July 30, 2021

Article
3 min

Learn What Red Flags to Look For and How to Realign Your DevOps Practice

Many organizations benefit from a periodic realignment to stay on track.

Like many culture-oriented methodologies, DevOps requires periodic assessments and resets. It’s extremely common for organizations to start out strong with DevOps and drift off track until they’re no longer achieving the desired results. On the flip side, some organizations might perceive their processes as working just fine, when in fact they may not be. 

One red flag that indicates DevOps might need a realignment is that team members are up to their eyeballs in technical debt and have no time to address it. Another flag is a product owner who doesn’t prioritize all the work that needs to be done, particularly around product features. 

A lack of process measurement or monitoring is also an indicator. Making a change in software development is great, but if there’s no way to apply metrics to it — say, “We’re now producing 20 percent faster” or “We have 20 percent fewer bugs” — it’s almost impossible to be certain of the benefit. 

In some cases, leaders know they aren’t getting products in front of customers as quickly as they want to, but they aren’t sure why. In other cases, work is being released with too many bugs — or the bugs are fixed, but the overall problems persist.

Gain Perspective with a DevOps Checkup

No single reason causes companies’ DevOps disciplines to drift. It happens a lot, however, and many organizations need help with a reset. When we conduct our complimentary DevOps Health Check service, we nearly always find something that can be improved.

We start our Health Check by asking team members to to answer 30 questions, then we analyze the answers and compile them into a graphical format. That’s our springboard for when we meet with the team and ask more questions, digging into their insights and observations. 

For instance, team members might say the organization isn’t using a specific DevOps best practice. We probe into that feedback to understand issues around people, processes and technology. From there, we develop recommendations, often related to the delivery pipeline and the movement of products to customers. 

In our in-depth Value Stream Mapping service, we look at every single process involved, determining:

  • How much time a process takes
  • How long each step waited before being worked on
  • How many bugs were present before handoff

When teams see their processes depicted in this way, they can often spot problems instantly. A light goes off, and they’ll say, “We know exactly what we’re doing wrong.”

Stronger DevOps Practices Deliver Greater Business Value

Any team that has been on the DevOps trail for a while can likely benefit from a refresh. As teams and managers come and go, culture shifts, and DevOps practices often shift with it. 

A refresh can ensure that energies are heading in the right direction. Automation may add value to a particular process, for instance, but does it deliver business value to customers? Questions like these can motivate organizations to take a closer look at their DevOps work. Often, an outside perspective and an expert eye make these evaluations even more effective.

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