DevOps is more than tools and automation

Technical people tend to look towards technology to solve most problems. We all assume that if it can be done manually, then we can probably find some "bot" use for automation. Since that step involves tools, let's just jump in and pick one to use -- all right? DevOps dictates that you focus differently from the start. We must change the way we think, interact and ultimately work, in order to truly embrace the value that Agile and DevOps can deliver.

Corporate Values

Most evangelists for Agile and DevOps practices start by transforming the values that people and the team works with. Call it a cultural shift or a paradigm change. It is paramount that everyone is working off some base values so that there is little impeding the transformation that DevOps promises.

Inside Intel we have a robust culture focused on the values of quality, risk-taking, great place to work, discipline, customer orientation and results orientation. This culture has changed very little over the years, and I remember when I started over 21 years ago, we did a whole "Back to Basics" kick off. This campaign was aimed at ensuring that our rapidly growing company continued to embrace the core values that helped make Intel great.

We are Embracing Agile & DevOps

Our successes moving forward is tied to being consistent while delivering the products of the highest quality. This means we are driving out technical debt to ensure that our solutions maintain relevance, all while delivering value to the customer in everything we do. Some of the items we have began embracing include:

  1. Focusing on outcomes instead of outputs.
  2. Deliver high quality solutions. We need ensure we are testing the right things while reducing the need to do testing manually.
  3. Increasing our own confidence in our quality measures, so we can constantly innovate and experiment.
  4. Learning that it is alright to fail. Just do it fast and recover faster, so that work can continue. Learn from every failure.
  5. Be aware of the fragility that exists and put in place concrete plans to reduce that technical debt.
  6. Be respectful, open, honest, direct and always focused on improving the team and your relationships with your mates.
  7. Shift towards full product accountability instead of delivering only your tasks defined inside the project.

This is merely a subset of the challenges we have set for ourselves. Transforming the way that a company works, especially one that is nearly 50 years old, will take time. We are focused on improving the value we can return to our customers by embracing our core cultural values and applying them to all the products we create, deliver and support.

How is your journey going? Have you made the decision to jump all-in for Agile and DevOps?

I'm curious to hear of successes, failure and how we can help to provide visibility in our own multi-year journey.