best practices

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13 02, 2018

DevOps, Organizational Change or Organizational Transition? It’s both and that’s why so many fail!

By | 2018-02-13T09:26:58+00:00 February 13th, 2018|agile, best practices, DevOps, testing|Comments Off on DevOps, Organizational Change or Organizational Transition? It’s both and that’s why so many fail!

Unfortunately, the DevOps movement is marked by the vast majority of organizations failing in their attempts at DevOps. Gartner points out that 90% of organizations who fail to first deal with their cultural issues fail in their DevOps attempts. The way this is worded is a little misleading, because it gives the sense that there is some small portion of organizations who are failing to deal with culture and the majority have successfully dealt with their cultural issues. It’s actually the opposite, the vast majority of organizations fit into the category of failing to deal with their cultural issues and will most likely fall into the 90% failure category. So, the question is, why is it so difficult for organizations to deal with their cultural [...]

5 02, 2018

Is Management by Objectives (MBO) silently sabotaging your DevOps efforts?

By | 2018-02-14T08:58:20+00:00 February 5th, 2018|agile, best practices, DevOps|Comments Off on Is Management by Objectives (MBO) silently sabotaging your DevOps efforts?

Excerpt from A Tale of Two Companies The vast majority of DevOps practitioners and advocates have repeatedly mentioned that DevOps uses the work of Dr. W. Edwards Deming, what they all fail to mention is that Dr. Deming was a fierce opponent of Management by Objectives (MBO) which to this day is still ingrained in the culture of many organizations and works counter to what the DevOps movement is attempting to accomplish. Management by objectives was first popularized by Peter Drucker the most revered guru of American management in his 1954 book The Practice of Management. Management by objectives is the process of defining specific objectives within an organization that management can convey to organization members, then deciding on how to achieve each objective in [...]

20 01, 2018

Release of A Tale of Two Companies

By | 2018-01-20T10:42:06+00:00 January 20th, 2018|agile, best practices, DevOps, kanban, SAFe, scrum, testing, XP|Comments Off on Release of A Tale of Two Companies

A Tale of Two Companies is a narrative story about two companies who are facing competition from new entrants into their business vertical and are looking to regain their competitiveness through Agile/DevOps. Along with the story of the two companies, there are learning points in each section. This book takes a very different tact then the majority of DevOps books on the market, the book attempts to explain in simple terms through Learning Points why, as Gartner has pointed out, 90% (the true number is probably higher) of the companies attempting DevOps are failing. A couple of sample Learning Points the book covers are below: Many in the industry have probably heard the reference to the “Blame Game”, which is the conflict between development and [...]

14 03, 2017

Value Proposition Cards

By | 2017-03-14T15:32:49+00:00 March 14th, 2017|agile, best practices, DevOps, kanban, SAFe, scrum, XP|Comments Off on Value Proposition Cards

A common problem in the world of software development is bringing Technical Debt to the forefront so that organizations can clearly see why they need to make the move towards Agile and DevOps. The issue is, how do we get everyone in the organization on board? Even when you explain to the business side that research has shown that organizations of all types and sizes are having to spend 70% to 80% of their entire Software Development budget simply maintaining existing code, they don’t believe this includes them or they simply don’t fully understand the issue. The problem is that they see the requests they make to Software Development moving through the Software Development process and believe this is all new work being created for [...]

15 11, 2016

Hidden Constraints/Process Improvements in Value Stream Mapping and Theory of Constraints

By | 2016-11-15T13:14:55+00:00 November 15th, 2016|agile, best practices, DevOps, kanban, SAFe, scrum, testing, XP|Comments Off on Hidden Constraints/Process Improvements in Value Stream Mapping and Theory of Constraints

One of the starting points with any organization looking to start the DevOps journey or even just looking for process improvement is to create a current and future state Value Stream Map or apply the Theory of Constraints. The concept of Value Stream Mapping has been around for many years (possibly as early as 1918) and is usually associated with Lean. Value Stream Mapping can be used in conjunction with the Theory of Constraints or they may both be applied separately. Value Stream Mapping helps show how both materials and information flow as a product or service through the process value stream, helping teams visualize where improvements might be made in both flows. The Theory of Constraints is used to concentrate on reducing the throughput [...]

