“Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day. You shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.”
― Ralph Waldo Emerson
A lot of software delivery projects fail. Just-in-time strategies to development, testing, integration and operations can lead to schedule overruns and architectural mismatch—and ultimately program failure. As a result, the IT industry is looking for innovative ways to make that less likely in the future. The agile movement has pushed us to recognize that quality, component interaction and operations are first-class citizens in the software development lifecycle (SDLC). As a result, these activities are being woven into the process much earlier in the SDLC.
DevOps describes this shift to unify the goals of business, development and operations into a consolidated, automated delivery pipeline.
There are many challenges in making this transition. Changing the tools, process and culture in an enterprise makes for a daunting set of tasks and can easily create a spiral of negativity. Most teams resist change. But the easiest way to ensure you will be successful is to focus each day on how you will make success happen. Here are three ways that Ralph Waldo Emerson taught me how:
- Focus on attitude. Emerson’s quote above is a good reminder that no day is going to go perfect. The transition to DevOps is a journey, and any journey is going to have detours and side trips. The key is to realize that they will come and then set them aside once they are addressed. You can’t let the detour distract you from enjoying the view along the way. Staying positive about the changes you are making is a habit that you need to practice every day.
- Remember your strategy. Keep that end goal in mind. Emerson talks about how each day is an opportunity to start fresh on accomplishing your goals. When the blunders occur, take that feedback on board but don’t let it distract you from what you are trying to accomplish.
- Incrementally improve. Start each day with an idea of how you will “win” that day. The easiest way to keep your team’s spirits high and your stakeholders excited is to have successes to celebrate. Remember why you started your DevOps project in the first place, and make sure that you have ways to gauge success along the way. Don’t try to boil the ocean. Focusing on specific areas of improvement where you already have strengths can be a good way to do this. Then tackle an adjacent process in a way that allows the team to demonstrate measured progress to stakeholders.
The journey toward true DevOps is hard but worth it. Emerson reminds us that each day is a chance to start over with a positive attitude in achieving your goals. Having a strategy and finding ways to prove you are incrementally delivering on it each day will help ensure that spirits stay high in the face of setbacks—setbacks that will inevitably come.
What do you do to stay focused on positive improvement through DevOps? Are there things that leaders from business, development and operations can do to ensure that they are all contributing to these success factors in a DevOps project?
I’d like to hear from you on this topic. Reach out to me through the comments section, or we can continue the discussion on Twitter. I’m @zy1125.
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