The math is clear: the faster you develop your product and release it, the sooner you will start enjoying the benefits of your hard work. Still, if you want to gain a competitive edge, you need to find a way to accelerate.
But, product development is a challenging process mainly due to the fact that it depends on a number of different people and factors. One of the biggest issues used to be a barrier between business and development teams, and with the introduction of the agile approach, things changed and their collaboration significantly improved.
However, there is another problem that gets in the way of a more efficient development cycle; that is lack of collaboration between the teams responsible for software development and the ones whose role is to provide ongoing support. That is when the DevOps strategy comes to save the day.
What is DevOps?
It can be best defined as a collaborative approach that brings dev (Development) teams and IT operations together, under one roof.
It is important to stress that DevOps does not refer to a single process or the tools only. What we have here is a much broader term that is all about creating synergy between different teams.
DevOps allows businesses to monitor all development phases from the product idea all the way to the product release while preventing roadblocks, delivering updates, upgrading features, and fixing bugs.
Recent statistics illustrate the importance of this set of practices and tools for streamlining the software development processes as only 9% of tech professionals responsible for the development and quality of web and mobile apps said that they had not adopted DevOps or had no plans to do so.
Ways to achieve all the benefits of DevOps:
1. Encourage your teams to work together
When it comes to product development, it is important to understand that; reaching and maintaining stability is the Holy Grail of operations, while development highly values speed and innovation. It is clear that; these two perspectives on development can cause certain misunderstandings.
No wonder it is easy to fall into the trap of thinking that your teams are collaborating efficiently; they use Slack, Skype, and different project management tools, as well as have regular briefs and meetings. However, let us not forget that many dev teams are usually split into different silos. Some write code; other operations teams deploy that code, QA oversees the testing process, and the list goes on.
The trick is to restructure your processes and break down these silos. In order to do this, you need to help your teams to shift their mindset and embrace organizational goals instead of departmental focus.
Points to restructure processes and embrace organizational goals:
- Assign a DevOps admin who will serve as a mediator between different departments and facilitate communication between them.
- Set common organizational goals and direct your teams towards them.
- Design shared metrics that will allow team leaders to track the progress of their teams and manage workloads accordingly. Schedule regular meetings. The representatives of each team should participate in regular meetings and provide project updates.
By splitting your projects into several smaller tasks, your teams will be able to produce code and get feedback faster. In other words, potential fixes and changes can be taken care of right away.
2. Automate your processes
When talking about DevOps best practices, one of them is surely jumping on the automation bandwagon if you have not already done it. Statistics say that; for example; 84% of cloud automation leaders have seen an increase in revenue as well as a reduction in operating costs.
Effective DevOps team automates everything including testing, deployment, and provisioning the virtual machines to deploy to. Technology advancement has moved several processes, services, and tools to cloud, which means that businesses do not have to worry about a corrupt server or anything related to hardware. These days, cloud providers are responsible for this part of the job.
In other words, businesses can build and deploy the entire environment stack in no time – a click on the button and voila. The same goes for applying the application you build. There are different tools that can help you write, test, and deploy code.
3. Every team member should assume responsibility for the process
Effective teams do not simply drop tasks into each other’s laps. Production is everyone’s responsibility, meaning that developers and operations should join forces in order to create, test, tweak, and deploy code. When a bug appears in the code, it is only logical that the person who wrote it should be the one to try and spot it. Because they know it much better than their co-worker whose task is to deploy that code.
In a nutshell, your developers need to understand the issues and challenges that your ops engineers face, and vice versa, in order to be able to build high-quality software efficiently. They should feel at least a certain degree of responsibility for each other’s results.
It is true that DevOps implementation takes time and effort, as well as that not everybody will be on board with it right away, but it is worth it. You will see numerous benefits and experience the growth of your company and revenue.