Five Strategies to Help You Improve Your DevOps Culture

Roller Coaster

By Dick Stark

Last week, RightStar’s senior DevOps PM delivered an excellent webinar with all new content: “Five Strategies to Help You Improve Your DevOps Culture.” The webinar covered key cultural values that organizations need to implement DevOps. What follows is a summary.

RightStar opened first with a discussion about DevOps. I know that when I attempt to discuss DevOps with a prospect, I’m sometimes told, “we don’t develop much software, or we’re moving everything to the Cloud, or we only use off the shelf software solutions.” Clearly, those propsects are under a misconception that DevOps is only for software developers, and don’t realize the impact software (and DevOps) makes in most organizations.

DevOps is for anyone that works in a team. Traditionally, most of us work in silos, which limits the amount of inter-team communication.  Since everyone in an organization is in the same “boat,” inter-team communication is critical for success. Nearly all organizations are heavily depended on software, or are going through some sort of digital transformation. According to the RightStar webinar leader, “Growing software enterprises must become more collaborative, else they will cease to exist.” So, what are the five strategies?

  1. Check in with your customers. RightStar borrowed the term, “Rightside up thinking,” form his David Field’s book, “ The Irresistible Cosultants’s Guide to Winning Clients.” The important takaway is to hold learning, not selling conversations.
  2. Trust your team. Successful teams use servant-leadership, meaning, “I’ll jump in and work along side of you,” rather than bark orders. Other important characteristics are transparency, good listening skills, patience, and self-organizing teams.
  3. Generate fresh ideas. Don’t wait until you’re stuck. Make this a monthly or quarterly exercise. For example, Atlassian holds regular “ShipIt” days, also know as hackathons, to help generate new ideas. Atlassian believes that most innovation comes from teams, rather than the lone genius.
  4. Let the data drive you. Measure what matters, but make sure you know what really matters. How is success defined and what is blocking you from getting there?
  5. Learn to love change. Do you love roller coasters, or would your prefer the lazy river? My experience at RightStar implementing ITSM toolsets for 15 years is that most customers do not like the change that a new system offers. They just want the old system back. A big part of our job is user adoption. It’s all about value and it is our job to show you how a new system, for example, Jira, along with new processes, can make your jobs easier and return value back to your organization.

About dick1stark

I am the President and founder of RightStar, Inc, an XTIVIA company. RightStar is a leading ITSM and DevOps consultancy and BMC Software Elite Solution Provider and Atlassian Gold Partner. My passion is customer success—whether it’s reducing the cost of service management, improving overall efficiency, or increasing end-user or employee satisfaction. Since founding RightStar in 2003, RightStar has made the INC 5000 list four times. In 2011, RightStar was awarded the prestigious National Capital Business Ethics Award (NCBEA) by the Society of Financial Service Professionals based upon RightStar’s foundation of honesty, ethics, and integrity. And in 2014, RightStar was selected by Forrester Research as one of 13 North American companies profiled in its ITSM Consultancy Wave Report. In 2019, BMC selected RightStar as its DSM North American Partner of the Year for its sales and partnership excellence. Finally, in November 2020, RightStar was acquired by XTIVIA, an innovative IT Solutions Provider. Dick is a graduate of Stanford University and a Project Management Professional (PMP).
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