DevOps – The Stakeholders

When I talk about DevOps, I usually don’t focus on the things like pipelines or automation. While these topics and activities can be part of DevOps, there is so much more to it. I’m sure this will be a multipart blog series so lets get started.

The Definition

Let’s make sure we are all on the same page. The definition of DevOps that I love and subscribe to was coined by Donovan Brown at Microsoft.

DevOps is the union of people, process, and products to enable continuous delivery of value to our end users.

This definition and the thought process behind it really drives how I was taught about DevOps and try to practice it today. DevOps is a culture or mindset that really should drive how value is delivered at an organization. DevOps should not be a Developer only or "DevOps" only activity, this mindset should permeate the organization. DevOps is not about pipelines, automation, or a job title. DevOps is about continuous delivery of value to our end users. End users don’t care about story points. End users don’t care about tests passing in QA. End users care about value, which could mean anything like features, stability, or performance.

The Stakeholders

So where do we start? With Stakeholders. For culture and mindset shifts, buy in from all levels is important. This really is "The First Way" from the Phoenix Project and Lean Methodology. We need to think of how the whole system (the organization) delivers value to our end users.

Stakeholders collaborate and cooperate in the development, delivery, and maintenance of software and value With a DevOps mindset and culture. Stakeholders and leaders can influence and encourage the mindset needed for organizations to succeed. The Shared Goals need to be understood by everyone, with the end result clearly communicated. Silos hurt the delivery of value by limiting communication and collaboration. Historically where there were silos, there are walls slowing things down.

This type of collaboration usually requires change. Change takes time. Culture takes time. A piece of software or a job title won’t be a silver bullet. But after helping multiple organizations of all sizes embrace the DevOps culture and mindset, one of the key things to keep in mind is patience.

I’ll be back to dive more into this topic.