Agile Operations Before DevOps

DevOps is a fancy new buzz term that every organization want to incorporate on their roadmap. The problem is that if you ask five people within that organization to define DevOps, you would probably get 5 different answers. I'm not here to define DevOps but rather speak to the prerequisites of transitioning to DevOps.

At the core of any DevOps operation is collaboration between the Operations and development team. Without it, DevOps is just another fancy term. Much like business to development, historically the relationship between development and operations is characterized by handoffs. As the end of the project approached, and the product was production ready, operations would be engaged to take ownership of the support of the application. If they were lucky, the handoff would be accompanied by a support document of some kind, but that was more the exception then the rule. This sequential transition often has lead to lengthy product outages, additional development which I would categorize rework, and emergency product patches.

In order to cut out the waste that is involved in this handoff organizations need to embrace this partnership and adopt practices that facilitate collaboration of two groups. Operation teams should be involved from project inception to provide input on optimal and scalable system environments, supportability, system monitoring and product maintenance. Once the collaboration is in place, organizations can then begin to focus on continuous deployment and the other fancy DevOps stuff. Without the collaboration piece, DevOps is just another fancy term companies throw around..

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