Build a DevOps Culture Without Any Money, Talent, or Resources

Organizations that have built a positive DevOps culture have transformed as part of a continuous and ongoing journey. The members of the organization should have a noticeable difference in how they behave presently versus how they behaved in the past. If the ultimate goal is to change the way the entire organization functions and operates, that means two things: changing the way everyone in the organization thinks about how they work and changing the way people behave.

To change behaviors is no simple task. I go into what happens when successful teams do certain things in my other DevOps posts here. In a future post, I want to get into some of the background in how to enable change of behaviors in yourself and others. Generally speaking, making the right or preferred choice the easiest one is how change often happens. But for now, I want to talk about what those behaviors should start to look like in a positive DevOps culture.

Positive DevOps behaviors have nothing to do with specific technologies, capabilities, or credentials. The behaviors that make the biggest impacts are the ones that help the maximum number of people in immediate teams, improve the flow of information between teams, and increase the flow of work in a pipeline.

Here are the top markers I have seen in cultures that embrace the DevOps mindset:

  • Frequent, relevant updates to centralized sources of information such as wikis, source control, and persistent chat channels
  • Willingness to collaborate on high priority problems in real time (in person, video conferencing, real time chat)
  • Fuzzy boundaries of subject matter ownership brought on by education between teams
  • Management trusting teams with solving problems rather than prescribing solutions
  • Quality and testing capabilities built into the process from the beginning rather than upon completion
  • Fearlessness in implementing production changes to solve issues and add features
  • Reliance upon automation of business processes to reduce time spent on rote work

These are high goals to strive for. Each one can be broken down into component pieces of behaviors that need to change, but ultimately, someone must desire something different and display these positive behaviors. You can start your DevOps journey right now without hiring someone, buying anything, or learning a new technology. Get started today.