DevOps Team Management



DevOps Team Management

Introduction

In a world full of technologies, the notions of time and distance change, requiring more and more speed in performing tasks and delivering products and services.

To follow these processes, it is necessary that both the tools and the teams are integrated, working in a collaborative way in favor of the projects that are committed to develop.

For a long time, development processes have moved far from operations. The result was divergent teams that had difficulty delivering results aligned with the company's strategy. With the creation of DevOps, the integration of these two teams was possible. Now they both work together, moving in the same direction.

This model approximates the development of the operation in order to simplify processes, integrate areas, achieve higher quality in deliveries and reduce customer response time.

What is DevOps

The term DevOps comes from the combination of the words "development" and "operations", and consists of practices aimed at integrating the development and operations teams of a company.

As well as adoption of process automation to realize a fast and safe production of services and applications, making the company more competitive in the market and faster in the realization of its deliveries.

In essence, it is a concept that involves valuing the diversity of activities and professionals and attitudes of collaboration. This style of acting in IT puts an end to the lack of communication that used to exist between these two worlds. In structures that are still far apart, what is observed is that those involved in the operation are unaware of the nuances of software engineering and that developers have no real idea of the details involved in implementing a solution.

DevOps Pillars

DevOps is structured in three fundamental pillars, which determine its operation in the companies and give the involved team the guidelines for the execution of the work. Are they:

  • Continuous integration: easy transfer of knowledge and experiences between teams.
  • Continuous deployment: continuous and rapid release of new versions of services and / or applications.
  • Continuous Feedback: Frequent feedback from teams involved throughout the application and / or service life cycle.

The Power of DevOps Team in modern organization

The performance proposed by DevOps resembles that used in musical orchestras. In them, several musicians with their instruments collaborate for a common result.

In this analogy, each collaborator of an IT team assumes the role of musician. Its instruments are the tools that it develops, operates and configures.

The success of the project is due to the harmony between the parties, to the awareness of the importance of each part to the whole and to the holistic vision about what is being produced and what must be delivered to meet some client's needs.

This dynamic is called orchestration. Hence the expression DevOps Orchestration, which means that activities need to be integrated in order for the desired efficiency to be achieved.

Unlike automation, which involves the automation of tasks, orchestration presupposes the automation of the interaction between tasks, with the aim of optimizing the process and reducing the repetitive steps that add little to the development cycle.

In this context, DevOps Orchestration proposes an organization that ensures that the production time and delivery of results to the client is as small as possible.

The bases for this orchestration are agile development, cloud technology and automation.

With this, DevOps coordinates teams, observing the needs and possibilities of each through flexible and less costly workflows for the company.

Since DevOps is a culture, it's better to disseminate concepts, raise awareness, and share knowledge than to hire an outside specialized agent to meet the needs of a more dynamic, fast, and efficient model.

Bringing DevOps into a company culture is necessary, so it's important to enable IT teams to act within that standard.

The multidisciplinary DevOps Team

For the creation of a good DevOps multidisciplinary team, it is important that some roles are available with well qualified people in the following areas:

  • Agile Scrum Master
  • Application and Service Developers
  • Test Engineers
  • Project Manager
  • Test Manager
  • IT Services Manager
  • Process Manager
  • Product Owners
  • Lean IT practitioners

The main metrics in DevOps

"You do not manage what you do not measure." This statement has become very common, but it's very important in the DevOps environment.

This is because the flexibility of structures and hierarchies may suggest less professionalism in IT performance, but performance indicators exposing the current situation and the gap between the realized and the desired is a great way to organize the company.

Because it is a new culture, there will not necessarily be any miraculous metrics to organize and manage environments where DevOps reigns. Typically, DevOps will only have the definition of indicators that are very focused on deployment, operation processes, support, response time, application performance and error volumetry.

In the list below, we find the most common indicators in the governance of a DevOps-based IT:

  • frequency and speed of deployment;
  • average time to restore a service;
  • software verification performance;
  • uptime, applications and networks uptime;
  • error rates;
  • number of incidents per release;
  • software development lifecycle, from design to delivery;
  • turnover, since it influences the degree of autonomy and the quality of work.

By adopting management from the performance demonstrated by KPIs dashboards, some relevant information comes to the fore and feedback management. See what you can perceive with this type of measurement:

  • if IT meets the needs of the business;
  • if teams act efficiently;
  • whether the tools are adequate;
  • if incomplete products are delivered;
  • whether the development process needs to be more bureaucratized;
  • if there are bottlenecks in the processes;
  • whether there is a need for training of employees;
  • if the quality of the processes (design, requirements, development, testing and operation) is within the expected;
  • if the degree of feedback and collaboration between areas is adherent to the DevOps culture.

The Need for DevOps

The IT market is accustomed to frameworks and models based on books and consolidated disciplines. But, from time to time, the thinking is being established that good practices do not necessarily need to formalize a methodology.

This is the path of DevOps, which is gaining strength not because of a successful discourse, but because of concrete examples of IT transformation of companies and especially because of the good results obtained by the client.

This model of IT performance focuses on less technical and more behavioral issues, involving initiatives for synergy between teams. As a return, the model offers much more agility in software development and implementation processes, step automation, simplified workflows, and shorter customer response times.

In an increasingly demanding, fault-tolerant market that has to deal with constant change, DevOps falls like a glove. Their ability to reduce distances, eliminate obstacles, and make them all speak the same language is important.

With this differential, business and IT start to talk more frankly. IT teams begin to function as parts of the same puzzle; deliveries occur in less time, with more quality and lower cost; the customer realizes value in deliveries, even of reduced scope.

And here comes a highly relevant issue these days: customer satisfaction. Offering it, which is the raison d'être of any business, a superior experience to what it is accustomed to is a factor of increased competitiveness.

In order for the migration of the current model to DevOps to occur without trauma, IT management will need to tap into the good old triad of management theories:

  • processes;
  • people;
  • and tools.

In the case of processes, the important thing is to review and make more flexible the current flows. As for people, the focus is empowerment. And, in the question of tools, it is fundamental to choose the most appropriate to the needs of the business. The final touch comes from the fourth base: the organizational culture.

This is the only way DevOps goes into a business to stay. Only then can it effectively contribute to a new era in an organization's IT. Therefore, IT managers who have not yet mastered the subject can not hesitate to start the journey of understanding what DevOps is.



Article author

Andrei Maksimov

Andrei is a passionate Cloud Solutions Architect with 8+ years of experience