During a recent prospect conversation, one of their team members said he thinks DevOps is a scam. We asked him why, and he shared that their team has been following DevOps processes for the past few years, implemented a DevOps tool to help them automate some of what they do, but they did not see any actual increase in their release metrics. Naturally, we asked him to take us through their processes and let us know where they continue to experience issues. More on this later. Let’s first look at how DevOps is defined and used.
As DevOps pioneer Patrick Debois first described it in 2009, “DevOps is not a specific technology, but a tactical approach. By working together, development & operations teams can eliminate roadblocks, and focus on improving how they create, deploy, and continuously monitor software.” Others have defined it saying “DevOps is a set of practices that combines software development (Dev) and IT operations (Ops). It aims to shorten the systems development life cycle and provide continuous delivery with high software quality.” Further simplifying it, Dr. Mirna Muñoz describes DevOps as “a combination of specific practices, culture change, and tools.”
The 2021 State of DevOps report by Puppet showed that “83% of IT decision-makers reported that their organization is implementing DevOps practices.” The real question is, what does this mean? DevOps practices vary from one firm to another and, occasionally, from one internal development team to another. That same report goes on to state that “70% of IT organizations that have implemented DevOps remain stuck in the low to mid-level of DevOps evolution.” Maybe we can see why some think ‘DevOps is a scam.’ We don’t buy that thinking; the right question to ask is if you are one of the 83% implementing DevOps practices, how can you ensure better results?
Andrew Davis, the author of Mastering Salesforce DevOps, points out, “A huge part of the power of IT systems is the ability for them to evolve continuously as the needs of the business change. But as systems become more complex, it naturally becomes harder to change them safely. Adopting DevOps practices is critical to delivering change quickly, easily, and safely on an ongoing basis. Salesforce’s low-code platform dramatically simplifies building applications, but modern Salesforce implementations have become so complex that DevOps is a requirement.”
As with any project, before you start, you must first understand where you are beginning, as it is impossible to know where you are going if you do not know where you started. What resources do you have? Are the dev, release, and management teams fully trained? Can the teams successfully adapt to and implement the new processes? Do we have the right tool(s)? Do we know how to use the tool(s) we already have? What does success look like to the different team members? How are we going to measure success? How long will it take us?
We often see companies and teams looking for a quick fix. They search out the latest tool and expect it to solve all their DevOps problems. Back to our example from earlier: What we discovered with this prospect was that while this company created defined processes, not all developers followed them, and other developers could go around them. They licensed a DevOps tool and were upset with that company because their tool didn’t fix their DevOps issues. This client repeatedly ignored our partner’s (the tool company) advice to work with someone to improve their DevOps processes. Their client told them, “We’ve been doing DevOps for several years; we only need your tool to come in and automate things for us.”
How to Improve my DevOps:
It is just not that easy. There are three parts to a successful DevOps system: People, Processes, and Implementation (tools), and they have to all work together.
A practical and powerful first step to creating a high-performing DevOps program is to have a Salesforce DevOps Assessment prepared so that you can understand where you are now, where you can get to, and how to get there. For most organizations, this assessment will take 2 – 4 weeks. The assessment will provide you with detailed reports showing your current DevOps state and maturity score, an obtainable future DevOps state based on your existing resources, capabilities, and tool(s) plus a forecasted DevOps maturity score, and finally, an implementation plan to get you to that future state.
The implementation requires training to bring everyone to a simple, repeatable discipline baseline. When it comes to utilizing a DevOps tool, the top functioning organizations move to the single best tool for their situation. That tool should provide insight into throughput and quality and make change management predictable. As you develop a disciplined process, you can enforce that process by preventing people from bypassing that tool and changing release environments directly.
Adopting these new processes, tools, and governance is where we often see the most significant challenges. This adoption requires a cultural change. Culture change requires that everyone, especially leaders, pay attention to individual behaviors and how everyone works together and continually assess how to improve trust and accountability. Bringing everyone’s attention to the development process creates a shared challenge that can unite the team around improving software delivery performance. As the change management process becomes more smooth and efficient, this creates a positive feedback loop that engages developers, release managers, and management in the challenge of continuous improvement.
It’s natural for teams to doubt whether change is possible; it is hard to believe the promised changes can occur if you have never experienced them. But we’ve seen time and again how releases can be made faster, simpler (done by a release manager without needing dev support), and safer (free from defects), and how this increases your ability to achieve your business initiatives. Once you get a taste of this, your team will never go back. It will take fortitude and patience on everyone’s part. Navigating this pain while accurately managing your expectations is where CloudQnect’s expertise and experience come in.
After successfully implementing our DevOps plans, on average, our clients see 4x more releases with 95% fewer bugs. One client, a 40,000+ organization, reported that they now save as much as $30,000 on some releases due to fewer resources needed and less downtime to fix bugs.
Your choice is to either become part of the 70% that remain stuck in low to mid-level DevOps or collaborate with an expert like CloudQnect and lead the pack. As Andrew Davis said, “most of the attention in the Salesforce community goes to WHAT we’re building. But HOW we build really differentiates the highest performing teams and companies.”
Reach out to us at [email protected] and visit us at www.cloudqnect.com to become a high-performing team.
© CloudQnect, LLC. 2021