DevOps gets executed in the trenches by ground-level teams. But DevOps needs a strategy created at the executive level to ensure that a company’s products delight customers while driving innovation for the enterprise.

And yet, many businesses overlook the critical component of developing a DevOps strategy.

Moonshot recently surveyed U.S. senior IT professionals involved in DevOps to understand how businesses deploy DevOps practices. We uncovered a persistent myth that DevOps is a bottom-up or grassroots approach. It’s certainly true that ground-level teams of developers and operations need to apply and experiment with DevOps. But businesses too often assign ground-level teams the role of DevOps strategy development, which results in DevOps executions losing their purpose and focus on customers and business needs.

Moonshot recommends that businesses follow a disciplined DevOps adoption process that starts with aligning organizational strategy:

As noted in the above graphic, the strategy needs to establish a vision and mission for the endeavor, define goals, and plan expected return on investments through suitable metrics. Setting a strategy involves a number of critical steps such as:

  • Educating top management. Senior executives with ultimate product development authority don’t need to become experts in DevOps. But they need to understand how adopting DevOps practices will affect their business, and they must grasp the role of the senior executive in the process.
  • Align mission, vision, and goals. Here, executives define the guiding principle for the endeavor and how it aligns with the broader vision of the enterprise. Alignment includes the critical component of centering the DevOps undertaking on the wants and needs of the customer.
  • Plan expected return on investment. The DevOps strategy gets a bit more granular with a clearly defined budget and resources. Planning ROI means identifying only the most relevant metrics to quantify success. Identifying too many metrics will distract a DevOps team by forcing them to keep track of a plethora of metrics that may not even be relevant.

Strategy involves much more than what I’ve described in this post. Moonshot’s recently released report, A Guide for Successful DevOps Adoption, provides more detail. (The report is available on request.) The report is based on our deep experience with DevOps. For more insight, contact Moonshot. ­­

Stories from the Field

One of our clients called us in to help address a problem: the company was struggling to launch a supply chain solution. The project was falling behind and at risk of missing key deadlines. The Moonshot team met with key stakeholders of the client’s project team to become familiar with the project and its interrelationship with the client’s people, processes, and platforms. We realized that the client’s agile process was not as efficient as it could be. The client was trying to deploy DevOps, but its approach relied on dated methodologies that undercut the speed and efficiency of agile. Within 48 hours, we identified near-term problems the client should fix and categorized less-urgent problems as medium- and longer-term in nature. By addressing some flaws in the client’s use of DevOps, we helped ensure that client righted its ship and delivered the project on time.

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Richard Striedl

Richard Striedl

Practice Lead, DevOps