The DevOps Ripple Effect

Following on from my previous post entitled 7 Steps to Start your DevOps Initiative, I thought I’d talk a bit about DevOps in the long term. Something which can easily be missed when on the DevOps journey is how to keep the momentum and make sure that good DevOps principles are not lost after the initial driving phase.

Once DevOps is in full swing in your organisation, when the initial business drivers have been addressed and DevOps has been deemed a success, the focus to continue along the DevOps path can be lost. However if this happens, some of the cultural and technical changes which are starting to get embedded can be reversed. Once the initial goals have been attained, the drive for DevOps excellence can become stagnated. DevOps should be considered as a journey, not an end goal.

In general, the initial phase of DevOps will probably be focused on 1 or 2 application teams only. The long term vision for the enterprise will be to implement DevOps principles across the board for all applications and ensure that new applications are also developed with DevOps in mind. The best way is to achieve this is with what I call DevOps Ripple.

What is the DevOps ripple?

I define DevOps ripple as the organic spread of DevOps practices and principles throughout an organisation buoyed by the DevOps successes achieved in other areas. DevOps ripple is the easiest way to share DevOps thinking and ingrain the DevOps culture across your enterprise.

For me, DevOps ripple is a key enabler of successful enterprise wide DevOps adoption.

How can I get some DevOps ripple in my organisation?

The easiest way to get DevOps ripple is by publicising and sharing the successes of the first DevOps’d application team across the organisation. This should be an ongoing success story, as each DevOps improvement made will provide tangible business benefits which can be shared throughout the DevOps journey for that team.

DevOps ripple can, in some cases, be kick-started by a few motivated individuals who are well connected in the enterprise, have the influence to initiate change, and can see the bigger picture and business benefits of DevOps. These individuals can motivate and enthuse others by directly relaying their thoughts/opinions as well as guidance and best practice gained from their DevOps experiences.

In bigger organisations where there are lots of disparate application teams, DevOps ripple might not be so easy to get going. This could be because the application teams are quite silo-ed from each other and do not discuss their successes, or it could be because of the competitive nature or even tension between teams, meaning they don’t want to follow in each other’s footsteps or emulate one another.

For whichever reason, if DevOps ripple doesn’t happen organically, it needs a bit of help from the senior guys running the show. In this case, if adoption is not organic, the stakeholders need to retain the focus which was initially given to DevOps and direct this towards other teams. The second wave of adoption should be easier as the past successes can be promoted, and the experience and lessons learnt from the first wave of adoption can be shared.

Once DevOps ripple is established, it still needs to be kept in check so that the fundamental business goals are always kept in mind and each step along the DevOps road provides tangible business value.


Learn More

Find out how Sandhata can help you enjoy the benefits of DevOps ripple in your organisation with our DevOps Advisory services.

 

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Bronwyn Davies

Bronwyn Davies is Head of DevOps at Sandhata Technologies. She brings more than 9 years' experience in application development to help clients achieve their DevOps ambitions. With in-depth understanding of the financial industry, she is able to draw on her experiences and knowledge to provide best practise guidance and practical tips to organisations looking to reinvent their application development processes.