A year ahead of DevOps and Agile: When to instill a sense of urgency

Let’s face it-we’ve been talking about Agile for 20 years, and DevOps since 2009. Everyone wants to embrace these business-paced approaches to software development and distribution, but confusion and disappointment are the rules of many companies. Who do you think will be under great pressure to deliver software with little or no budget cuts in a year characterized by rebuilding in a post-pandemic environment and increasingly digital competition? Yes, IT managers and professionals can expect intense time in the future.

In the next article in this series of our previous year, we visited industry leaders on DevOps and agile outlooks and found that the interpretations of these philosophies are as many as the companies that implement them. It was. The challenge is to get everyone on the same page. Then check the urgency and demonstrate the benefits to your business. In 2021, providing smooth, focused technology has become more important than ever.

Photo: Joe Mackendrick

“DevOps has different meanings, so we do different things and call it DevOps,” said Kief Morris, Chief Cloud Technician at ThoughtWorks. “This move and buzzword has succeeded in getting people to think about the need for everyone involved in creating and running software to work together, which is why it’s been extended with something like DevSecOps. Everyone, not just developers and operations personnel. ”

Morris warns that the problems that arise are that “people often focus on tools and superficial shapes rather than principles and consequences.” “That is, I see the DevOps team running the Jenkins server to create Ansible, but it’s not necessarily involved in the operational aspects of the code written by the developers. Also, testing, governance, etc. It’s also not good for everyone in different roles to collaborate effectively. Incorporating the right things into the software. “

Bringing DevOps to the forefront and putting it in the center can be an organizational challenge. “One of the biggest challenges in pursuing DevOps is the lack of urgency,” said Aly Simkins, Director of Development Operations, Catalytic. “DevOps isn’t a bright and shiny feature, and it often gives the impression that if things are working as they are, you don’t need to prioritize your work, but in reality DevOps is iterative. It has to be targeted and agile. ”What happens is that“ legacy DevOps implementations are ignored rather than growing with the rest of the software development lifecycle, ”she adds. I will. “There is no direct monetary value tied to an improved DevOps flow, so it’s not the first area of ​​interest when allocating engineering resources.”

Simkins advocates continuous improvement through these efforts to advance DevOps. “Build a strong foundation for your engineering team to improve speed and efficiency. Over time, identify and prioritize areas where an improved DevOps cycle provides value. When it comes to agile team growth. It’s an important investment to work with the rest of the software development process. ”

How close are you to finally fulfilling the agile manifesto promise of collaborating in a closed technology process? “Still, I’m not sure if the Agile Manifest concept is the industry standard,” Morris says. “People know that they need to change their mindset about technology. We talk about digital transformation, but how the values ​​and principles of agile manifests relate to this, and how to use it. I don’t know that I really understand what can be achieved. In reality, the manifesto talks about things like assessing “individuals and interactions with processes and tools,” but that’s difficult. The processes and tools seem simple. Too many software and consultancy firms offer Agile and DevOps, providing the processes and tools to make you. Digital. But they are really about giving you the comfort of having a formula, an easy way to be as successful as a company that is winning the market. “

Looking at the agile initiative itself, companies need to look at value and results, rather than measuring effort and task, ”says Morris. “We’ve seen the rise of an official” enterprise agile “framework that seeks to help manage teams in a top-down way, all based on the right side of agile manifest values. It was. While the manifesto emphasizes “responding to changes according to the plan,” these frameworks provide formulas for managing the plan. Once you start planning, we don’t really encourage you to respond to changes. “

Another challenge for the coming year is to extend agile far beyond the boundaries of IT departments. “Agile technology initiatives include business lines, especially because process managers remain more involved in automation,” said Nicolas Chabanoles, CTO of Bonitasoft. “Digital process automation technology needs to be used for close collaboration between organizations to have a positive impact on agile projects. For example, automation technology allows citizen developers to create user interfaces and business rules. And defining conditions and coding capabilities for developers such as SDKs, templates, archetypes, extension points, etc. ”

Regarding technologies that can help drive these processes forward, Morris said, “A new wave of technology approaches such as container clusters, service meshes, data meshes, and serverless is enablers. We package and organize tools and technologies in a way that people can. It’s used to improve flow, but it doesn’t magically provide it. Some of the things that have been around for some time, such as the cloud, are what we’re starting to see. It’s too easy to create the same thing. Some kind of mess, or a new kind of mess, using these technologies that people have created with traditional technologies and platforms. True agile and DevOps that drive collaboration. You need to combine these methods and use these technologies to focus on value and results. Really fly. “

A year ahead of DevOps and Agile: When to instill a sense of urgency

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