DevOps is a collaborative process. That's why when attempts to implement DevOps fail, it often comes back to failures in organizational culture. Heavily siloed organizations struggle with DevOps because it's all about connecting two overarching departments: development and operations. When looking at ways to improve quality for DevOps, your first step should be connecting and empowering your people.
Of course, that doesn't mean overlooking tools — many of them help improve collaboration by facilitating the free exchange of information and improving process flow. With a supportive culture and the right tools, you can significantly improve DevOps quality.
Building a Culture of Collaboration
There are two ways to look at quality for DevOps: the quality of the end result and the quality of the process itself. Those two are intrinsically connected. A high-quality process yields better software. However, the most significant barrier to meeting goals will be people. In fact, 75% of DevOps efforts won't meet expectations due to obstacles in learning and communication. There are a few reasons for this:
These cultural barriers will prevent successful DevOps because they mean the organization is just not ready to move on from older methods. It's important to align the whole organization by clearly explaining the goals and benefits. Some tools can be used to facilitate this process.
Tools for Improving Quality in DevOps
While culture is the first barrier to DevOps, it's not the only one. Organizations need to provide tools to support their workers. Here are a few key areas where tools can improve collaboration and quality:
Low-code/No-code: The only way for organizations to get the engineers and developers they need is to upskill their workforce – but learning these skills is a process that takes years. Low- and no-code platforms offer an alternative: non-technical workers can create their own scripts through user-friendly interfaces. This can be a solution to organizational skills gaps. It also fosters collaboration by allowing the people who will use the software to play a role in its creation.
Tool integration: You're not just integrating development and operations in a DevOps process. You're also incorporating functional, compliance, and security testing. As such, you need to have an easy way to connect testing tools into your overall DevOps platform. You should also be able to view all these tests and their results in a single space.
Automation: Automation is vital for DevOps. It gives your developers room to focus on more value-driving tasks. Simple, repeatable, predictable tasks can be completed by machine and improve flow.
Logging: Because the DevOps approach can be very fluid, it's crucial to have a way to track all the moving parts. Logging allows you to see what changes have been made to the system so you can make adjustments, complete audits, and monitor compliance.
Infrastructure as Code (IaC): IaC is an approach to infrastructure that improves the flexibility of networks, virtual machines, apps, and more. This can eliminate manual configuration steps and problems stemming from human error.
Continuous Integration/Continuous Deployment (CI/CD): Old methods of development required massive deployments where potential bottlenecks could form. CI/CD allows for frequent, reliable releases.
Value stream management: Value stream management is a method of tracking your development process and understanding all the steps that add value or create waste. It shows you the flow of your strategy and helps you locate potential opportunities.
All of these tools can help organizations achieve the collaboration needed for quality for DevOps. Effective collaboration is going to be the most significant barrier to program success. By addressing culture and tools proactively, you stand a far better chance of achieving the buy-in necessary to implement DevOps successfully.