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How to Integrate DevOps— And Why You Might Be Struggling with It

You’ve probably come across organizations that seem committed to following the changing trends and best practices in the IT and software development industry but fail to implement them properly. They set unrealistic goals, work with the wrong teams, choose speed over quality, and implement processes without a foolproof strategy.

DevOps is one such practice and process that software-driven firms are increasingly adopting to align their tech projects to business requirements and foster a culture of communication and collaboration between teams. For organizations starting DevOps for the first time—or for seasoned developers who are accustomed to antiquated software development methods—there are even several worthy DevOps online courses to choose from. However, there’s still plenty of negligence when it comes to integrating this practice properly within most of these organizations.

What Does DevOps Mean?

Traditionally, software-driven organizations have had their developers and IT operations departments work differently. Developers have to build applications and then have the code tested in a separate environment, where a different team (operations) makes fixes and starts the production process. Obviously, this creates a lot of complexities which certainly impacts the organization’s software delivery process and overall efficiency.

The role of DevOps is to serve as a bridge between these two functions, enabling teams from both functions/departments to collaborate throughout the software development life cycle.

By adopting the DevOps culture and practice, organizations break the existing barrier between the development team (Dev) and operations (Ops). This improves communication and collaboration between IT groups and within the organization, thereby delivering high-quality software solutions that align with end-user needs and satisfy customers.

DevOps as a set of processes is associated with shorter (and innovative) software development cycles which means technology solutions are delivered at a faster pace, with minimal deployment failures. Other benefits include better economies of scale, scaling with minimum risks, and increased flexibility and reliability of the company’s operations and solutions.

How can You Integrate DevOps into Your Software Development Process?

If you’re looking to deliver high-quality and reliable technology solutions at a faster pace, then DevOps might just be what your organization needs. Read on, and you’ll learn how to successfully integrate the DevOps culture and practice in your organization.

Start by Defining a Shared Vision and Mission

DevOps as a culture and philosophy is all about getting everyone’s eye to see the bigger picture and equipping them with a common mission they should work together to achieve. So, before you even think of the right tools to equip your teams with, establish a common mission for everyone in the organization to target and follow.

The fact that DevOps teams comprise professionals with a variety of expertise and skill-set― and serving different functions across the enterprise― means that you have to customize your mission statement to reflect your organizational goals and composition. Make sure everyone in your organization understands and shares this common mission as this is what will get them to work productively.

Encourage Collaboration Among Teams

As mentioned, the traditional approach to software development always produces friction and creates complexities that slow down the delivery cycle. DevOps practices require consistent cooperation and collaboration across all the departments in the organization, which means you have to break down the existing organizational silos and establish integrated teams.

Don’t just assume things will fall in place. Be intentional and encourage everyone to embrace a culture of working together within and between teams. Start small with the simplest of goals so your teams can embrace your new approach with ease.

Prioritize Open, Clear, and Consistent Communication

The methodology of DevOps essentially involves instilling a sense of shared understanding and responsibility in your teams to ensure collaboration towards the best possible outcome. But this is only possible when you prioritize transparency and open, consistent communication across all levels of your enterprise.

Establish a Culture of Continuous Improvement and Learning

DevOps isn’t some magic pill that will resolve all your development issues once and for all. It’s actually an ongoing operation that requires continuous refining, learning, and improving. And this is the culture you want to cultivate in your organization.

Focus on establishing a pattern of continuous learning so your team can always look for ways to improve their skills and make operations better. Also, make sure your team receives continuous feedback from CI/CD tools and from each other on areas that need fixing and how they can do better.

Monitor Application Performance for Better Results

To detect, prioritize, and isolate defects in software or applications you’ll need to continuously monitor performance. You need to establish a feedback mechanism and set up monitoring capabilities that will not only help in identifying root causes of application defects but also ensure the application is performing efficiently and at optimal levels.

Why Your Organization Might be Struggling to Effectively Implement DevOps

Your Teams Are Still in Silos

By now, you already know that the role of DevOps is to remove the functional silos across departments within your organization. However, if you haven’t successfully gotten your developers, testing teams, and IT operations department to talk and openly engage with each other throughout the development lifecycle, then you’re not implementing DevOps or you’re doing it wrong. Get everyone to work towards a common mission so they can communicate and work together to ensure faster delivery cycles. It’s time you removed the organizational silos to effectively implement DevOps.

You’re Still Managing Code Using Manual Processes

As an organization, you’re always under pressure to streamline your development process and ensure customer expectations are met. But this can be a challenge when your development cycle relies on manual and repetitive processes. And this could be the reason you’re struggling to integrate a DevOps culture.

One of the key principles of the DevOps practice is automation. Therefore, it’s important that you reduce manual workload in your development lifecycle by adopting tools and configurations that can automate repetitive tasks and necessary processes.By embracing automation in your DevOps lifecycle, your organization will ensure greater accuracy, create a fast-paced development lifecycle, foster consistency, and reliability, and increase team productivity.

Is DevOps a Good Fit for Your Organization?

Having discussed what DevOps is all about and how organizations can successfully integrate it into their development process, it’s time to determine whether your business needs it.

The truth is that each organization or business faces its own unique problems. However, some challenges such as longer software delivery cycles, human error due to manual processes, high production costs, and unmet client/end-user expectations are common and affect a company’s overall efficiency and growth.

So, if your company uses software to provide technological solutions to customers and innovate in your sector, you should be looking at adopting a DevOps culture to gain a competitive advantage over your rivals.

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