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In a digital world, every company depends on software to continuously improve its products and business. This need for continuous speed has led to the explosion of DevOps initiatives.
Well-executed change management in DevOps shortens software release cycles while improving quality. These conditions, in turn, make continuous integration, regular deployment and continuous delivery possible. For many organizations, however, DevOps remains a distant mirage rather than a reality.
So why do some DevOps initiatives fail?
DevOps success depends on tools, processes and people. The vast majority of problems, though, are rooted in failures on the people side rather than the technology. Organizations need to stop looking for a new tool to throw at the problem. Instead, they should focus their efforts on how to use change management in DevOps to break down silos and create collaborative, cross-functional teams. Your team may have the latest and greatest automation tools and technologies, but if you can't align the stakeholders -- from line-of-business to operations -- your DevOps project is destined to fail.
Many DevOps projects actually start off on the right track. Over time, however, teams retreat to their comfort zones and normal routines and hide behind their old processes and service-level agreements. The initial promise of cross-team collaboration fades. To keep the momentum of change management in DevOps rolling, project meetings need to include representatives from every cross-functional team, and the meeting must focus on people as well as tools and infrastructure.
When a DevOps initiative starts to fail, many organizations will repeat the same approach with the same people and hope the outcome will change. The key to a successful DevOps project is change. Don't hope your DevOps project will have a better outcome with the same inputs. This may require changing the people, process or technology -- or all of the above.
Change management in DevOps
It's important to note that many projects veer off track at some point. Rather than burying your head in the sand, you need to be able to course correct and remain focused on the goal. This requires clear objectives for your DevOps project and a strong, people-focused leader who can foster collaboration across teams.
Think about DevOps as change management and as a collaborative partnership to find the best practices to achieve your goals of continuous integration and delivery. It's important to remember that the initial teething pains with DevOps are well worth the end result: to deliver applications and software at a high velocity.