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Hardik Shah works as a Tech Consultant at Simform, a leading custom software development 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 @hsshah_.

Adopting a DevOps Culture: A Definitive Guide

Adopting a DevOps culture requires a change of mindset, process, and culture at the enterprise level. But, the organization needs to have all software development teams on the same page. Without everyone working towards a common goal, you won’t have desired success.

Many people think that adopting DevOps is only about dividing the task among various teams and assigning specific roles to team members. Instead, it requires a commitment to cause for a more extended period while implementing the best practices. Therefore, moving to DevOps is not one time shift but a continuous journey that organizations must navigate together.

One of the biggest challenges of adopting DevOps is identifying an optimal path for strong communication among the team members and delivering the software to customers without compromising quality. Among these challenges, adopting DevOps seems a hard grind.

However, 74% of the organizations globally have successfully adopted DevOps. Therefore, DevOps is important and worth putting in the effort. This blog will give you a definitive guide for successfully adopting a DevOps culture.

1) Tips to successfully adopt a DevOps culture

1.1) Emphasize the role of customization

There is no one-size-fits-all kind of approach. Each organization has its requirements, and you need to lay out a strategy for DevOps implementation. For example, many company owners think that hiring a “DevOps Engineer” will solve all their concerns related to DevOps, and they don’t have to contribute anything. However, that’s not true at all. Each organization has its journey towards embracing DevOps culture. So, as per your organization’s business needs, lay out an approach that suits your ecosystem. Customizing the DevOps implementation tactic as per the client’s needs while following all the best practices is the key to successful adoption.

1.2) Develop a thorough understanding of CI/CD

If you want to adopt a DevOps culture for your organization, then having an in-depth understanding of CI/CD is vital. While CI (Continuous Integration) helps developers merge the code changes to shared branches in a collaborative environment, CD (Continous Delivery) focuses on getting all the new changes to the software (new feature addition, bug fixing, configuration changes, etc.) to the production. Understanding CI/CD methodology will help your software development team identify the right tools required for automating the deployment. So, start learning about the CI/CD approach in detail and ensure a strong base for DevOps culture.

1.3) Assign specific roles and responsibilities

When your organization decides to move to a DevOps culture, the first change should be a leadership mindset. Next, the top-level management should start dividing roles and responsibilities to various teams. It will create a massive impact on the other departments. Isaac Sacolick, one of the top DevOps experts and authors, says, “culture change should be the top priority so that developers, engineers, and technology leaders collaborate around the implementation and drive real impact for the business and end-users.” Lastly, assigning specific roles and responsibilities will also create a sense of belonging and accountability in the teams.

1.4) Make use of automation

Scott Hanselman, Partner Program Manager at Microsoft, says, “The most powerful tool we have as developers is automation.” You won’t find any DevOps lifecycle where automation is not a central theme. Automation aims to accelerate software delivery. You need to automate everything from infrastructure, environment, configuration, platform, and build to testing. It would also help you reduce the delivery team, increase repeatability, and eliminate configuration errors. Setting up an automation process may require some time and effort, but it would be more beneficial than a manual process. Thus, start using automation in your DevOps ecosystem.

1.5) Choose the right metrics

Some people will follow the best practices and strategies for adopting enterprise DevOps. But, they don’t consider choosing and tracking the right DevOps metrics for successful implementation. If you can finalize a few metrics in the start to monitor your DevOps implementation, it would help you to know its status in real-time.

Here are some of the most critical DevOps metrics:

  • Mean Time To Recover (MTTR): It shows how long an application would take to recover from a failure or crash.
  • Production Failure Rate: It analyses how frequently your software crashes in production for a particular period.
  • Average Lead Time: It identifies how long it takes to develop, examine, deliver, and deploy a brand-new requirement
  • Deployment Speed: It suggests how quickly you can deploy a new software version into the production environment.
  • Deployment Frequency: It analyzes how frequently you’re deploying the current release of software into production.

There are so many metrics you can choose for tracking DevOps implementation success. However, the focus should not be on gathering metrics that seem impressive but not in the business interest. Instead, choose metrics that align with your organization’s ecosystem. It will give you a perfect idea of your current DevOps implementation.

1.6) Give importance to quality assurance from the beginning

We have often seen that testers get the least amount of time during the software development lifecycle. You can expect a high-quality product without giving ample time to the testing department. They are the ones who can help you to track and rectify any minor bugs or errors. Organizations that overlook quality assurance struggle to deliver a quality product to customers. It’s often difficult to automate all the test cases, but you should try to automate as much as possible. It will speed up the overall testing process, and you can deliver high-quality products in less time. Thus, implement continuous testing while embracing DevOps for your organization.

2) Summing up

DevOps is a correlation of people, processes, and products, and so it requires dedicated effort to embrace its philosophy. You also need to overcome various challenges along the way. However, if you follow the approaches or tips discussed above, you can quickly adopt the DevOps culture in your organization with great success. Remember, DevOps is a continuous journey with no final destination. You learn and refine your process over a while. The important thing is to get started and give yourself a chance to reach your business goals.

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