DevOps is a team sport

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When an organization–or even a team within the organization–chooses to embrace DevOps which department or individual is responsible for driving its success? The correct answer is “everyone”. If you place the burden or the glory for DevOps on a single team or person you’re doing it wrong.

I wrote this blog post about DevOps culture and everyone taking responsibility for the success of DevOps:

For organizations with existing hierarchies and processes the shift to a DevOps mindset can be a challenge. The traditional departmental roles and separation of duties is anathema to an efficient DevOps culture. When it comes to DevOps there’s no room for finger-pointing—every team and individual is equally responsible for making sure everything is firing on all cylinders.

Gene Kim, coauthor of The Phoenix Project: A Novel About IT, DevOps, and Helping Your Business Win and the upcomingDevOps Cookbook, took part in a podcast earlier this year and shared that two-thirds of the DevOps success stories he has seen are actually from established businesses with existing infrastructures and processes as opposed to “greenfield” projects that embrace DevOps from the start. In those situations, the drive to embrace DevOps has to come from somewhere, but in order for DevOps to work the organization has to overcome the urge to place the entire burden for the success or failure of DevOps on that one team or individual.

There is a reason that the word “culture” plays such a central role in any discussion of DevOps. Without a shift in the mindset of how teams and individuals communicate and collaborate a DevOps initiative isn’t much different than any other IT project in the organization. One team or person can use DevOps tools, but that’s not really a functional implementation of DevOps.

That doesn’t mean that DevOps is an all-or-nothing game. It’s possible for different departments or elements within a company to embrace DevOps without the whole company jumping on board. There has to be a quorum of sorts, though—a broad enough consensus between teams and individuals to cooperate and collaborate in a different way than how it’s laid out on the company org chart. An important part of that shift is for everyone to accept responsibility for the outcome and work together toward a common goal.

There’s a phrase that goes something like “When all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.” Developers understandably view the world through the filter of developing. IT operations people look at projects from the perspective of operations. QA looks at things from the point of view of testing and quality assurance. Accounting considers projects from the financial angle. Security personnel tend to focus on the security aspects. You get the idea.

Check out the full post on DevOps.com: DevOps success is everyone’s responsibility.

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About Author

I have a passion for technology and gadgets--with a focus on Microsoft and security--and a desire to help others understand how technology can affect or improve their lives. I also love spending time with my wife, 7 kids, 3 dogs, 4 cats, 3 rabbits, 2 ferrets, pot-bellied pig and sulcata tortoise, and I like to think I enjoy reading and golf even though I never find time for either. You can contact me directly at tony@xpective.net. For more from me, you can follow me on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.

1 Comment

  1. Well ! i believe in team then individual…but the when as a part of team every individual must play major role ! so for growth of organisation i need to check every individual mentality in regular intervals and make them learn through train.
    i suggest tool like employse.com is the best way for Employee Assessment Test.