10 Lessons learned by CIOs in creating a sustainable cultural change in a DevOps Transformation
Pierre-Olivier Portmann Service Management Consulting - 12/06/2019
Most organizations with a strong dependence on IT have started experimenting with DevOps today. The path from Waterfall to DevOps typically leads through adopting Agile and Scrum but is not linear or the same for every organization. Here are 10 lessons shared by a group of CIOs :
- LESSON 1: MANAGEMENT BY WALKING AROUND
Go to where the value-added work is happening ( or in Lean lingo, Go to the Gemba)
- LESSON 2: FIND CHAMPIONS AND GIVE THEM A PODIUM
Leadership isn’t confined to formal leaders. Anybody, at any level who is an advocate for the new direction, is a leader. Leadership – the advocacy for the new direction – should be pervasive, to be effective.
- LESSON 3: TAKE AWAY FEAR, UNCERTAINTY, AND DOUBT BY EXPLAINING WHAT IS IN IT FOR THE TEAM
This is the role of the formal manager: to anticipate these reactions and address them. Ignoring or minimizing their importance will impact the organizational benefits DevOps can potentially deliver.
- LESSON 4: SOME PEOPLE DON’T WANT CHANGE – AND THAT IS FINE
If parting ways is the best management decision given the circumstances, then make it. It may be the best thing for all affected parties.
- LESSON 5: AUTHENTIC LEADERS ARE GENUINE LEADERS
In the age of rapid and disruptive change, the formal leader doesn’t have all the answers. It isn’t an inadequacy, it is the nature of the times. And, one more reason to move away from the thinking that there is one know it all central leader, who has all the answers. Things are way too complex, and as consequence leadership and management is getting distributed to individuals and teams. Agile and DevOps are management frameworks for facilitating team-based leadership and management.
- LESSON 6: RECRUIT FOR ATTITUDE, SKILLS CAN BE TAUGHT
Mindset matters. DevOps devolves responsibility and accountability to the individual and team, so individuals should be willing to take on the responsibility to deliver business value not just technical output.
- LESSON 7: BE PATIENT, IT TAKES TIME
But use incremental milestones to track progress, a classic project management technique
- LESSON 8: FIND SUCCESS STORIES
With success stories, everybody can see what success looks like. Learn lessons – a sadly underutilized management practice – from the success story, and apply them across the initiative
- LESSON 9: ENGAGE WITH YOUR SUPPLIERS TO CREATE SUCCESS
Leverage project management’s contract management practices to create the right contractual framework for the DevOps way of working.
- LESSON 10: TRAIN TEAM ON "WORKING TOGETHER"
Team-based leadership and management won’t just happen, so training and coaching of teams should be part of the DevOps program management plan.
The findings from the dialog with CIOs point to the need for a formal program management framework to deliver a DevOps initiative, where a structured yet adaptive management method is used to take the organization from its current state IT work to the future state of high performing IT work. The alternate approach of throwing money or toolset at the problem will merely result in DevOps not delivering the business value it can potentially deliver.
Do check out DASA’s training program, to get a flavor of what a distributed team-based leadership and management looks like and use it as a basis for building the leadership, management and technical skills of your DevOps teams.
Source: 10 lessons learned by CIOs in creating a sustainable cultural change in a DevOps Transformation – DevOps Agile Skills Association (DASA)