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This post is from the XebiaLabs blog and has not been updated since the original publish date.

Last Updated Jan 08, 2014 — DevOps Expert

Six Tips to Drive DevOps Forward

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At its core, DevOps is all about collaboration. The lines of communication must be opened, and it takes effort to ensure they stay that way. It’s easy to pay lip service to trends and talk about implementing new methodologies.  But without action, the real benefits cannot be realized. Success requires planning along with gaining support from the internal advocates who are empowered to effect change. Leveraging the right tooling is also a major key to success.

To bring about a cultural shift, it’s important to share challenges. In simple terms, ensuring everyone knows what everyone else is doing creates real team spirit and social cohesion that drives DevOps forward. Here are six tips to help you build such an environment:

Stand-Ups:

Conduct daily team meetings where people review their progress by addressing three simple questions: What did I do yesterday? What will I do today? What might block me from achieving my goals? These meetings should be short and sweet—about 15 minutes—and include the whole team.

Team Events:

Whether it’s Thursday night pizza, a team-building exercise, or a fun event, it’s important to take team events seriously. They should be scheduled in advance and never cancelled without good reason—just like code drop days and go/no-go meetings.

Alert Boards:

Use the boards to relay at-a-glance information to the rest of the team. These can be powerful motivational tools that help ensure everyone knows how things are progressing.

Accessible Tooling:

Find tools that are compatible with all the main tools each team wants, and integrate existing software into your overall system using plug-ins. Also ensure your tools play nicely with all the other APIs and are accessible to everyone including your geographically-distributed teams.

Think, Plan, Implement, Measure:

Think about how you can practically implement your steps towards integration and then add a few clearly-defined steps during each sprint. Also assign people to figure out how you might implement a change and discuss the potential impact with other team members.  Then set a deadline for implementation—and don’t forget about metrics.

Identify Internal Barriers:

Everyone must be convinced about the benefits before you can secure their support. Plan for those conversations, arm yourself with the data they will want to see, sell the idea, and then back up your rhetoric with metrics that prove your point. There’s no way to implement DevOps overnight, but any step towards greater collaboration delivers real benefits. We hope these tips set you in the first direction.TJ Randall is the Director of Sales Engineering at XebiaLabs, a provider of application release automation software for enterprises looking to improve the application delivery process.

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