Your DevOps Teams Can Do Better. Here’s How.

As more organizations focus on digital transformation as the centerpiece of their growth strategy, software developers and IT teams are under heightened pressure to perform—quickly and efficiently.

That begs two questions: Can we do better? And if so, how can we do better?

The answers can be elusive, especially for DevOps teams that have over-relied on processes and models that, while previously successful, may not be as relevant for today’s projects. Of course, the point about relevance has been further magnified during the pandemic, when sudden shifts to remote working left many teams scrambling to ensure they had the capacity and infrastructure to support massive work-from-home cohorts.

Software development and IT operations support teams that are winning by doing better in this new era are truly embracing Agile. And that means taking to heart the definition of “Agile,” which is a mindset of values ​​and principles to continually evolve your way of working (WoW) to ensure your productivity and value are tailored to fit the tasks at hand.

Conversely, teams that have relied on their go-to framework or approach for every assignment are often missing the boat with respect to efficiencies, effectiveness and even ROI. This is because They aren’t assessing whether Their proven WoW is useful for their current projects.

That can lead to underwhelming results. A report from revealed that while over 90% of software development teams take an Agile approach to their work, a whopping 96% of their digital transformation projects have failed or been delayed. clearly, that suggests Agile has worked for them in the past, but the nature of digital transformation projects is calling for teams to adapt to new or hybrid approaches that may differ from their go-to WoW.

Challenge? Yes. Doable? Also Yes

While there is no quick fix to attain true flexibility amid complexitythe journey begins with the recognition that, yes, you can do better. And to do better—to become an adaptive, lean, responsive and learning organization under any circumstances—There are a number of steps to take to ensure your journey to Agile freedom is successful.

Here are five that I believe must be considered for DevOps teams to become better and more effective:

  • Consider all options. Agile has been practiced for more than two decades, and literally hundreds of frameworks and approaches have been developed and implemented. If you examine your WoW in a context-driven, pragmatic manner you are more likely to select the best-fitting technique given the situation.
  • Do your homework. YOur team leaders may not be familiar with the breadth of the Agile, traditional and hybrid frameworks at their disposal. But there’s help available. Seek out online courses and certifications designed to help organizations and individuals explore and navigate the multitude of Agile frameworks that they may currently overlook.
  • Focus on value. It’s great if your gut tells you that your Agile framework is reaping real resultsbut can you prove it? If your senior leadership has invested in Agile training, coaching and certifications, they’ll demand to see some tangible returns. With well-chosen Agile approaches that match the work required, you will be able to deliver the proof that Agile is driving measurable value that matters. Even further, learning which metrics to use in different situations can help measure this value.
  • Sidestep bottlenecks. By choosing the best WoW for the project at hand, you are more likely to eliminate the wasteful or inefficient processes that can add hours or days to any assignment. Understanding how to unclog these pipes is critical in improving the flow of value to your customers.
  • Motivate with morale. If your team is frustrated and morale is low, productivity, the quality of the work and your retention rate will be, too. But, if you’re able to do Agile well, this can help Your teams be happier, more productive and more successful in accomplishing project goals. Ultimately, that means a more joyful customer base, too.

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