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April 30, 2024

DevOps: the keys to an agile structure in your company

Today, many IT departments are looking for the key to delivering new capabilities, faster and meeting more demanding availability and security requirements in a digital age.

The DevOps methodology is one of the keys to achieving this, as it fosters the degree of collaboration across the entire IT value chain (from business to development, operations, and infrastructure). We unpack its keys, how to implement it, and why you need it in your business.

What is the DevOps methodology?

DevOps is not just a set of practices, it is a culture, a mindset that breaks down the silos between development (Dev) and operations (Ops) teams.

Its main goal is to optimize the software development and deployment process, thereby improving collaboration, increasing efficiency, and accelerating time to market.

Although many operations and development teams have taken steps towards this methodology, most organizations still operate in much the same way as they did 20 years ago. This means that they still use an operating model that consists of planning, building, and execution organized by silos.

The result of this is that agile development teams run into a difficult bottleneck to overcome when new or upgraded applications are ready to be hosted on existing infrastructure, where highly manual processes based on ticket management are still the norm.  

DevOps Workflow

A DevOps workflow is essentially a sequence of tasks and the order in which they are performed. It is also known as a lifecycle and usually consists of 6 phases, the stages of which describe what specific actions are to be performed, along with the desired outcomes.

This point is very important, as you must be given a clear set of aspirational goals to ensure that everyone stays focused on their task adjustments can be made and certain steps can be automated as you move through the flow.

It usually consists of the following steps: 

  • Planning: involves defining the requirements for the new software and creating a development and implementation plan.
  • Development: writing the code for the new software and performing unit tests.
  • Continuous integration (CI): automatically creating and testing the code whenever a change is made, which helps identify and correct bugs early in the development process.
  • Continuous Delivery (CD): Automatically deploy code to a test environment for testing, allowing new features or updates to be released more frequently.
  • Continuous Deployment: Automatically deploy code to production, ensuring that new software is always available.
  • Operations: monitor the software in production and respond to any issues.  

DevOps workflow promotes collaboration, automation, and a culture of continuous improvement. Therefore, by integrating these practices, teams can release software more frequently, reduce lead times, and improve the quality and reliability of their applications.

A well-functioning DevOps workflow has numerous benefits, such as: 

  • Promotes agility: by breaking tasks into smaller steps, it is easier to make adjustments and identify problems more quickly, which translates into higher productivity.
  • Enables technical scalability: with constant monitoring and regular updates, you can keep your product up to date and running smoothly to increase customer satisfaction.
  • Promotes business innovation: software upgrades can be implemented more quickly, leaving more time to experiment with innovative products or improve on existing ones. All without interrupting other projects. 

DevOps Automation

DevOps automation will help you drive reliability throughout the software development lifecycle and accelerate time to market for software applications and new releases.

However, when implementing this methodology, companies may face challenges such as making a cultural change within the organization where teams are willing to collaborate and work together. As well as technical challenges, as it requires a variety of tools and technologies, or a resistance to change by some team members used to a traditional process.

Therefore, to succeed in this process of change in the organization, you can follow some of the following steps to get the most out of DevOps.  

  1. Work as one team: Instead of being organized by function, IT teams should come together to work as one unit whose priority is to deliver end-to-end value to the customer, not to optimize discrete infrastructure components. By pooling their skills into a single team, handoffs are eliminated and a solution can be delivered quickly and ready for other teams to use.
  2. Apply design to infrastructure: To deliver faster solutions with more self-service and a better user experience, take a customer-centric approach based on a deep understanding of the customer’s actions to perform a task. This approach helps prioritize initiatives that deliver better and faster results for customers and businesses. 
  3. Shift to next-generation technical practices: adopting new practices will help to easily maintain and upgrade large-scale automation programs, seamlessly provision and scale hundreds of infrastructure components, and proactively identify and resolve problems almost instantaneously.
  4. Foster software engineering talent: Infrastructure-as-code and the creation of software platforms have changed the demand for talent in code creation and management. To manage this change, many organizations are investing in internal immersive boot camps, as well as looking for DevOps engineers with domain expertise who can apply to new infrastructure-as-code technologies.
  5. Invest in cultural change: at the operational level, in addition to providing training teams and programs to develop DevOps capabilities, you should also form service teams focused on specific customer requirements and update processes and KPIs to track and measure the adoption of the methodology accurately.  

How do we do it at Plain Concepts?

At Plain Concepts, we focus on adding value to your business by focusing on internal development.

We pride ourselves on our efficient, autonomous, multidisciplinary internal teams, as our company culture is paramount. Each assigned team member takes shared responsibility for the success and management of the project.

To carry out these collaborations, we adopt the appropriate methodologies:  

Our strategy for creating successful solutions is a multidisciplinary team that works like this: 

  1. Adaptation to each phase of the project: a project has multiple phases, so a static team cannot execute them all with guarantees.
  2. Versatility: be able to define the team according to the needs of the project status: design, data, infrastructure, quality…
  3. Team ready! Forming a team requires time to achieve integration and a good rapport. Plain Concepts’ service is based on teamwork, and we have fully trained, experienced, and well-integrated teams.  

When you want to have your team, but you need knowledge, create it, and adopt the best methodology and practices, we help you to form a team with people from your company and ours. In addition, we can be your partner to lead the project of new and immature teams.

With a multidisciplinary team, you will get benefits such as: accelerating your delivery speed and improving your development culture, we help you create or grow your development team within your organization, and your already trained team will remain in charge when we leave with our support.  

Whether the team model is external or hybrid, it is made up of multidisciplinary and self-organized technical specialists, and other management specialists such as Delivery Managers who can support your Product Owner. But two functions will play a key role in the success of the project: 

  1. Product Owner (from your company) 
    1. Responsible for your part of the project.
    2. Interacts regularly with the team.
    3. Supervises and provides feedback to the team.
    4. Prioritizes tasks according to the evolution of the project.
    5. Makes decisions according to the circumstances. 
  1. Engineering Manager (from Plain Concepts): 
    1. Expert in agile culture and principles.
    2. Manages team capacity and assignments.
    3. Plain Concepts culture ambassador.
    4. Encourages growth and supports teams.
    5. Escalates and keeps information flowing.
    6. Coordinates team workload through weekly meetings.  

On the other hand, there are several levels of dialogue in the medium and long term that will allow the correct evolution of the projects through fluid and adequate communication: 

  1. Project level: weekly monitoring of the project by the assigned team, communicating the progress and blockages of the project progress with your Product Owner.
  2. Tactical Level: in each sprint, the Engineering Manager holds a coordination meeting with your Product Owner and the project sponsors. Management and coordination of the necessary processes, resources, and personnel, as well as the associated costs, to transform strategic decisions into operational and action plans.
  3. Executive Level: on a quarterly or on-demand basis, our Engineering Manager and Account Manager discuss with your management team leading the project the progress of the project and issues of certain importance that require the intervention of senior management.  

If you want to unleash the full potential of your organization, don’t wait any longer and contact our experts! 

Elena Canorea
Elena Canorea
Communications Lead