Overcoming Cultural, Communication, and Mental Barriers

In our previous DevOps article, Disrupting Traditional SDLC for Better Collaboration, Better Products, Better Customer Value, we explored readiness for DevOps.

In this article, I highlight five areas critical to ensuring DevOps gets off the ground and delivers sustainable results. These can help organizations get over the cultural, communication and intellectual humps to drive DevOps success.

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Design a Compelling (and specific) Future State

If the combined DevOps team can’t see the value in pursuing common goals, nor the contribution that the “other” side makes to the whole, you’ll have a tough time getting anywhere.

However, if the group bonds over designing in specifics what their desired future state could look like, then, they can have clues as to what success should feel like and know when this new DevOps Way is working.

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Capture an Honest Current State

Frankly, it’s too easy to pretend everything is going fine or to be so mired in disharmony as separate development or operations teams that you can see the issues clearly.

Related to item number four, it’s important to create a space and an opportunity that both teams can honestly uncover blind spots and hidden (yet obvious) issues.

DevOps transformation offers a fresh opportunity to encourage intellectual curiosity like never before. Tap into the strengths of the team and step out of the arena by pulling folks together to solve problems in collaboration.

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Establish Process-focused Methods for Bringing Teams Together

Process is your secret weapon for collaboration. By having a fruitful and encouraging process to guide your DevOps creation and launch, you take a lot of the pressure off of the idea of two becoming one. I find that Value Stream Mapping as one of the most powerful ways to do this.

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Attack the Problem – Not the People

It can’t be reiterated enough. Your people are (usually) not the problem. And, by focusing on the issues and problems to be solved (supported by a dynamic process and facilitation), you can stay clear of digging up sore spots and old wounds and keep people on one side and the problem as the enemy.

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Empower Staff to Take Leadership

This is the toughest to say and for clients to do. Leaders must kick off the process and framework, but then get out of the way.

Make this experience about them and what they build for you and your customers. Don’t make this about what you want them to do.

Establish clear lines of communication and feedback, but you will get your money’s worth of time and energy if you give your team the space and tools to design the solutions that they, then, will execute on. There’s nothing quite like the drive teams have to prove their ideas do, indeed, work!

Six Phases of DevOps Model chart
Six Phases of DevOps Model

Now that you’ve mapped your current state, you’re ready for the next phase in DevOps implementation.

Stay tuned for our next article where we will dive into the six areas of our model and provide an opportunity to access Gartner’s DevOps Report and Magic Quandrant on DevOps tools.

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