By Winoc Delplanque, Expertise Manager at Micropole
Much more than a work methodology, the DevOps movement created in 2009 by Patrick Debois is another way of thinking and working in companies. Today, all groups are implementing this approach to develop their IT systems. This methodology is also applied today by Micropole's teams to bring more added value to its customers' projects.
The IT environment and IT services are evolving, as are customer needs. Without realizing it, they are the ones who push companies to readapt, both in terms of organization and innovation. The objectives of DevOps are simple: to de-rigidify the company and reduce the "time to market" while guaranteeing the quality of the product or service offered.
How is DevOps applied?
DevOps, has few rules or best practices because it is not only an agile work method, but above all a business philosophy. Complex to train, it is based on the SCRUM and Lean Management methodologies, which have been used for many years by start-ups and SMEs.
First of all, communication is essential in the implementation of the DevOps approach. The principle: members of different departments of a single company are called upon to collaborate on a project within multidisciplinary teams of human dimensions (5 to 8 people maximum). Integrating more people would have the consequence of reducing communication and therefore blocking the progress of the project. It should be noted that there is no hierarchy: all members are pillars for each other. Together, they will break down the silos.
Then, you should start by stages, favouring one project at a time. This way, the project will be processed more quickly than by working on several projects, which will also make it possible to anticipate any bugs and manage them. Let's take the example of one of the leaders in mass distribution for which Micropole is currently working. By applying this method, our consultants collaborate within the client's teams on various IT projects which they energize with the objective of delivering more often, more reliably, and above all, providing more added value.
The 5 essential values to remember
If today it is complex to learn this philosophy in which the key word is simply to believe in it, there are however five essential values for the implementation of DevOps:
1 - Culture: teaching and communicating this philosophy to arouse the interest of the teams and then to make the company culture evolve.
2 - Automation: if a human action does not bring value to the product, then it must be automated (continuous integration, continuous delivery).
3 - Lean: waste is expensive in terms of resources, it must be tracked down and reduced to achieve efficiency. This is the biggest difference with efficiency.
4 - Measurement: measure, quantify, objectify to continuously improve performance. Without measurement, everything is just an opinion.
5 - Sharing: sharing must be everywhere: in the knowledge of course, but also in the progress of the team, its mistakes, its successes (always celebrate the small victories), and especially in the responsibilities. Indeed, everyone must feel responsible for the project, the team, and the deliverable.
DevOps is a new paradigm that, when used wisely, can truly optimize value creation, not only in IT, but also in banking and insurance, in the production lines of large groups (pharmaceutical, automotive), and even in the restaurant industry (McDonald's). Companies that have already successfully moved to the DevOps philosophy include: Amazon, Apple, Bank of America, Barclays, Disney, Etsy, Facebook, ING Bank, Lego, Netflix, Sony Pictures, or Unilever.