DevOps: A Framework? Or A Culture?

devops-culture-benefits

DevOps culture benefits to organization

What is the thing which separates culture and framework?

Suppose, you stay in a beautiful housing complex. Each building over there has 20 floors in total. Each floor has 4 apartments. Every building maintains the same distance from the swimming pool. This is what you call a framework of that housing complex.

On the other hand, society kids always organize a football tournament by themselves during winter. All the occasions are celebrated in the community hall. Trespassers are not allowed inside the premises without registering at the entrance. That is the culture of a society.

You understand the difference now, right?

When it comes to an organization, it’s almost similar. A software framework is a platform for developing software applications. As an example, a framework may include pre-defined functions that can be used to process input, manage hardware devices and interact with system software.

When we talk about the culture of an organization, that defines how things can be done smartly for success.

Now, why DevOps is a culture and not a framework? To find out that, we need to understand the need for DevOpsfirst.

In this blog, you will find out the purpose of DevOps, key principles of it and the cultural attributes of DevOps along with some best practices of it. And from there, you will be able to figure out yourself. So, let’s peep into its nook and corners, shall we?

Key Principles Of DevOps:

When it comes to DevOps, there are so many definitions of it that appears within one single google search. The key principles of DevOps remain the same though, even if we consider all those definitions. According to DevOps Agile Skills Association, they are as follows:

 

  1. Customer-centric action:

    Staying in a feedback loop with customers is the main key to success for any business. To meet customer requirements, DevOps organizations need to act like startups that innovate continuously, pivot when an individual strategy is not working, and constantly invests in products and services that can push the customer satisfaction to the maximum level.

  2. Create with the end in mind:

    Organizations need to let go of waterfall and process-oriented models where each unit or individual works only for a particular role/function, without overseeing the complete picture. They need to act as product companies that explicitly focus on building working products sold to real customers, and all employees need to share the engineering mindset that is required actually to envision and realize those products.

  3. End to end responsibility:

    Where traditional organizations develop IT solutions and then hand them over to Operations to deploy and maintain these solutions, in a DevOps environment teams are vertically organized such that they are fully accountable from concept to grave. IT products or services created and delivered by these teams remain under the responsibility of these stable groups. These teams also provide performance support, until they become end-of-life, which greatly enhances the level of responsibility felt and the quality of the products engineered.

  4. Cross-functional Autonomous teams:

    In product organizations with vertical, fully responsible teams, these teams need to be entirely independent throughout the whole lifecycle. That requires a balanced set of skills and also highlights the need for team members with T-shaped all-round profiles instead of old-school IT specialists who are only knowledgeable or skilled in for example testing, requirements analysis or coding. These teams become a hotbed of personal development and growth.

  5. Continuous improvement:

    End-to-end responsibility also means that organizations need to adapt continuously in the light of changing circumstances (e.g. customer needs, changes in legislation, new technology becomes available). In a DevOps culture, a strong focus is put on continuous improvement to minimize waste, optimize for speed, costs, and ease of delivery, and to continuously improve the products/services offered. Experimentation is, therefore, an important activity to embed and develop a way of learning from failures is essential. A good rule to live by in that respect is if it hurts, do it more often.

  6. Automate everything you can:

    To adopt a continuous improvement culture with high cycle rates and to create an IT organization that receives instant feedback from end-users or customers, many organizations have quite some waste to eliminate. Fortunately, in the past years, enormous gains in IT development and operations can be made in that respect. Think of automation of not only the software development process (continuous delivery, including continuous integration and continuous deployment) but also of the whole infrastructure landscape by building next-gen container-based cloud platforms that allow infrastructure to be versioned and treated as code as well. Automation is synonymous with the drive to renew the way in which the team delivers its services.

We guess you have understood by now that the key principle of DevOps themselves defines them as a culture. Which is why these principles are called DevOps culture principles as well.

