Berlin 2013 - Proposal

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Administer the devops pill across the enterprise


Devops addresses the last mile of continuous delivery. It advocates the tearing down of silos between development and operations. It kind of assumes that silos don't exist elsewhere. This is often not true in enterprise IT where the number of silos correlates well with the number of vice presidents. This anti-pattern of org design takes two forms. One is when you have a VP sw-dev, VP Data, VP configuration management, VP Testing, VP UX, VP Deployment. The other is when you have a product manager along with a VP Sales, VP Marketing, VP Support and VP Training. On the other hand, an org design based on true cross-functional teams has teams accountable for business outcomes and puts one person in clear charge of each team. This part of getting things right can be classifed as CD for execs and basically involves applying the devops pattern to general org design. There is also a part two.

Tooling can also hinder cross functional behaviour. Especially when access to tools are granted on a strict need-to-use basis. So for example, only sales guys get salesforce access. Or when marketing disallows self-service publishing from the product teams. Or when the devs use one tool for continuous integration and the deployment teams uses a completely different disconnected tool for release automation. Sometimes commercial considerations (licensing costs) encourage this behaviour but it doesn't serve the cause of tearing down silos. So we need a new kind of culture that restricts access to tools only where unavoidable but is open otherwise.


Sriram Narayan is Principal Consultant with ThoughtWorks India. He is currently the owner of features related to deployment on our continuous delivery product called "Go".

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