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Four Tactics for Cultural Change in DevOps Adoption

Many organizations approach digital transformation and DevOps adoption with the belief that simply by selecting and using the right tools, they will achieve higher levels of automation and gain massive efficiencies as a result. While DevOps adoption does require new tools and processes, one of the biggest mistakes an organization can make is to overlook the cultural change that’s required to make the transition across both technical and non-technical teams.

We outlined the importance of navigating the change curve by preparing your team for cloud transformation previously. DevOps adoption carries similar implications. As roles and responsibilities change in connection with your journey toward DevOps, here are four tactics you can employ to make sure that you’re addressing culture:

4 Tactics to Integrate Cultural Change in Your DevOps Playbook

Tactic #1: Focus on How You Hire
At its core, DevOps brings together development and operations teams, long separated by your legacy software development life cycle (SDLC). DevOps requires organizations to vary their approach to ensure that employees work together and successfully launch solutions to market. One way to ensure focus on people and culture is to re-evaluate hiring criteria for new staff members. DevOps teams focus more on hiring generalists since they are more adept at handling the changing needs of development. As DevOps methodologies mature, generalists will need to adopt the mindset of a software developer.

Tactic #2: Set a Collaborative Tone
Another area of focus is the dynamics of collaboration in a DevOps framework. DevOps eradicates silos and requires stakeholders across business units to interact with one another, so it helps to establish mutual understanding and empathy as core team values that enable individuals to move toward a common goal. Organizations may find it helpful to engage in team building activities to facilitate communication and collaboration among team members.

Tactic #3: Treat Continuous Training as a Process
DevOps helps clarify many SDLC processes. Simple processes become programmable and dynamic. This maximizes the predictability, efficiency, security, and sustainability of operations. Often, these processes and practices are supported by automation. Set an expectation of continuous improvement by making ongoing training part of your DevOps adoption playbook. With new technologies emerging and best practices evolving, leaders must provide the right resources to ensure their employees can keep up with the rest of the industry. This includes activities such as acquiring certifications and getting hands-on experience with specific DevOps tools.

Tactic #4: Use Measurement to Create Shared Accountability
Application outages have dogged development teams since the beginning of time. In DevOps, the push to satisfy customers and ensure application uptime further motivates teams to build in processes that ensure continuity. Emphasize the need to deliver highly resilient applications and workloads, then hold the organization accountable. By establishing easy-to-understand metrics like Mean Time to Production, Deployment Frequency, Mean Time to Recovery, teams are more likely to collaborate and tempers are less likely to flare.


Build Out Your DevOps Adoption Playbook

Is your organization adopting DevOps or are you looking to drive it across your organization? The DevOps Adoption Playbook Learning Path can help. In two jam-packed hours of video lectures, plus practical learning opportunities across five Hands-on Labs, it’s the smartest way to jump-start your teams to success.


Albert Qian

Written by

Albert is the Product Marketing Manager at Cloud Academy, responsible for supporting sales, marketing campaigns, and more. When not at work, you'll find him listening to an audiobook, at spin class, or traveling.

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