After knowing about the principles, let’s check out the best DevOps practices which fall into the DevOps culture.

Best DevOps Practices:

DevOps mainly builds up a connection between both the development and operations teams. We don’t have to tell you how important that is for product management. Now, you might think that why do you need DevOps when you have Agile for it?

These DevOps practices below would help you to understand why DevOps is better than Agile:

  • Version control all production artifact: Both Devs and Ops can use version control and share a single source of information
  • Continuous integration and deployment: Instead of implementing the integration part at the time of product release, DevOps creates a platform of integration and deployment on a regular basis
  • Automated acceptance testing: With DevOps, the organization can take immediate action when something breaks in an automated user test, an integration test, or a system test. This keeps things in an always deployable state.
  • Peer review of production changes: DevOps lets you use peer reviews to improve the quality of your product.
  • High trust culture: With a shared source of truth, peer review and shared goals, it builds up a high trust culture between the development and operation team.
  • Proactive monitoring of the production environment: DevOps allows monitoring and communication across the teams so everyone can see, understand, and affect end results and customer utilization.

So, what do you think? Something which binds an organization’s two teams together in such a way, can that really be called anything but a culture? Now, let’s look into the DevOps culture mindset in depth.

DevOps Culture Attributes:

Do you know what is the hidden truth between the clash of development and operations?

It’s pretty simple! When the development team talks about the tools to be built or used, it seems pretty simple and accessible. They often forget that people who are using these tools are complex. This is where the operations team comes in field and it becomes the history.

With the help of DevOps Culture Attributes, one can easily solve this issue. Want to know how?

Let’s check the vital steps to DevOps success!

  • Open Communication:

    Once you adopt a DevOps culture, both the team needs to communicate throughout the project about the product lifecycle, requirements, features, schedules, resources and whatever else might come up.

  • Incentive and Responsibility alignment:

    One really interesting cultural attribute of DevOps is on-call rotation. The method behind it is when the developers are responsible for the coding part, they should understand about the bugs by themselves in order to make the best ever product.

Also, within the DevOps culture, the development and operations team both get rewarded for every success and achievement. Isn’t that amazing?

DevOps Culture Benefits:

  • Respect:

    Everyone needs to recognize and appreciate the contribution of everyone else, and respect the other team members as well.

  • Trust:

    Trust is one of the most important attributes of a DevOps culture. Development and operations teams should trust each other’s work and commands, in order to increase the quality of the product.

  • Ready, set, change:

    Probably this is the main cultural attribute for DevOps. The target of DevOps is designing a product with the help of everyone’s input and ending up building a better product at a lower cost. Any changes which come handy with that, the organization should be adoptive with that.

  • Know where you are starting:

    You should know your short term and long term goals, and where are you standing when you start the project. Then only you can plan accordingly to reach your goals.

  • Know why you are changing:

    Before switching to a DevOps culture you need to analyze the reason for which you are changing. Because the amount of money you put on the new tools might be outweighed by your benefits. Measure your goals and analyze how you can accelerate your process to reach them with the help of DevOps culture.

  • Mentoring the new culture:

    As your project progresses, you’ll have to mentor the entire product team regularly to adopt the new DevOps culture and make the benefits clear to them.

 

Conclusion:

A framework is just some guidelines to achieve a faster way. Culture is definitely much more than. It’s not just tools or process, but it takes a really deep professional and psychological maturity to adopt a particular culture which builds a bond as well as bringing the success. Hence, there is no way by which DevOps should be allowed to be named as a framework and not a culture.

Though there are DevOps culture challenges you will face while looking for a culture change in your organization, the benefits of DevOps can easily wipe them away.

When we admire the beauty of any culture, we know that it took thousands of years to shape that particular one in what it is today. Well, with the help of DevOps, you won’t need more than a few months to transform your organization’s culture completely into DevOps culture.

Want us to show you how it’s done?  Click here to find out right away!

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