How to Do DevOps in Old-School Organizations

John Edwards – Information Week

The best approach to DevOps is one step at a time, and that is particularly true for a well-established enterprise.

Your organization may not fit the definition of a “unicorn” — a private company valued at $1 billion or more — but that doesn’t mean it can’t embrace DevOps and reap the rewards, says Robin Yeman, a Lockheed Martin fellow and veteran DevOps coach.

“The advantages unicorns have over their competitors is the ability to keep pace with rapid delivery schedules while maintaining secure, high quality capabilities,” Yeman says. “Recent studies have shown that high performing companies can both scale up and increase the speed of delivery without any impact to quality.”

Yeman, along with Suzette Johnson, leader of Northrop Grumman’s Agile Center of Excellence, will present “DevOps for Old-School Organizations” at Interop ITX in Las Vegas on May 19.

Getting started

Transitioning to a DevOps culture requires an iterative and incremental approach that will take time for companies currently coping with legacy systems, Yeman says. “Teams cannot move from traditional methods to DevOps overnight,” she notes, adding that it will take from one to three years, depending on the number of legacy technologies. “Focus on small changes while evaluating empirical data from those step changes to track improvements,” Yeman recommends. “It would be impossible for different companies to have the same journey, because some practices that help one organization may prove to be detrimental to another.”

Organizations embarking on an initial DevOps initiative should begin by visualizing the delivery pipeline, Yeman says. “Align goals across functions and develop a cross-functional team,” she adds. Yeman also suggests…

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