Since 2008, when Andrew Shafer and Patrick Debois presented the term DevOps for the first time at a conference, DevOps has become a very successful global movement. Hundreds— if not thousands— of enterprises have implemented DevOps to improve the way IT development and IT operations teams work together, and automate tasks that previously were performed manually.
A number of DevOps training and certification programs have provided guidelines and a process to increase the collaboration and communication between stakeholders; and without a doubt, DevOps has already helped many enterprises.
Nonetheless, an area that has still remained a challenge, and up to a certain point unstructured, is the collaboration of Dev and Ops with the business areas.
Why does the business have to be part of DevOps?
One of the most fundamental processes in any enterprise is getting an idea through a business cycle—from approval to design, to implementation and operations—in order to finally create a business outcome, and deliver strategic or economic value for the enterprise.
IT initiatives and applications start as ideas, and go through a business cycle—applications are designed to provide technical and/or operational capabilities (causes), and business areas expect certain outcomes (effects) from them.
Yet, still as of today, there has not been an effective how-to method to effectively and practically define expectations and performance metrics among project stakeholders—that is still an issue in many organizations.
If capabilities and outcomes are clearly defined, and metrics (SLAs and KPIs) agreed to track the expectations for the stakeholders, the likelihood that the expected benefits of an initiative or application are realized, and sustained over time, increases considerably.
In other words, if the right metrics (SLAs and KPIs) are defined by and/for the various stakeholders (Developers, QA, Architecture, Release Engineering, Security, Data Center Operations, and the Business Area) there will be higher chances of business success from the initiatives and applications.
Additionally, the timing for defining the expectations and metrics is frequently an issue. Often the individuals that develop, implement and manage the applications and digital initiatives are not involved until the project or initiative is approved. This creates resistance among the stakeholders once the initiative or application starts the development, because Dev and Ops did not participate in the preparation of the business case; and/or were not consulted to validate or assess any of the organizational issues, or operational requirements, that could affect the expected business outcomes.
In other words, the timing for reviewing and validating expectations, metrics, and responsibilities is often late in the project cycle; causing resistance in the organization, and affecting the expected business results.
The DevOps Business Partner training and certification program, developed by Glomark-Governan and offered in partnership with Global Lynx, provides a structured framework for defining causes, effects, outcomes, and metrics, for effective timing, communication and collaboration between the IT development and operation teams with the business areas.