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Best Practices for a Successful DevOps Implementation

13 April 2017

Gurtej Pal Singh
TD Bank (Technology Solutions)

DevOps and Agile are the new normal in today's IT organizations. As we all know, DevOps and Agile coexist and complement each other for expedited delivery. Faster application delivery requires embracing DevOps practices. Every organization can benefit from these practices; however, each needs to assess its current situation and determine which practices are most immediately critical and which can be planned for future implementation. Here are a few common patterns among organizations that are marching ahead with DevOps adoption practices to improve their results.

Best practices for a successful DevOps implementation

Streamline, simplify, and automate the delivery pipeline. Companies can identify barriers to faster delivery when they treat the delivery process as a pipeline and use practices such as value stream mapping and analysis to understand it, from the point when code is checked in to the point when customers receive benefit. A more complete view actually starts where ideas or incidents are first identified and then flows through the customer experience.

Expand test automation to improve quality while increasing delivery speed. Manual testing is slow and doesn't meet consumer demand for new capabilities. Leading organizations automate application testing by using APIs and incorporate this testing into their continuous integration (CI) processes. Reducing manual testing increases speed, and it reduces both manual errors and the total cost of quality. Automating testing as part of the CI process provides developers with fast feedback and ensures that quality is built in from the beginning.

Use code and cloud technologies as the infrastructure to simplify and streamline environment provisioning. Developers need environments as soon as they start to build code, and testers need them soon after. Having the right environments available when they are needed improves speed and quality by eliminating time spent waiting. Standardizing environment configurations across development, testing, and production eradicate errors and hard-to-duplicate incidents caused by undocumented changes across environments.

Reduce technical debt to increase responsiveness and reduce cost. Technical debt, or postponed technical work, accumulates over time and makes applications brittle, complex, and hard to change. Reducing technical debt makes applications more modular, resilient, and capable of being released more frequently.

Decouple applications and architectures to simplify delivery activities. Modern applications are built around APIs that decouple architectures and connect applications. The resulting components and services can be developed and delivered relatively independently, simplifying delivery activities, increasing delivery speed, and reducing delivery risk.

Collect and analyze feedback to drive better requirements. Rapid delivery cycles enable organizations to measure whether what they delivered mattered and to identify what they should work on next. With rapid feedback, organizations can deliver increasing levels of customer delight while reducing the amount of time, money, and effort they spend on building things that no one wants or needs.

Measure business outcomes tied to application releases. When rapid application delivery enables better customer insight, organizations are able to see close connections among business strategy, execution, customer experience, and business results. Organizations try out new ideas, gather feedback, and rapidly refine their solutions based on customer experiences. They can then identify and rapidly act on new business opportunities.

Opinions represent those of the author and not of Scrum Alliance. The sharing of member-contributed content on this site does not imply endorsement of specific Scrum methods or practices beyond those taught by Scrum Alliance Certified Trainers and Coaches.

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