17 10, 2016

Make Sure Your DevOps Teams are Focused on Double Loop Learning Versus Single Loop

By | 2016-10-26T21:30:32+00:00 October 17th, 2016|best practices, DevOps, Uncategorized|Comments Off on Make Sure Your DevOps Teams are Focused on Double Loop Learning Versus Single Loop

Understand that improvement is learning It should not be a surprise that DevOps improvement implies some kind of intervention or change to the process, and the change will be evaluated in terms of whatever improvement occurs. The evaluation that takes place adds to the knowledge of how the process really works, which in turn increases the chances that future interventions will also result in improvement. What is critical to remember is that it is a learning process, and it is crucial that improvement is arranged so that it encourages, facilitates and exploits the learning that occurs during improvement. We must as a result recognize that there is a distinction between single- and double-loop learning. Single and double loop learning Single Loop learning occurs when there [...]

11 10, 2016

Get a Good ‘Work-Out’ in DevOps

By | 2016-10-11T13:29:27+00:00 October 11th, 2016|agile, best practices, DevOps, Uncategorized|Comments Off on Get a Good ‘Work-Out’ in DevOps

The idea of including everyone in the process of improvement is one of the key principles of TQM, Lean and now DevOps. There are numerous ways being suggested in DevOps articles, blogs and books to involve everyone and create a continuous improvement culture. I suggest that instead of trying to re-invent the wheel, many of these organizations should consider tried and tested approaches, such as the ‘Work-Out’ approach that originated at General Electric. This approach allegedly was developed by Jack Welch, the then CEO of GE. The reasoning behind developing this approach was the recognition that employees are an important source of new and creative ideas, and an instrument for creating an environment that pushes towards a relentless, endless companywide search for better ways to [...]

31 03, 2016

DevOps and the Theory of Constraints

By | 2016-03-31T12:04:46+00:00 March 31st, 2016|agile, best practices, continuous integration, DevOps, kanban, Uncategorized|Comments Off on DevOps and the Theory of Constraints

As the DevOps movement has started to take hold in the software development industry, one of the great benefits of this is that individuals are starting to become aware of tried and true Lean Manufacturing and TQM practices. Having received an undergrad degree in Operations and having worked for the first three years of my career for a Lean Manufacturing shop, I have always been sort of puzzled how software development never seemed to have any industry wide concrete foundational practices that companies followed in order to improve quality and reduce cycle time. A while back I read a DevOps article where someone was talking about adopting Lean Manufacturing concepts for software development and they specifically mentioned one of the foundational concepts all Lean Manufacturers [...]

27 01, 2016

DevOps, getting that old Deja vu feeling

By | 2016-01-27T20:00:22+00:00 January 27th, 2016|agile, best practices, continuous integration, testing|Comments Off on DevOps, getting that old Deja vu feeling

While recently putting together an Intro to DevOps presentation for an upcoming meetup, I couldn’t get over this feeling of déjà vu as I put the presentation together. As I reviewed the presentation over and over I kept trying to figure where this feeling of déjà vu was coming from. Finally while looking at a section I had included showing a recent study of DevOps adoption in the US and worldwide, I realized where this feeling of déjà vu was coming from. The study stated that 79% of companies in the US and 66% were going to start adopting DevOps practices in 2015, the part of “adopting DevOps practices” was the piece that was causing these feelings. In order to explain this, we need to [...]

16 11, 2015

The “Killer Dozen” Automation Implementation Killers – CI/CD/DevOps

By | 2015-11-16T14:49:14+00:00 November 16th, 2015|agile, ATDD, automation, BDD, best practices, continuous integration, selenium, TDD, testing|Comments Off on The “Killer Dozen” Automation Implementation Killers – CI/CD/DevOps

Many organizations today are moving towards automated testing for the right reasons, but unfortunately the vast majority experience a spectacular failure. Often at Meetups or talking to potential customers who have failed at one or more automation implementations, I continue to hear the puzzlement of why they failed. I often hear what great diligence they put into the planning and the talented people they hired to build the automation, so the questions begs why are they all failing? After working with a number of clients to not only install an automated testing framework, but also implementing their agile process, I have consistently observed what I term a “killer dozen” automation implementation killers. Over the next few weeks I will discuss each of these issues in [...]

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