aerial shot of highway junction - DevOps for digital leaders

DevOps is a culture shift that can positively impact your entire company, from the board level down to the tech team keeping things running. We have discussed the benefits of DevOps for tech employees in the past. Today, we are going to focus on the board-level benefits of forward-thinking change.

DevOps for Digital Leaders - The Benefits

One of the main benefits of the DevOps culture is how it improves efficiency and effectiveness of product delivery. For the tech team on the ground, that means a lot of things. For example, automated tasks, less time spent completing work and thus more time for innovation, and an easier time creating, reviewing, and deploying code.

At every level of an organization, in every department, DevOps makes a difference. For product managers, DevOps creates better products in less time, requiring less support. Project managers see the impact of a shorter timeline thanks to automated processes and faster rollout. Marketers can showcase the awesome benefits of DevOps for customers.

Perhaps most important for success, anyone involved with customer interaction is able to resolve issues and implement client feedback. They can keep customers happy with this more effective, efficient product delivery.

At the board level, however, this efficiency and effectiveness have wider ramifications. Because the tech team can do their work faster, using fewer resources for greater results, the entire company is impacted in a positive way.

DevOps means that clients are happier, boosting the company’s reputation and customer loyalty. It means higher revenue, greater profits and overall success for company leaders. Business stakeholders will be pleased with these results, with the metrics proving how implementing DevOps boosts business.

With this collaborative culture firmly in place in the workplace, recruitment and retention become simple. Who would not want to work for an organization that does great work, in an encouraging and integrated culture? Metrics are, again, a great way to showcase this.

Staff should show greater performance and higher job satisfaction when DevOps is a successful part of the company’s environment.For this to happen, however, DevOps needs to be a part of every department and every level of the organization. Management and board-level digital leaders play an important role here.

Digital Leaders Impact Company Culture

The truth is, for DevOps to be a success, digital leaders absolutely must be on board. In fact, because digital leaders impact company culture so much from the top down, their buy-in is imperative. In order to get the full potential of DevOps, it needs to be embraced by the leaders of the organization. Individual projects and trials are a good way to start, but it's important to consider that DevOps should be a strategic, enterprise-wide initiative.

Puppet’s 2017 State of DevOps Report says: “Leaders have the authority and budget to make the large-scale changes often needed; to provide visible support when a transformation is underway; and to change the incentives of entire groups of engineers, whether they are in development, QA, operations, or information security. Leaders are the ones who set the tone of the organization, and reinforce the desired cultural norms.”

Digital leaders should leave decisions about what DevOps tools to use with the people who will be using them. All the while, however, they should promote change and collaboration on a global level. Board-level digital leaders and senior management can show that a collaborative approach is best for the company. At the same time, if they give enough space for IT professionals to implement this change effectively, success is bound to happen.

How to Implement DevOps for Digital Leaders

Sometimes it is digital leaders on a higher level of the organization implementing DevOps from the top down. But often it is tech staff who are trying to convince stakeholders of the benefits of this approach. The result in both cases is, ideally, a well-integrated DevOps culture. It can sometimes be a challenge, however, to convince executives to give DevOps a try.

We like the way Ryan Lockard sketches out the REACH approach in an article on his site:

R – Research the business to understand the problems they have with current models.

E – Empathize with the constraints and lack of technical insights they may have.

A – Ask them to partner with you on charting better outcomes.

C – Calibrate goals and achievements (leverage OKRs).

H – Harmonize practices and tooling to enable the goals and achievements.

Lockard notes that stakeholders and business leaders may need a different set of language to understand DevOps and its benefits. Tech staff understand the impact of DevOps on coding, program rollout, risk management, and tooling. However, stakeholders are often more interested in areas like sales numbers, business growth, deliverables, and status in the industry. When you can explain how DevOps will positively impact those outcomes, it is easier to get everyone on board.

It's important to learn to communicate the benefits of DevOps to non-technical people. Rather than talking about app response times, for example, it can be more accessible to talk about a boost in productivity. Or you could talk in old-fashioned dollars. Most people understand cost-savings and increased profits.

Doing this will allow you to make a necessary connection between the world of IT metrics and how they impact a business. If you can introduce the benefits of DevOps to non-technical people, those benefits may then have the opportunity to speak for themselves down the line. We have many other tips for introducing DevOps successfully, from individual team members up to business stakeholders. Take your time and make sure you implement DevOps in a sustainably.

We can help your company realize all of the benefits of DevOps. We will structure your cultural shift so that the impact transforms your organization positively, on all levels and every team. Get in touch today for more information.

Posted in Cloud Development on Apr 25, 2018