DevOps is a collaborative process. It combines development and operations teams for an approach to software development that is faster and more efficient. As such, it’s an attractive methodology for businesses that need to operate with greater agility and are seeking a competitive edge.
And yet, seventy-five percent of DevOps initiatives will fail to meet expectations, according to Gartner.
“Organizational learning and change are key to allowing DevOps to flourish. In other words, people-related factors tend to be the greatest challenges — not technology.” - George Spafford, Senior Director Analyst, Gartner
Indeed, the issue is often about the people involved, not the processes, with a cultural change first necessary. Without everyone on board, implementing the DevOps model will be anything but straightforward.
With that in mind, let’s look at three DevOps challenges and how to solve them.
1. Lack of collaboration
The beauty of DevOps is that development and operations teams integrate their processes for quicker release cycles. But too often, it can be a case of Dev versus Ops, with siloed teams having their own priorities that are at odds with each other.
For DevOps to work effectively, teams must define and understand their roles within the new approach before they integrate. They’ll also need to outline processes so that there are no gaps or overlaps within each project. Frequent meetings such as daily standups will enable everyone to discuss their progress and highlight any dependencies.
2. Unreasonable expectations
While DevOps gives organizations the opportunity to create and release high-quality software at a faster rate, it’s no magic wand—implementing it won’t mean every issue you’ve had in your development process will suddenly disappear.
That’s why before taking a DevOps approach it’s crucial for everyone involved to consider what they expect from it. A good way of doing this would be to define objectives and key results (OKRs) that you would like to see across your organization. Not only will it improve focus and productivity across teams, but it will allow you to measure success in your development life cycle. Here’s an example:
Objective (O): Strengthen the release management process
Key result (KR): Achieve 0 rollbacks per life cycle
Of course, you can have multiple key results for each objective. The important thing is that everyone recognizes what success looks like in your organization, which means fostering communication across teams.
In DevOps, one size doesn’t fit all. So if you’re planning to apply the same processes from one lifecycle to the next, it’s unlikely you’ll get the desired results each time.
A good practice is to ground your approach in what brings the customer the most value and consider the processes, tools, and organizational structure you need based on that.
That said, your capabilities will depend on how mature your organization is. If being completely agile seems like a stretch, having at least two DevOps models on hand might be the answer. So you can address differing customer needs, even if you’re at the start of your DevOps journey.
Embrace change with DevOps
"It doesn’t really matter where an organization currently is… as long as they realize they are on a journey to continuously improve the way they work.” - Kris Buytaert, Instigator of the DevOps movement
You might see the benefits of DevOps to your organization. You might be ready to change the way you work so you can implement it. But being ready and being prepared are two very different things.
There are many challenges to implementing DevOps in an organization. We’ve outlined three of the most common, with tips on how to overcome them. That said, not every business is the same. There might be difficulties you face that we haven’t mentioned, and that’s okay. As long as you’re ready to embrace change and improve continuously, the knowledge and help you need to improve are within reach. If you need further guidance, just reach out.