Efficiency and Effectiveness Made With DevOps
Most teams and organizations waste 40% or more of their resources. In larger enterprises and in organizations with compliance requirements, the ratio of productive activities to waste is even more pronounced. Waste comes in several forms: unnecessary overhead, unnecessary rework, unnecessary features, and building the wrong thing.
IBM’s DevOps capabilities can provide better business outcomes through two key advances:
1. More effective steering through earlier and continuous feedback.
2. More efficient execution through lean transformation.
Effective steering requires more frequent and objective feedback cycles.
This is a well-established theme of agile methods and lean startup practices. The process measures of the past have proven to be easily gamed and too subjective to measure execution progress accurately. Objective instrumentation of the product pipeline (instead of activity pipeline) leads to more honest progress and quality feedback. Measuring the bottlenecks, throughput, volumes and wait times of testable product increments enables more objective steering toward building the right value and more predictable outcomes.
Efficient execution requires lean thinking.
Let’s loosely define value-added and non-value-added work by looking at the essential product (what users buy) and the non-essential supporting artifacts (what we need to build the product).
· The deliverable product is code, data, test cases, build/deploy scripts. Productive activities like designing, coding and testing directly transform the product.
· Supporting artifacts include the secondary process-oriented information that keeps teams unified – Plans, requirements, models, progress reports, quality assessments, traceability, procedures, and compliance data. Producing and changing these supporting artifacts is largely overhead and non-value-added. Some of it is necessary, but much of it can be streamlined or automated.
With this stark and simplified definition of what is value-added and what is non-value-added, we can then reason better about where we can improve efficiency. Minimize rework and goldplating in the product, and minimize the resources expended in supporting artifacts. This is the essence of lean thinking: maximize time in value added work and minimize time in non-value overhead work and unnecessary rework.
To present our differentiators in a simple, yet insightful way, and stimulate discussions with clients, we have defined a DevOps Adoption Model and various assets. Here is the overview graphic.
There are 4 adoption paths represented by the 4 rows: Steer, Develop, Deploy and Operate. The gray left hand column represents a stark description of the root cause of inefficiency in most organizations. The middle column represents the primary transformation in each adoption path with a differentiating theme of DevOps adoption:
1. Measure and steer the product, for honest insight into progress and quality
2. Accelerate develop and test feedback cycles through agile methods.
3. Automate the build and release process to enable frictionless deployment.
4. Collaborate consistently across the software supply chain for holistic efficiencies.
Then the 3rd column illustrates the continuous improvement theme associated with even leaner and smarter outcomes.
1. Optimizing decisions with better steering, continuous feedback and analytics.
2. Increasing the predictability of development with less waste, and better steering.
3. Improving the transparency of deployment updates with automation.
4. Improving the continuity of operations with better quality, fewer defects.
The primary objective is to move an organization to improved execution by improving both efficiency and effectiveness.
Execution has two important dimensions: effectiveness and efficiency.
· Effectiveness requires smarter steering by objectively quantifying value and cost tradeoffs through continuous feedback and better delivery analytics.
· Efficiency in execution is achieved through leaner processes, people and platforms.
Your change speed must be an asset, not an anchor.
We all want to spend less time in overhead work like meetings, compliance documentation, late rework, waiting and progress reporting. And we want to spend less time in the drudgery of manual tasks that can be automated. By avoiding these sources of waste AND by steering with continuous feedback and advanced analytics, we can improve the economics of software delivery. Producing more effective value, and doing it more efficiently.
So what is DevOps? The short answer….
DevOps applies lean and agile principles across the lifecycle and across the enterprise with richer feedback cycles everywhere. Lean transformation enables more efficient delivery and continuous feedback enables more effective steering. DevOps adoption can balance delivery speed with trusted outcomes.