DevOps success: 4 reasons teamwork comes first

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DevOps is quickly becoming increasingly mainstream in enterprises. Why? Because a DevOps culture gives companies a competitive advantage by streamlining processes internally. A DevOps approach allows companies to develop and deploy software more efficiently and effectively, meaning businesses can respond to changing customer needs and competitive pressure faster than before.

However, it’s important to note that adopting a DevOps model isn’t always easy. It requires a shift in the organization that unites two traditionally siloed teams, which is no simple task. Here are four reasons why, when it comes to DevOps, team building should come first. 

Change isn’t easy

When an organization decides to adopt a DevOps approach, it requires a company-wide cultural change. A DevOps culture needs to be based on principles an organization sets forth and ultimately adheres to. This culture needs to value collaboration, experimentation, and learning. Staff at all levels needs to be educated on this cultural and structural shift so they understand what to expect and how to achieve the necessary change. IT leaders need to break down barriers to get teams working together and explain the changes to come. By encouraging and enabling DevOps teams to build good work rapport, the DevOps transition will be smoother.

All strong, collaborative teams have one thing in common – every team member shares the same goal.

This results in improved processes for everyone, which makes working together more enjoyable. At the end of the day, this makes it easier to attract and retain top talent – something that is increasingly difficult in today’s IT job market. 

Shared goals lead to great results

All strong, collaborative teams have one thing in common – every team member shares the same goal. When it comes to DevOps, the goal is clear: rapidly deliver stable, high-quality software, from concept to delivery. If everyone is on-board with this goal – and they should be – then all efforts toward achieving the goal can be more collaborative. Having buy-in across the organization is key. If IT and business leaders align around shared goals and incent staff to share those same goals, then everyone is working towards the same end. There is less resistance if everyone understands the inevitable benefits of adopting DevOps.

A quality team produces quality products

When teams work together well, they will speak more openly with each other. This is important for sharing feedback, talking through road blocks and exchanging ideas on what could be better. When a DevOps model is effective, teams can make rapid changes to software. This allows companies to stay ahead of the curve. If someone has an innovative idea of how to improve the software, with a DevOps approach the team can make changes quickly, deploying new capabilities. This is the nature of continuous delivery.

A team that works well together, can move fast – isn’t that part of the DevOps goal?

When DevOps teams have uniform processes that work for all team members involved in the project, it’s easy to move quickly.

Collaborative teams that are in sync can move much faster than disjointed teams. When goals are aligned and processes are streamlined, teams have the ability to be agile. Teams need to move fast to fix errors, provide the latest updates, enhance capabilities and take advantage of the latest emerging technologies, such as machine learning and the Internet of Things.

When DevOps teams have uniform processes that work for all team members involved in the project, it’s easy to move quickly. This decrease in time to market serves as a powerful competitive differentiator. However, it’s important to note that teams need to have the mindset that while speed is important, quality is equally as important. Here, too, continuous delivery and DevOps help – automation provides reproducible results and traceability. When errors occur, they should be easily identified and fixed.

A DevOps transition doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time, it takes trial-and-error and it takes patience. Once an organization is in the full swing of DevOps, its employees (and customers) will see just how effective the new way of doing things is. Change is never easy, but having collaborative teams makes change just a bit easier and will enable organizations to take full advantage of what a DevOps model has to offer.

Sacha Labourey is Co-Founder and Interim Chief Executive Officer at CloudBees, the enterprise software delivery company. Sacha has been an active leader in open source software for twenty years. He was a core contributor to Marc Fleury’s JBoss project, implementing its original clustering features.