This post is from the Collabnet VersionOne blog and has not been updated since the original publish date.
What is the primary goal of DevOps?
The primary DevOps goal is to optimize the flow of value from idea to end user. Obviously, there’s a cultural change that must happen for a company to be successful with DevOps, so culture is a big focus, but the DevOps goal is to make the delivery of value more efficient and effective. To do this, we must first be able to assign value to any changes that we’re trying to make in an organization. This is something that we have been very focused on at Digital.ai, formerly VersionOne.
As we are rolling out new strategies and programs, we assign a value to those ideas and break them down along with the value into work items so that our developers or our team members can work on them. When I’m visiting customer companies, my experience has been that most organizations are very good at measuring the output of their DevOps machine. There are a lot of DevOps tools for our applications to be built, deployed, and monitored. We know how to support the application. We have support teams and on-call lists and tools that can measure how a server is performing. Although it is necessary to measure how our applications are performing, this doesn’t really get to the bottom of the question we should be focused on, which is how do I optimize the flow of value from idea to end user?
DevOps is very much a black box; you can track what goes in and kind of track what comes out, but you aren’t really sure of what happens in between. To address the DevOps goal, we have to focus on how we’re performing as an organization with everything in between user stories being completed and end users receiving the product. In most cases, there are a lot of manual processes in between that rarely get measured. You have to be able to bring visibility to the manual interactions throughout your pipeline so that your organizations can understand how those manual interactions affect their value delivery process.
As we measure our end-to-end pipeline and begin to improve it, we are addressing the fundamental DevOps goal and that is to 1) break down silos, 2) create cross-functional teams, and 3) improve the flow of value. At Digital.ai, we are truly passionate about making sure that we can help organizations assess DevOps goals and the three fundamental things to not only report on them, but also to understand them and to understand where they can make better investments in tools, people, and processes.