DevOps Application Release and Deploy for Managers
Peter Spung 270002C3XF Visits (7019)
[Note: This is the first blog post in a series intended to collect, discuss and refine the emerging management practices and guidance in the fast growing DevOps application release and deploy segment. The next post is here.]
DevOps is hot1. Dedicated industry conferences on DevOps are growing and others are adding it to their agenda; new, focused startups are emerging, and mature startups are being acquired; job listings and career boot camps are growing rapidly; books on DevOps are top sellers in their categories. The IT org is reconfiguring to adopt DevOps: new technologies and workflow practices are automating tasks, integrating processes and tools, and ingraining collaboration among Developers and Operations staffs. Releasing software at high speed in order to drive market innovation and business efficiency has become a top concern of the C-suite. That is the highly sought after business outcome when investing in and adopting DevOps.
As a seasoned IT professional, I’ve seen this movie before. It’s reminiscent of when object oriented (OO) technology and related methods became hot in the early 1990s. As we all know, the movie about OO and its adoption had a happy ending. Then as now, in the early days one could find a lot of information, guidance and how-tos on OO technology. However, practical guidance for managers was hard to find. As a technical lead and soon to be software development manager at the time, a book filled that void for me and become an instant favorite: Object Technology: A Manager’s Guide, by David Taylor2. Through a series of blog entries that I hope will open a dialog, similar guidance will emerge for the Application Release and Deploy segment of DevOps.
Management focus and concerns around DevOps centers on the payoff to investing: the organization’s economic performance. In his book The Practice of Management3, a classic and international bestseller since its publication in 1954, Peter Drucker describes economic performance and payback as a manager’s first order concern in any competitive business enterprise. “Management must always, in every decision and action, put economic performance first. It can only justify its existence and its authority by the economic results it produces. There may be great non-economic results: [happiness of employees, welfare of the surrounding community, job growth, etc.] Yet management has failed if it fails to produce economic results.” As compelling as a set of new DevOps technologies or the promises of a related industry movement may sound, it won’t ‘stick’ in business if an economic payback doesn’t materialize.
Through a series of blog entries, I hope to make the case that the purpose and payoff is worth the pursuit. That is, investing in the transformation of skills, organization, tools and processes required by application release management and deployment automation is worth it; that it provides a manager and organization an economic return. I’m hoping this will compel you to comment: where the case has been made; what is motivating or compelling to you; what is missing; why you aren’t called to act based on the purpose and payoff; where to clarify investments or return; where the message or case is or is not resonating with your senior execs; and so on. This interactive and social approach should refine the ideas and advice, making them more practical and broadly applicable. And compel you to read on…
…Other blog entries will cover the interpersonal aspects of a DevOps release and deploy culture; exploring what DevOps is in depth through the lens of managers and leaders; establishing a Continuous Delivery pipeline for software and related organizational competence; describing, comparing & contrasting related Dev or Ops technologies, methods and practices such as Agile, LEAN, or ITIL; the lifecycle interplay between application and infrastructure; and more detailed discussion on the ROI and economic payback. I expect other topics will emerge as we interact. Throughout, client and end user case studies will be interwoven to illustrate why and how DevOps release and deploy is done successfully. This should instill confidence that you can implement DevOps too, and help you make the case for it in your organization. If not, tell me why not through your comments, and we’ll bolster that.
I look forward to your thoughtful comments and our dialog, and will sincerely strive to be a trusted steward of our interactions.
Peter Spung, Integration Executive, UrbanCode, IBM Rational Software. @paspung on twitter