The human side of DevOps


Businesses are demanding that they have applications of higher quality and faster delivery, with features allowing them to be more competitive in the marketplace, whilst looking to reduce Total Cost of Ownership. This is where DevOps will be instrumental, if implemented correctly, to the success of the IT organization to meet these increasing demands.

Much of the discussion around DevOps has been on the tooling available to automate many of the currently manual steps. As a result, the discussion has been around technology and automation, but what about the human element to all of this technology?

Today’s organizations are ill-equipped to meet the challenge of DevOps head on, all the focus has been on technology and automation of manual process's, but little has been discussed regarding the impact that this has had on the human element in this process.

Moving to the DevOps challenges the current organizational structure, which is traditionally very linearly organized and enforces a Chinese walled approach to product development. This in general creates very contentious/combative discussions and finger pointing when things do not work well, and they rarely do work well in large organizations that have yet to understand the necessity of technology and humans working collaboratively together.  This does not lend itself to a reactive approach to product development as the organizational constructs serve to obfuscate the process, not clarify. 

So to make DevOps a success you need to force organizational change to create an environment that humans can collaborate together utilizing the technology to ensure that the DevOps promise is met. There will be resistance, but resistance is futile, and those resistant to change should be discarded and allow for those that embrace the change to participate fully in the future of product development.

We will be following up with several additional blogs on this topic, as there are a number of key areas to discuss. Below are some of the areas we will be covering, along with others:

  1. How DevOps changes traditional development process.
  2. Team structures and how to keep good talent.
  3. Cultural changes in the organization and how to affect them.


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Topics: Tech Leadership