7 Tips for Successful DevOps Transformation

The Cloud
Nick Joannidi
Publication Date
10 December 2019

7 Tips for Successful DevOps Transformation

Gartner recently published a prediction that through 2022, 75% of DevOps initiatives will fail to meet expectations due to issues around organizational learning and change. 

Businesses can avoid becoming a part of this statistic by implementing Mobiquity’s best practices for change management during DevOps Transformation.

  1. Real Tangible Goals First, Not Technology or Process
    Understand where your business is and where you envision Digital or DevOps Transformation bringing it. Be specific. Spend time up front refining these thoughts into real, tangible goals that can be tracked as milestones and used to prioritize effort. Define success. What are your main drivers? Revenue? Lower costs? Agility?

  2. Business Alignment
    Digital and DevOps Transformation impacts the entire organization. Identify key stakeholders across the business and treat them as customers: keep them aware, involved, aligned, and represented in the process. Value their opinions and ensure you’re collecting and discussing both their current challenges and how the transformation may or may not address them, as well as the worries they have about change. Use input from key stakeholders to define your implementation plan. Though engaging each business unit should cover real customer impact, ensure you are also viewing your transformation through the eyes of the customer.

  3. Risks and Short-Term Pain
    Know that any major change has inherent risk attached. Understand and plan for there being intermediary pain as process and technology changes before your transformation begins yielding positive results. Make sure this is communicated to all stakeholders. Set expectations accordingly up front to avoid surprises and to allow all teams the opportunity to discuss how to manage through any pain points along the way. Be deliberate and proactive about identifying potential risks and pain points along the way.

  4. Don’t Boil the Ocean
    From your prioritized list, map effort and estimated time to implement. Plan for there to be hurdles and roadblocks along the way. The bigger the change the more potential for hidden complexities. For this reason, do not try to do everything at once; transformation should be iterative. The iterative approach lowers risk and allows time for all stakeholders to feel comfortable and give feedback about change. It also allows the transformation to be more agile and pivot to different priorities if needed.

  5. Plan for Adoption
    Create a prioritized, timeline-driven adoption plan. This should take into account prioritization, risk, stakeholder, and customer values and concerns. The plan should be broken down to the level of real tangible tasks and results so that momentum and progress can be tracked. Treat adoption like you would any other project in your business; ensure there’s a team to drive it that includes SMEs and project management disciplines. Once your milestones are hit, don’t forget to measure your impact relative to the goals you set at the outset.

  6. Consider a Pilot or Incubator Style Project
    Sometimes it is easier to win support for a smaller, lower risk implementation to prove out theories. This can take the shape of a proof of concept or incubator style project. These types of projects are usually low risk in terms of business disruption. They allow you and your team to experiment and fail fast, discover pitfalls and prove out some of your ideas in a safe way. One key to a successful pilot project is to ensure you’re going into it with goals in mind. For example, if you wanted to prove that building a project in the cloud with serverless technology would cost 80% less than a traditional on-prem project, ensure you’re closely tracking costs. Additionally, if you’re trying to flesh out processes and best practices, be diligent about not only the approaches you’re taking on your pilot, but tracking any pitfalls you may come across so you can write process to navigate potential tricky areas. Understand that the pilot is a learning process and is just the beginning. Efficiency in everything is improved the more it is done and iterated upon.

  7. Continue to be Open Minded and Iterative
    Throughout your transformation, additional goals will present themselves. Continue to be open minded and make it a point to understand where these goals fit into your implementation plan. Be conscious that any modifications to your plan will likely shift your timeline. Take that into account when adopting changes.

These 7 tips can help you start thinking about your digital transformation process, but each program is different and will require its own specs to ensure success. Working with the right digital partner can make the difference you need to bring your program to life. If you’re ready to take the next step in your digital transformation, contact us today to get started.

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