developer now works in tandem with the delivery and operations development teams. Although this does imply that developers need to take on additional responsibilities as well, if you haven’t got the complete approval of your developers and an eagerness to foster collaboration- your entire DevOps integration process entirely falls apart. 

#3- Utilizing the “Right” Collaboration Software

Once you’ve gone through the arduous process of promoting a workplace environment that fosters open communication, you’ll need to shift your focus to the collaborative tools that you’re going to employ within your DevOps process. Usually, most organizations rely on a tool like Slack, Microsoft Teams, and several other SaaS tools, which are growing in popularity. This richer suite of tools adds to the agility of their workflow

With the right collaborative tools at their disposal, departments in the organization can foster effective collaboration with one another, particularly as far as keeping the company-wide product roadmaps aligned goes, along with discussing some technical aspects of the DevOps cycle. 

Unlike using traditional communication tools such as email and phone, which take too long to process, utilizing the proper tools ensures departments and team members that they’re working on the same page. However, we’d suggest that users rely on a combination of tools that cater best to their individual needs. 

#4 - A Single Leader Overlooking the entire DevOps process can cause disruption

As important as it is for the DevOps cycle to focus on teamwork and collaboration, we’ve unfortunately seen many organizations appointing DevOps heads, which ultimately disrupts the integration process, and slows workflow rather than streamlining it. 

Taking this into account, it is highly suggested that instead of placing the responsibility of overlooking a single leader, organizations work on promoting a robust DevOps culture within the workplace, ensuring that each employee fully understands the value of their role. 

Rebecca James: Enthusiastic Cybersecurity Journalist, A creative team leader, editor of "virtual private network section of PrivacyCrypts".

May 13, 2020
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Alpacked
4 months ago

Hi, great post! Training your employees is one of the most important stages. All your main engineers and programmers should understand exactly how your architecture works, and what the main DevOps does with the product. This is a huge step, and I will explain why. I once worked for a company, and we hired a very strong DevOps team to implement the right architecture. He was a great guy, but he never told the team about the new changes and how everything worked. In general, it turned out to be an excellent technical solution, which only he understood. What do… Read more »

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