Within the past few years, software development practices have significantly changed to put more emphasis on quick releases, better quality, more collaboration and successful projects. However, these adjustments have put considerable strain on QA management and numerous other activities due to the complete process shift. DevOps, in particular, has encountered many challenges by bringing together teams that have traditionally been siloed.
Although there are some difficulties you're likely to experience, DevOps can be significantly beneficial for organizations. It inherently promotes better knowledge sharing and faster decision-making, fostering an environment for better overall quality. When not using best practices, however, teams will have a harder time adopting the practice. Let's take a look at five tips that will improve your DevOps efficiency:
Identify adoption bottlenecks
No matter how well you communicate the potential of a new trend, you're going to encounter some roadblocks during the actual implementation phase. Obstacles can stem from employees, inadequate processes or any other number of sources. In an interview with ProfitBricks, OmniTI Vice President Leon Fayer noted that teams should quickly identify what bottlenecks exist that are preventing DevOps adoption. One major mistake to make is secluding DevOps practices only to tech teams within the business. By breaking down these communication barriers and taking a top-down approach to decision-making, teams will be able to better monitor their workflows and streamline the processes that are hindering widespread DevOps adoption.
"Companies will struggle if they take a hybrid approach with DevOps - for example, you cannot apply agile methodologies by keeping IT operations and engineering teams in traditional silos," Replicon Director of DevOps Rajesh Sethu said in an interview with ProfitBricks. "DevOps needs teammates who are highly motivated in automating things and can help propel this within an organization."
Aim for business objectives
Just because processes are changing, that doesn't mean that your overall goals are going to take such dramatic shifts. In fact, company aspirations are going to play a big part in guiding your journey to DevOps. TechTarget's Robert Gates explained that business objectives will help create an overall vision and prioritize what to go after during the move to DevOps. These principles will need to be communicated and integrated across all levels in order to be successful. During this process, Gates also recommended establishing a process to prioritize the backlog in order to release on a consistent basis and garner feedback to further direct the project on which path to take.
DevOps teams should have clear oversight of their projects and fully understand what areas need more attention. To do this successfully, they will need to monitor key performance indicators such as devops metrics and determine where issues are stemming from. In a post for LinkedIn, Logentries Chief Scientist and co-founder Trevor Parsons noted that from a DevOps perspective, the metrics that relate to the lifeblood of your system will likely include current load, uptime and performance. This information will be critical to identifying weak points and adjusting strategies accordingly for the best results. The important thing here is to make this information readily available to not only members of DevOps, but to the entire business as a whole. This will help promote true collaboration and keep everyone updated on how their efforts are faring.
"There's nothing quite like the possibility of 'airing your dirty laundry in public' to keep the DevOps team focused on the job," Parsons wrote.
Organizations can use containers alongside DevOps to optimize their processes and make their teams more efficient. Although containers may not be the answer for every situation, they do provide a way to make applications more portable and easy to manage, TechBeacon contributor David Linthicum pointed out. Through this process, DevOps can ensure that their resources are aligned appropriately, eliminating wasted time and talent. This will make DevOps teams significantly more efficient and help strategize for future opportunities.
One trend that will really help improve DevOps efficiency is automation. With automation integration, organizations will be able to create recurring scripts and workflows for their repeatable processes. Hewlett Packard Enterprise contributor Ritika Puri noted that this could create more opportunities for team members to pursue strategic initiatives and lessen the strain of one-off projects. When they don't need to focus on mundane tasks, DevOps teams can become agents of change and work toward actively improving overall development processes. This capability will not only significantly improve DevOps efficiency, it also provides a model for other teams to follow in streamlining their workflows and focusing on directly adding business value.
The journey to DevOps can be challenging, but by following these five tips, you'll be able to make your team more efficient, and also more successful. With devops test management, you'll be able to better support an agile development environment and reap the types of benefits that you expect from quick reactions and collaborative teamwork.