To overcome these common barriers, many organizations embrace the "CALMS Framework for DevOps," which emphasizes five key elements:
The DevOps culture is all about constant learning and improvement. It focuses on eliminating barriers between developer and ITOps teams and ensuring an organization can identify and address potential IT problems faster than ever before.
Transformational leaders usually spearhead DevOps teams by driving cultural change first. A transformational leader encourages a culture of open communication and collaboration that embraces the DevOps model and helps a DevOps team deliver code, build good systems, and apply agile principles to how the team manages its work and develops products. He or she also implements technologies and processes that foster developer productivity, drives innovation, and creates strategic alignment across a DevOps team.
There is a strong correlation between successful DevOps cultures and transformational leadership. The Puppet "2017 State of DevOps Report," a survey of 27,000 DevOps professionals from around the globe, showed high-performing DevOps teams often feature transformational leaders who display the following characteristics:
- Vision: Know where an organization is going and where it should be in the next few years.
- Inspirational Communication: Inspire and motivate team members, even in a challenging work environment.
- Intellectual Stimulation: Challenge the status quo and encourage team members to think outside the box to solve problems.
- Supportive Leadership: Show care for and attention to team members' personal needs and feelings.
- Personal Recognition: Compliment team members for a job well-done and acknowledge the achievement of goals and improvements in work quality.
Building a successful DevOps culture starts at the top. With transformational leaders in place, an organization can create a DevOps culture that delivers exceptional results.
Today's businesses move quickly. If even a single department falls behind, it may cause significant delays.
IT problems can put a business in jeopardy. If a DevOps team cannot streamline its day-to-day tasks, it risks downtime, outages and other critical incidents. Yet many of these problems could be avoided with automation. To understand why this may be the case, let's consider the impact of manual configuration errors.
On average, manual configuration errors resulting in web application downtime cost companies up to $72,000, according to a recent survey of 249 IT professionals conducted by Hurwitz & Associates. Meanwhile, the survey showed that application maintenance costs are increasing at a rate of 20 percent annually, and 35 percent of respondents said at least one-quarter of their downtime was caused by configuration errors.
Automation makes it easy for DevOps team members to eliminate manual configuration errors and similar problems. DevOps teams are designed to take advantage of automation tools that make daily operations more productive, efficient, and reliable.
Let's not forget about the impact of automation on incident management, either. If a DevOps team deploys an incident alerting system with automatic escalations, for instance, it can ensure the right team members are automatically notified about critical incidents. This helps accelerate incident management and response and reduces the risk of costly, time-intensive downtime and outages.
The concept of "lean" relative to DevOps refers to striving for continuous improvement and accepting failure as part of a systematic approach to everyday operations. DevOps principles bring development and ITOps teams closer to customers and create feedback loops where developers can learn what end users actually want and provide products that reliably meet consumer demands. This process of feedback and adaptation is a core element in the DevOps methodology.
DevOps teams also build internal feedback loops to unify the team, explore opportunities for improvement, and create a high-performing collaborative unit. Emphasis on feedback and improvement builds trust between DevOps team members, and between a company and its customers.
What good is DevOps without consistent metrics to track and analyze a DevOps team's success? Measurement is vital for assessing the effectiveness of standard operating procedures and identifying opportunities for improvement. Using the right metrics, a DevOps team can understand its strengths and weaknesses. Then, this team can explore ways to transform its weaknesses into strengths.
Some of the key metrics that a DevOps team monitors include:
- Change Lead Time: Time between the start of a development cycle and deployment.
- Customer Ticket Volume: Number of customer tickets generated due to downtime, outages and other incidents.
- Deployment Frequency: Direct or indirect measure of response time, team cohesiveness, developer capabilities, development tool effectiveness, and overall DevOps team efficiency.
- Mean Time to Resolution (MTTR): Average elapsed time from when an incident is first reported to when it is fully resolved.
- Performance: Indicator of whether a product or service is operating within predetermined threshold.
For DevOps teams, daily, weekly, monthly, and annual metrics are important. DevOps teams track metrics and create regular reports to find out whether they are meeting or exceeding various goals. DevOps teams also use these reports for creating new milestones for continual improvement.
The days of data silos are over. DevOps teams operate with open information sharing that makes it simple for team members to stay up to date on important issues.
For example, consider what may happen if a DevOps team fails to share information about an outage. In this scenario, DevOps team members may receive notifications about an outage. But if team members lack crucial details needed to address the issue, they are unlikely to resolve the incident in a timely fashion. And the longer an outage lingers, the more likely it becomes that the incident will damage an organization's bottom line and brand reputation.
DevOps teams that consistently share information can keep team members informed about all aspects of an incident from onset to resolution. Team members then learn from the incident, provide feedback about the event, and allocate time and resources to prevent the problem from reoccurring.