Let’s get one thing straight: I’m a huge fan of DevOps. It has been shown to increase quality, reduce problems, and shorten development cycles. It’s often considered a panacea for large organizations looking to transform their development, production and operational lifecycles. But is it right for every business?
Companies that do it successfully can reap the benefits of continuous deployment and testing, but companies that fail get trapped in endless loops of missed deadlines.
There are some criteria that any IT team should investigate before making the transformational shift to CI/CD. It involves taking a hard look at the existing culture, process, and even management style. There’s no shortage of ink spilled on articles that try to convince you why DevOps is the future. Instead, I want to discuss when and why DevOps doesn’t work to truly help identify if it’s right for you.
First: Is the culture ready?
Because the transformation to DevOps is simultaneously a change in process, tools, and philosophy, it requires a cultural shift in collective mindset that’s fraught with potential failure. DevOps success relies on three Cs: communication, collaboration, and coordination among different teams (including software developers, quality, operations, and executive stakeholders). The first challenge is to understand and unpack how these groups are aligned and interrelated. Then, the executive leadership must develop a working model of communication among them with incremental milestones to gradually shift culture toward more openness and connectivity.
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