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DevOps Management Means Building a Culture of Collaboration and Communication

A manager stands on a cloud staring out at a DevOps infinity symbol over a cityscape while developing DevOps management strategies.

One of the biggest mistakes you can make when adopting the DevOps methodology is to view it as a technology you can simply purchase and deploy overnight. To successfully implement DevOps, you need to rethink your existing management strategies and rebuild the culture in your organization to prioritize collaboration, automation, and the breaking down of silos. DevOps management can accelerate and automate your release cycles but only if you develop the right plan.

DevOps Management Tips and Best Practices

To get you started on your DevOps management path, here are some tips and best practices.

Create a Culture of DevOps

The most important thing to remember about DevOps is that it’s not simply a tool to implement or a set of steps to follow, but rather a mindset that all stakeholders need to adopt. As a DevOps manager, you must foster this mindset by creating a corporate culture that prioritizes collaboration, encourages innovation, and rewards excellence.

Hire the Best People…

Your goal is to transition your existing team to DevOps, but you may need to hire additional people or promote from within to accomplish your DevOps goals. When you’re building out your DevOps team, you need to look for people who are technically skilled, adaptable to change, and – most importantly – who collaborate well.

…And Then Empower Them

The best employees crave agency, responsibility, and autonomy in their work, so give it to them! You should be looking to push authority down the org chart and out across teams. A distributed DevOps management style enables your team to adapt to unforeseen changes quickly, applying the best solution at the right time without onerous approval sequences. By all means, keep approvals for sensitive and big-ticket items, but try to keep that list to a minimum. You put all this time and money building your team of experts, now trust them to do what needs to be done.

Keep Projects Small and Focused

One DevOps best practice is to keep projects small and focused. This is especially true when you’re just starting your DevOps management journey. You need to give your team time to adapt to your new DevOps approach and learn the tools and methods. You also want to build momentum by giving your team the best chance of success on their first project so they’ll feel empowered to tackle the next one.

Provide the Right Tools

To implement DevOps management principles, like collaboration and automation, you need to provide the right tools. For example, you should consider implementing:

  • Code repositories with version control. You need a central code repository with version control so you can track the history and view different versions of the source code for your project. This makes it easier for developers to collaborate without stepping on each other’s toes.

  • Continuous integration/continuous delivery (CI/CD). Continuous integration and continuous delivery, also known as CI/CD, automates the process of testing, integrating, and deploying new code.

    • CI tools automatically test new code as it’s checked into your repository to ensure there aren’t any bugs or integration issues. This allows you to find and remediate issues as early as possible, closing the feedback loop between developers, QA, and end-users.

    • CD tools automatically deliver completed code to a test environment where various functional and non-functional tests can be performed. Then, the code is automatically prepared and deployed to production.
  • Infrastructure as Code (IaC). DevOps management principles don’t just apply to developers – your operations teams can also benefit from automation and greater collaboration. Infrastructure as Code (IaC) tools allow you to manage server and appliance configurations as software code. That means you can check it into a central repository, perform automated tests, and automatically deploy consistent configurations to many devices simultaneously.

Implementing the right DevOps tools will give you the framework on which to build a successful DevOps management strategy.

Break Down Silos

Silos are the antithesis of DevOps management. DevOps requires information to flow unimpeded not just between development and operations teams but also to management and other stakeholders. You need a way to disseminate information among all stakeholders simultaneously. However, teams also need a “project bible” that provides a single source of truth in case of conflicting communications. Popular DevOps management tools for communication and information sharing include Slack and Microsoft Teams. Deconstructing silos also dovetails very nicely with staff empowerment, described earlier: efficient communication workflows between disciplines don’t require multiple layers of managerial approval.

Implement DevOps Management Strategies to Accelerate and Automate Your Release Cycles

Establishing DevOps in your organization goes beyond implementing new tools and exploring new management strategies. It requires a complete culture shift to support open communication and collaboration. If you need help creating your own DevOps management plan, you should consider partnering with the DevOps experts at Copado. Our team has decades of combined experience developing custom solutions for organizations like yours.