Over the past five years, DevOps has increasingly become the standard for Salesforce development and release management. But for those hoping to catch up with the rest of the ecosystem, getting started can be daunting.
That sentiment is common and DevOps adoption is described as a ‘journey’ for good reason — it’s not a quick and easy process, but one that requires a measured approach and the involvement of key stakeholders.
Here are five steps that large teams should keep in mind as they look to achieve DevOps success in 2023.
Step 1: Assess your requirements and resources
Starting with a robust assessment of release cycle processes gives organizations an opportunity to examine effectiveness across multi-functional departments and identify inconsistencies. Based on this internal review, software leaders will be able to identify where gaps exist and how these can be improved by consistent processes, handover points and auditing.
DevOps adoption will help address those gaps and reduce risk by implementing consistent workflows. The principles of Agile development that underpin DevOps will also suggest how these processes can be improved when applying DevOps principles to a Salesforce environment.
Step 2: Starting small before scaling up
It’s best to start small when implementing any new way of working, and DevOps is no different. Getting the fundamentals right — such as version control — will provide a solid foundation for adding more complex processes and tools to build out a complete DevOps workflow across your Salesforce environment.
At some point in the journey toward Salesforce DevOps adoption, many companies will be confronted with the need to decide whether to build or buy a DevOps platform. To make the best decision for your organization, you need to understand the platform you want to use and how it may ease (or hinder) DevOps implementation.
For example, the Salesforce platform is known to be challenging for customized DevOps. In this case, it might make sense to complement Salesforce with a third-party solution purpose-built for DevOps.
Step 3: Culture is key
While DevOps improves the efficiency of release processes and reduces errors, this is only possible with a successful DevOps culture.
Leaders play a critical role in fostering DevOps culture by internally championing DevOps with the goal of improving team performance and work satisfaction. Silos and territorial thinking are counterproductive to successful DevOps deployments.
Providing DevOps training and professional development opportunities to maximize team skills is a great way to encourage team performance and ensure that team members receive the support they need, ultimately avoiding burnout.
Step 4: Iterate and optimize
This step is small in description, but large in scope and scaling. As teams move towards DevOps maturity, they’ll do so iteratively by adding more DevOps processes. Part of this process may include exploring DevOps tools and platforms that can help optimize efficiency and scaling — whether that means building in-house or looking to buy a purpose-built solution. A great place to start is by asking for recommendations from your communities and peers for the platforms they use to make their DevOps processes easier.
Step 5: Measure and review
This is the final step, but it’s integral to every step in the DevOps adoption roadmap. By using DevOps metrics (DORA) to benchmark and assess your DevOps processes, you’ll be able to improve and ensure that you’re seeing ROI continuously. Don’t let suboptimal results discourage you — it’s rare that a deployment goes off without a hitch, but each mistake is a great opportunity to learn, tweak and improve. This will give you the springboard you need to improve your Salesforce DevOps process continuously.
Get started on your DevOps journey for Salesforce
The adoption roadmap discussed in this article provides high-level guidance for companies that are just beginning on their DevOps journey or applying DevOps processes to a Salesforce environment. As they move on to consider the specifics of tools and processes, they should keep these pointers in mind to ensure that their teams are supported and their processes are working towards their DevOps goals.