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DevOps: Making Life on Earth Fantastic

Mar 16, 2018 9:13:40 AM By Derek Weeks


DevOps is taking over business. Not because technology permeates business, but because it has broadened to include the entire business value stream. Different best practices throughout the enterprise are incorporating principles of DevOps to deliver better outcomes to customers.

Helen Beal, DevOpsologist at Ranger4, spends her days “making life on earth fantastic” in part by helping implement DevOps philosophies in organizations. I recently watched her presentation from the All Day DevOps conference entitled, DevSecOps and the DevOps Superpattern. Here is what I learned:

Helen pointed out that DevOps is about 10 years old, yet, unlike Agile, there isn’t a DevOps Manifesto. But, we know what DevOps is about. She quotes Mark Schwartz from The Art of Business Value, “DevOps, in a sense, is about setting up a value delivery factory -- a streamlined, waste-free pipeline through which value can be delivered to the business with a predictably fast cycle time.”

Helen also introduced the audience to the DevOps equivalent of the OODA loop -- Ideation → Integration → Validation → Operation → Realization → and repeat, and the CAMS principle: Culture; Automation; Measure; and, Sharing. A process and principles that can be applied inside and outside of IT and software development.




She is leading up to making the point that business best practices systems are converging around DevOps - a concept she calls the Emerging DevOps Superpattern.




These are best practice systems - some of which have been around of more than a half-century and others that aren’t even a decade old - where, as they mature and evolve, it is becoming evident they share best practices with DevOps. DevOps is at the center of improving business.

Helen looked at each best practice system and principles they share with DevOps:

Agile: Support and trust are key; the first principle of the Agile Manifesto is continuous delivery; measuring value to the customer; daily collaboration across functions.

Holacracy: Everyone has the ability to call out when they see a problem; heavily focused on using peer-review processes and relies on collective intelligence.

ASM (Agile Service Management): This builds on ITSM. It is just enough governance to deliver the best service to the customer; promotes better collaborations by cross-pollinating vocabulary and methods.

Lean: Focuses on delivering value to the customer with minimal waste; the types of waste Lean seeks to eliminate are errors and duplication - both of which automation helps to tackle; uses Value Stream Mapping to understand the handoffs between processes and human interactions.

Learning Organization: Decentralizes the role of leadership; puts long-term sustainability ahead of short-term fixes; automates rote tasks to release time for learning and experimentation; uses knowledge management tools; touts exposing personal mental patterns and thinking for inspection and influence from others.

Safety Culture: In a highly experimental, innovative environment, we need to build safety in. Fail safe, fast, smart - testing and auditing early in the release cycle and pre-emptive monitoring; Mean Time to Repair but measuring failure in terms of real business value; accountability and ensuring all understand their role in procedures is key. In DevOps we love failure because it shows we are innovating.

Theory of Constraints: Mental models held by people can cause behavior that becomes a constraint; automation can remove constraints in manual processes; constraints are frequently poor handoffs due to weak collaboration.

The reality is DevOps embraces principle that make business better - better for the business, for the employees, and for the customers. That is seen as other systems to improve business embrace shared principles.

To learn more about what Helen had to say on this, DevSecOps, and the importance of safety culture to innovation, you can access her full talk here.

Craving more? Binge watch all 100 All Day DevOps sessions here.