Everything at Once

DevOps is taking off—and for good reason. By Priya Patra, PMP

The word “DevOps” pops up a lot these days in IT. A compound 
of the words “development” and “operations,” DevOps is a delivery approach that brings software  engineer and operations teams together for the entire product life cycle—design, development
 and deployment. It has a lot in common with
 agile approaches. But whereas agile focuses on rapid delivery of a potentially shippable product, DevOps takes another step: It blurs the line among development, testing and operations.

In the world of DevOps, all of those functions are happening in concert to ensure the operations team doesn’t end up with a useless product. This means deployment times are faster, and repairs can be made more quickly when something goes wrong. It’s a cultural paradigm shift toward collaborative and leaner solutions and continuous delivery. Organizations are embracing DevOps for some of the same reasons they embraced agile: It helps to deliver quick and reliable business value in fast-changing business environments. But DevOps also enables teams to discover problems earlier in the development pipeline and fix them faster— thereby delivering a better customer experience.

TRANSLATION, PLEASE

Here’s a scenario that shows how an organization might evolve toward DevOps.

Imagine a development team creates a software program. It tests the product to confirm it works, then hands it off to the operations team to take 
it live. But the program isn’t running as fast as it should; the company’s website is lagging. After many meetings and much back and forth, the development and operations teams decide to work together to tune the company’s servers to enable the new program to run optimally.

Learning from this experience, the organization begins to evolve its delivery approach. The development team delivers features every week to production. Using DevOps practices like cross-collaboration and continuous integration, build and monitoring, the organization finds that deployments are smoother. Continuous feedback helps the team identify and rectify issues.

WHAT IT IS—AND IS NOT

DevOps is an approach, not a skill. Its four central values are communication, automation, measurement and sharing. Its main levers are people, processes and tools. The respective members of Dev and Ops teams must trust one another and communicate well to take advantage of each other’s strengths and guard against each other’s weakness. DevOps does not require a separate team. To the contrary, it’s about getting software teams and operations to function in some ways as a single unit with shared goals and responsibilities. And this shift is yielding big benefits.

Priya Patra, PMP, is a regular contributor to projectmanagement.com and a program manager in the IT sector who lives in Mumbai, India. 

Source: PM Network 11/2017 - 2017 PMI PROJECT OF THE YEAR WINNER

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