Scaling DevOps: Best Practices

As enterprises grow, their application and process development needs are likely to expand and become more complex. DevOps is a methodology that aims to ease the process behind these new developments, teaching development and operations teams how to work together in iterative project work, but not every company succeeds with a DevOps strategy at first.

Particularly for larger companies, DevOps can be a challenge because of the intricate siloes that might need to be broken down between different IT departments. Regardless of where your organization is in its DevOps implementation, consider these best practices for scaling DevOps to organizational goals and real-time value.

Also Read: NetOps vs DevOps: Bringing Automation to the Network

Develop Standardized Project Templates and Policies

DevOps cannot create long term efficiencies in development if it’s not given the space to standardize project policies and procedures. The most important thing a DevOps team can do is ensure that standardization is emphasized from the beginning and that no DevOps projects are run as exceptions.

A great way to make concrete steps toward DevOps standardization is to create and closely follow project templates. Project templates democratize DevOps projects by making process data widely available and easier to interpret. As a result, templates make successful projects repeatable and scalable.

Many DevOps tools offer built-in templates and policy development capabilities, which can automate and simplify the process of starting a new project. Policy standardization is another important element beyond templating because it guides projects and associated tools so that they follow appropriate security and regulatory requirements throughout development.

Learn about project management templates from project-management.com.

Create Interdepartmental Goals to Bust Silos

IT, security, operations, and other tech-driven teams typically work in specialized roles and operate on separate workflows, especially if they work in a larger enterprise that can afford to have these dedicated teams. Even when these departments are given projects where they need to work together, it can be easy for each team and individual to pay attention only to the pieces of the project that they directly own. 

Although some projects see great success from this siloed approach, there are often missed cost- and time-savings, as well as potential errors, that come from tech teams working too independently.

For a successful DevOps implementation, it’s important to create interdepartmental goals from the top. This approach ensures that different teams are given metrics and tasks that require them to communicate and work together, thus incorporating the best practices and knowledge of each of these teams for a better end product.

Use DevOps Tools to Support Team Goals

DevOps tools can automate, store, document, and add focus to several different DevOps tasks. If your team has the budget for supplementary tools and resources, look into solutions in these categories to support your team’s DevOps goals:

Data Management Solutions to Consider: Best Data Management Platforms (DMP)

Rely on Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery (CI/CD)

One of the most important tenets of DevOps is shortening the delivery lifecycle and delivering iterations of a product regularly for more agility. Don’t get stuck trying to make a perfect release with several new components delivered at a time. Not only is this not a true DevOps approach, it also can cause some of these problems for developers and users alike:

  • Users don’t get new point releases that they need as quickly and are forced to wait for batch releases.
  • Users can’t as quickly test and give feedback on new features because of the extended timeline.
  • Releasing several features at a time makes it a bulkier project if developers need to fix anything after release.

Continuous integration and continuous delivery (CI/CD) keep things quick, allow for immediate feedback to build on existing features, and also simplify the process when a DevOps team needs to pivot or completely change a project plan.

Learn more about CI/CD here: DevOps: Understanding Continuous Integration & Continuous Delivery (CI/CD)

Pay Attention to User Experience (UX)

User experience (UX) is a major component of DevOps because iterative feedback is what helps a DevOps team adjust planned project iterations over time. To truly understand and apply UX needs to their projects, DevOps teams should regularly interact with non-technical team members, and maybe even consider adding some of those team members to the DevOps workforce.

If you’re not sure how to source input from the actual user, you have several different ways that could work depending on the project and your company’s resources. Consider using surveys, ticketing systems, user experience discussion forums, and interdepartmental meetings to get the feedback you need to move forward with a user-centric design.

Incorporate Change Management into All DevOps Projects

Developers and new users need change management best practices baked into new development and release cycles so the tools will be used efficiently and correctly, especially when it comes to security and regulatory compliance requirements.

For the most successful DevOps releases, make sure that your company has strong change management support in place. Some helpful change management strategies for a DevOps release include offering a Q&A forum or ticketing system for new users, creating documentation and additional training, and maintaining a DevOps task force that can assess how successfully the tool has been integrated into the business.

Read Next: Best DevOps Tools & Software

Shelby Hiter
Shelby Hiter
Shelby Hiter is a writer with more than five years of experience in writing and editing, focusing on healthcare, technology, data, enterprise IT, and technology marketing. She currently writes for four different digital publications in the technology industry: Datamation, Enterprise Networking Planet, CIO Insight, and Webopedia. When she’s not writing, Shelby loves finding group trivia events with friends, cross stitching decorations for her home, reading too many novels, and turning her puppy into a social media influencer.

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