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Organizations are embracing DevOps, although they’d do well to steer past the known pitfalls that have caused several similar attempts to stumble. This is just paramount advice.

The Rightscale 2017 State of the Cloud report suggested that 72 percent of SMBs and 84 percent of enterprises have already adopted some DevOps practices. Promises of better customer satisfaction, productivity improvements, more business development, and greater agility are key factors driving the shift toward DevOps.

Is DevOps the perfect choice for all, then? Turns out the answer is not so straightforward.

Puppet’s State of DevOps Report in 2016 highlighted significant differences between low-performing and high-performing DevOps team. High performers deploy codes 100 times faster, fail three times less, and recover 24 times faster than low-performing teams. And unlike the New England Patriots, they do this without cheating!

This underscores the fact that enterprises can go wrong in their DevOps strategy. This is why you should leverage this guide to enhance your understanding of DevOps, and avoid the most common mistakes that many enterprises and SMBs have already suffered from.

Mistake 1: Failing to consider staffing and resourcing

Unless you have clear understanding of the existing workloads of your DevOps teams and teammates, and their skills and ability to execute tasks, don’t push the DevOps strategy on them. The first step should be to clearly quantify the workload of the team and the individual.

Next up, devise key performance indicators (KPI) and mechanisms to monitor them (but not like the AI in Orwell’s “1984”). Be prepared for adjustments in team sizes, work timings, etc. Talk to resourcing stakeholders to keep them prepared for ad-hoc requests.

Consider Agile resourcing options such as freelancers to manage sudden workload surges. Understand individuals’ performance sweet zones by talking to their supervisors, and use the information to prioritize workloads. Without properly considering workloads and resourcing, you’ll be left with unmotivated teams, and programmers brushing up their resumes ready to jump to another company’s payroll.

Mistake 2: The bait of a DevOps department

A natural response of DevOps adopters is to create a new department in the organization to manage DevOps strategy and framework. In most cases, this only adds more processes and red tape, and takes the fizz out of the DevOps model. Of course, DevOps requires a leadership team, but not the kind that a traditional departmentalized ecosystem can deliver.

No new department can expect to get IT and operations to synergize just by forcing them to collaborate. (The team in “Remember the Titans” could not be forced to get along; they had to want to be respectful of one another.) Organizations would do better to stay focused on new DevOps processes, and not on creating a department out of it. Remember, DevOps is a drastic shift in the approach of developing and operationalizing IT tools, and not a new business function in itself.

Mistake 3: Letting panic percolate during the implementation phases

DevOps Mistakes

Ask your development and operations teams to deliver 10 releases a week instead of one, and expect nothing less than bewilderment from their end. That’s the problem with DevOps; it’s different from other technological shifts, because it comes with a cultural overhaul. The larger the enterprise and deeper the spread of current work-culture, the more difficult the DevOps strategy will become.

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