How to establish a DevOps culture: 7 tips

Realizing the full benefits of DevOps requires a commitment at the cultural level. Consider this expert advice to establish a DevOps culture throughout your organization
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DevOps is the leading software development methodology practiced worldwide, with a market share of 47 percent. By adopting DevOps, which emphasizes constant collaboration between development and operations teams, you can experience 63 percent improvement in software quality, 63 percent faster release, and 55 percent better collaboration among teams.

However, establishing a DevOps culture in your organization is paramount for driving these benefits. Here are seven tips that CTOs can implement to build a robust DevOps culture.

1. Focus on constant collaboration

The fundamental idea behind DevOps is to bring everyone together to work toward a common goal. This requires constant communication and collaboration. Therefore, CTOs should develop a continuous communication channel between developers and the production team.

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This will help to break silos, and various groups will better understand each other’s perspectives and challenges. They share their details and maintain constant contact throughout the project, resulting in faster deployment, smoother delivery, and fewer errors.

2. Enforce end-to-end accountability

When moving to DevOps, CTOs must enforce end-to-end accountability by clearly defining the roles and responsibilities of each team. For example, developers are not only responsible for writing the code, and the production team is not only responsible for deployment.

As a part of DevOps culture, both teams should work as a single cohesive unit and take responsibility for the entire software development lifecycle. This ends the blame game and increases productivity dramatically.

3. Develop a firm understanding of CI/CD

CTOs must fully understand and implement the principles of continuous integration and continuous delivery (CI/CD) to establish a DevOps culture. It provides the development team with the tolling to automate deployments from development to production.

Effective implementation of CI/CD enables faster feedback, smoother deployment, rapid error detection, etc. From a business perspective, CI/CD can also enable speedier time-to-market and help you build a loyal customer base with robust products.

4. Employ customer-centric actions

Customer satisfaction is the key to success for any business. Every principle or best practice in DevOps indicates keeping a customer-centric approach. Therefore, CTOs should focus on making the business profitable and building features that solve customer problems.

As CTO, you know that solving unique customer problems boosts profits. Keeping end users at the center of every strategy will help you deliver a scalable, reliable, and robust solution.

5. Encourage automation

Automation is one of the key building blocks of DevOps, so it’s important to focus on automating everything possible. Setting this up may take some time initially, but it will save time and resources in the long run.

[ Learn how leaders are embracing enterprise-wide IT automation: Taking the lead on IT Automation. ]

Automation also reduces human intervention, thereby minimizing the chance of errors. Unexpected errors in production can affect productivity, but automated testing procedures can eliminate this risk.

6. Assess and learn from failure

There is always learning behind any failure or mistake. As CTO, you should embrace that. Keeping an analytical and positive mindset while accepting failures will help you grow in the modern-day IT environment.

DevOps practices emphasize introspection and learning every day. Consider conducting an honest failure assessment with team members. It will help the organization deal with such situations effectively and adopt radical changes.

7. Start from the top

To successfully adopt a DevOps culture, buy-in should start at the top. When C-level executives and top management embrace the change, it sends a positive message to the junior members.

Leadership’s commitment to digital transformation is key to adopting the DevOps methodology. Be ready to embrace drastic changes, encourage experimentation, and promote knowledge sharing.

Wrapping it up

Adopting DevOps culture in your organization is not easy. There are no shortcuts to implementing DevOps principles and practices. It requires commitment, dedication, and continuous efforts from all team members.

However, if you’re willing to experiment, learn from failures, and embrace drastic changes, DevOps adoption can help your organization become more collaborative, more agile, and more successful.

[ Culture change is the hardest part of digital transformation. Get the digital transformation eBook: Teaching an elephant to dance. ]

Hardik Shah is a Tech Consultant at Simform, a leading DevOps Consulting and Implementation Company. He leads large-scale mobility programs that cover platforms, solutions, governance, standardization, and best practices. Connect with him to discuss the best practices of software methodologies.