DevOps Adoption and Company Culture

DevOps is more than a technological shift. It’s a cultural one. Here are tips on how to integrate DevOps into your company’s culture.

Organizations typically approach DevOps adoption with the idea that simply choosing and using the right tools will result in massive efficiencies, but fail to consider the cultural changes required to make the transition. However, DevOps adoption is both a cultural and technological shift. 

DevOps is about bringing teams together, which is why company culture and values are critical to its foundation. DevOps culture is about breaking down the barriers that prohibit teams from collaborating. So, in order to keep employees motivated and focused on the same goal, communication about ongoing and upcoming changes should be an adoption focal point. As internal roles and responsibilities shift during the transition, leadership that encourages more collaboration among teams will become increasingly important. As a result, when organizations increase the level of collaboration, their potential for improved quality and efficiency also increases.

In order to make this change, company values may need to change as well. If it isn’t a company value, then it’s not important to the company and has the potential to go ignored until it’s time to place blame when something goes wrong. Some important values companies should incorporate into their culture are collaboration, quality, efficiency, security, and transparency. If a company doesn’t value these things, then it’s likely that no amount of technology is going to help.

In a way, DevOps is really a system of thinking with a primary focus on developing, deploying, and operating the highest quality software possible, but this cannot take place unless the cultural adaptations are implemented within the transition. DevOps adoption will be easier if the organization seeks an open communication style and a philosophy of experimentation with new technologies.

How to Integrate DevOps and Company Culture

We have four recommendations for getting started with DevOps in your organization:

  1. Focus on How You Hire: With methodologies maturing, organizations need to re-evaluate their hiring strategy when implementing DevOps into their culture.
  2. Create Shared Accountability: In order to successfully launch DevOps initiatives, organizations need to empower their developers to be self-sufficient while retaining alignment with the rest of the organization’s operations.
  3. Express the Importance of Continuous Training: With new technologies emerging and best practices evolving, companies should set an expectation of continuous improvement and make training a critical part of their adoption playbook.
  4. Improve Communication: In order to fully integrate teams, organizations need to make sure they can communicate with one another. Start by establishing a unified language between business and engineering teams to express the desired acceptance criteria.

Organizations will achieve the best results from adopting DevOps when they choose and use the best cloud and orchestration platforms for their technology requirements. However, they should also keep in mind that, as they embrace DevOps, culture will be as important as technology in making a successful transition. 

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Jeremy Cook
Jeremy Cook is the DevOps content lead and trainer at Cloud Academy. Always up for an exciting new challenge, Jeremy enjoys creating compelling and innovative technical content that helps our students to learn. He has a strong background in development and coding, and has been hacking with various languages, frameworks and systems for the past 20+ years.