Since organizations started to realize the importance and advantages of adopting DevOps practices as a core model in their development teams and operations, a great deal has been accomplished around the topic by clearly defining the DevOps journey. As it is seen as a step by step process to tapping the full potential of an organization’s capabilities and keeping in mind that the road to achieving the expected results is long-winding, iterative, and complicated, targeting every vertical at one-shot will end up in a massive failure.
This is where you need the help and assistance of a well-planned Maturity Assessment Model to measure the stages in your DevOps walk. Here, we’ll categorize the different areas in which an organization needs to focus on to assess their DevOps readiness.
Ideally, a DevOps Star organization will have most of their delivery pipelines automated, with continuous tests, regular deployments, and stringent monitoring. The development teams would be concentrating more on releasing new features, instead of slugging at the bug fixes. It’s all about instilling a culture of integrating the efforts from both the development and operations teams, that will increase visibility into both sides of the table.
"By 2023, 40% of organizations will implement chaos engineering practices as part of DevOps initiatives, reducing unplanned downtime by 20%" - Gartner
Researchers in the field, like George Spafford, from Gartner Analytics, have opined that organizations should not adopt DevOps for the sake of it, but should have well-formed business motivations that takes into consideration the people taking part in it, which will contribute to the DevOps business strategy.
Based on those considerations, and from the defined operational prowess from our team, the maturity stage of your organization can be identified from how you score in the following sections.
Organizational Team Structure
Keeping the dev and ops teams in confluence with the DevOps plan will be the starting point when moving through the maturity model. The amount of collaboration and internal visibility will determine the success ahead for DevOps.
You can check on several points to assess which stage you are in to get a fair idea of the requirement:
If there is absolutely no communication between the two departments as of yet, then any efforts towards creating a DevOps plan has incidentally failed. Start by increasing visibility to enter the first stage of DevOps. Even then, the ops review for dev codes will ensure that the code sustains the testing environments. Towards the last stages of the maturity model, embed QA and dev teams together to maintain a high quality in operations. If you have reached so far, it means that you are not far from achieving success.
Does the team regularly meet to discuss what is working well, what isn't working well and what they can improve, and the top improvement items are implemented?
Does the team take actions to ensure that the team does not create or experience bottlenecks with/for other teams?
Are the dev and ops teams sharing tools among themselves, or are they using completely different set of tools for handling the various aspects of application development and deployment? For example, the analytics and dashboards tools, if shared, will inform the developers on the performance of apps they developed, and identify the most important works they need to focus on, or improve on. Asynchronous channels for sharing knowledge and updates, like JIRA, or Slack, etc., will bring in the culture of sharing. Using the same version-control systems will ensure that there is no great disparity between expectations and delivery.
In the early stages, both teams will struggle to share data and tools among themselves However, as time goes on, the responsibilities and tools sharing should improve. For understanding this, you need thorough research on the best compatible tools out there.
Project timelines need to be aligned across the teams to make sure that the processes sail smooth. Based on how often you roll out changes, and the frequency of deployments into production, the stages of advancement will be determined for DevOps adoption inside the organization.
If scalability is prioritized ahead of taking care of the constraints in first level of implementing DevOps, the whole process will become of no effect.
Besides that, making note of a few other measurables will get you an idea on where to start, and what to change first, thus gradually moving up the ladder:
- Change failure rate: It should be minimal in an optimized DevOps cycle.
- The ability to restore the application after a service failure.
- Prioritization of application backlogs and backlogs on changes preventing a backlogs clutter.
- Measurement of elapsed time in deliverables.
These points, and where you stand in them will help in identifying the scope for improvement. the end, an organization should be able to achieve continuous experimentation and release of product versions/changes, as a culmination of these efforts.
We can assess the success of the team’s collaboration with how the code works in the testing environment. Test Driven Development (TDD) is the new norm, and if testing is never or rarely ever done in your organization, then it is time to start with them.
The protocol to be followed may be outlined simply, like this:
- Use a standard test framework across the team.
- Ensure that the development and test environments are consistent with the production environment.
- Failure to meet coding standards should trigger a break in the build, so that there is uniformity between the development and QA teams.
- Test at every phase of app development from planning to release.
- Switch from the waterfall model to an agile testing model.
- Automate testing, and slowly move away from manual testing.
It’s not easy to pass over from a present testing model to the agile practices of DevOps. The required testing environments need to be available with demand. Hence, the teams need to plan and cover all the base lines required to meet the testing criteria, ahead of time.
Level of Automation
One of the end-goals of using DevOps as an integral business practice is automating repetitive and routine tasks, that take away valuable employee hours. Without automation, operations would have to sit through manual testing phases, instead of focusing on other laterals of project optimization.
- Automate configuration and management of environments.
- Move towards automation with automated testing, security checks, virtual machines, networks and operating systems.
- Automated scanning. Scan source code, assets, and binaries with automation.
- Implement high degree of unit scanning.
- Automated report generation.
- Automation is in place for every routine activity in the development.
Applications Performance on Release
If your company is struggling to release stable products, adopting agile DevOps practices can help you advance to the next level. With DevOps in the picture, application release cycles are bound to be quicker, stabler, and responsive to future changes.
An optimized DevOps stage will have achieved these capabilities:
- Application isn’t facing any huge issues during release.
- Continuous integration reveals errors instantly.
- Rollbacks are rare, or they never occur.
- Rare bug fixes.
- More feature releases.
- Quick fixes to issues on release.
- Quality in updates.
Applications perform better with Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery practices. Many a times, slower releases of much needed features have affected the rating of products, and made them unusable until later. This sort of waiting to get bugs fixed, or features releases, can hamper business performance and outlook.
DevOps cycle enable faster and earlier product releases. Conforming to some of these cultural practices can set you up for implementing bigger release structures in the long run. Strong continuous integration, continuous testing, and continuous delivery pipelines marks a successful DevOps adoption. It is not an overnight journey.
It is advisable that you consult expert service providers like Innominds to bring finer and detailed points to your attention, and make a proper assessment based on them for your company. More can be achieved when there is a helpful hand to reach out to when attempting to bring about such a drastic cultural change to an organization. With full assessment, carefully planned methodologies, and perfect execution, Innominds stands a world apart in terms of DevOps implementation.