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3 steps to implementing a successful DevOps culture

Genifer Graff, Log in to subscribe to the Blog

With all that is happening in the world today, more and more organizations are using development teams that are no longer in a physical office. These developers aren’t sitting together in a team space, but their workload is the same or even greater. With IT resources scattered across your city, state, or the world, how will you provide flexibility to your teams but still maintain control and deliver applications that deliver valuable results? The answer is to use DevOps.

DevOps is fundamentally about increasing collaboration and speed, effectively reducing time to market.

There is a perception that implementing DevOps is about finding the right tools or the latest and hottest technology and getting it adopted. However, DevOps is at its core about fundamental practices such as continuous integration (CI), continuous delivery (CD), and even continuous deployment (CD), where appropriate, and fostering a collaborative culture between the people involved. The tools are there to enable the people and support these practices. Without this perspective and the resultant change in culture, adopting DevOps will only lead to automation of the application deployment from one environment to another without really improving time to market in any meaningful way.

So, how do you do it? How do you use DevOps and a CI/CD approach to not just automate application development, but improve your app development approach and outcomes? Take this three-step approach to implementing a DevOps culture.

First, define and implement a standard, repeatable deployment process.

When starting on your DevOps journey, the first thing to tackle is to define and implement a standard and repeatable deployment process. This process should start from when business requirements are captured, implemented in the application, integrated with other changes, tested, promoted into higher environments, user acceptance tested, and even deployed to production where value is derived in the short cycles. Along the way, any issues found during the process should stop that deployment, and all relevant stakeholders should be notified to investigate and work on a fix for the reported issue.

This deployment process is often referred to as the CI/CD pipeline, which brings together the practices of continuous integration with continuous delivery to ensure that application changes are delivered incrementally with greater speed and frequency without compromising on quality. An effective approach when starting out is to make sure the right questions are being asked at every stage in the CI/CD pipeline.

Once answers to those questions have been implemented as part of the CI/CD process, you should then look to speed up this process through automation, and this is where the tools and technology come into the picture.

Next, implement a DevOps platform with capabilities that empower your team to collaborate, build, and deploy quickly and easily.

You want a DevOps platform that not only connects your remote resources but empowers them to build and deploy higher-quality apps faster. To do that, look for a DevOps platform that:

  • Allows application changes to quickly move from development through testing to deployment.
  • Provides configurable deployment pipelines out of the box, ideally that can be customized through a low-code, model driven experience. This enables you to get started quickly with a standardized, automated, and repeatable process ensuring predictable, high-quality releases.
  • Provides automated testing tools to quickly and easily create test cases to be incorporated into automated testing plans. Testing should be built-in to application development and it should be easy for application developers to create these cases. Testing should never be an afterthought. Users may group tests into a test suite to run multiple cases in a defined order that ensures high-quality releases.
  • Provides a REST API to help automate common actions and integrate with other systems. These actions include:
    • Create pipelines
    • View pipelines
    • Create merge requests
    • View merge requests
    • Start deployments
    • View deployments
    • Abort deployments
    • Approve manual requests
  • Has the flexibility to support third-party tools. Choose a platform that lets you start Day One and then have the flexibility to incorporate third-party tools and platforms as well. Your application, including its DevOps tools, must be able to be part of your organization’s larger DevOps infrastructure. It should not matter which DevOps tools are used. The point is, DevOps tools should be used.

Finally, make sure your DevOps approach is scalable.

Another factor to consider are the challenges with collaborative development, especially at scale. The easy transfer of development projects from one team to another is one of the most difficult things to manage in a deployment project if you don’t have the correct tools. The transfer is absolutely vital to ensure quality development and deployment. It is also important that, while your teams may be separated, the application development artifacts should not be. You need a single source of the truth for application and deployment history so, should a problem arise, developers have all the information needed to rectify the problem.

Pega DevOps can help you go to market faster

Until recently, DevOps journeys have been challenging, requiring cultural and organizational transformation and alignment and deep technical expertise – a delicate balance of people, process, and technology. Fortunately, comprehensive platforms like Pega are highly optimized to help ease DevOps adoption and facilitate a culture of collaboration. This smooths the way for organizations like yours to reap the benefits of speed-to-market and applications that provide true value, while reducing development costs.

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Tags

Desafío: Agilidad comercial Industry: Intersectorial Área de producto: Platform Tema: Intelligent Automation Tema: Rapid Delivery

About the Author

As a Senior Solutions Consultant for Pega, Genifer Graff helps organizations move forward on digital transformation journeys and believes that DevOps tools should be an integral part of any application development.

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