Many organizations, enterprises and software development companies face an enormous amount of pressure to quickly and efficiently deliver great applications. These applications need to not only tend to unique customer needs, but also receive continuous updates, improvements and new features. This requires a highly efficient pipeline with continuous integration, automated testing, effective ways of deployment and much more. The fact is that high-performing development teams actually doesn’t spend any more or less time coding than their competition. So why does some succeed with seemingly everything that they do while others fail? What are their DevOps secrets?
Faster and better releases
In reality, this one is far from one of the “hidden DevOps secrets”. The importance of release frequency just keeps showing up. Teams showing high performance often release updates to their application up to 40 times more often than low performers. This differentiates market leaders from the rest by allowing for more opportunities to collect and adapt to customer feedback, leading to more responsive development and satisfied users. This short and efficient loop drives more features, better quality and shorter recovery times.
However, it’s not always feasible to release up to every week. The reality for most organizations is that they might not even want to release that often, even if they could. With this said, increasing automation in general is often a good idea.
Keep a user experience focus
The very best DevOps teams often work hard to consistently keep quality high, all the time. Since the users often contribute a portion of what defines quality, this means that the user experience must be tested early and often. We all know how quickly user needs and requirements can change. Without continuous testing and quick user feedback loops, there is simply no way to keep up.
It’s not a DevOps secret that user experience is important, but keeping the users involved throughout the development can make a big difference. The user interface (UI) certainly has the power to attract or repel users from an application. Collecting UI feedback regularly leads to a more reliable outcome of code and design changes, something that can be quite valuable to both product owners and shareholders.
Less time wasted on manual tasks
According to Puppet 2017 State of DevOps Report, high-performing teams spend their time doing significantly less manual work. Compared to low performers, these teams have automated:
- 33% more of their configuration management,
- 27% more of their testing,
- 30% more of their deployments, and
- 27% more of their change approval processes.
When moving forward in automation, you end up in a stage where manual work and rework is just temporary. This time can be used to burn down the technical debt, or work on anything else that’s holding you back. Be careful, however, as the desire to add more manual controls to keep an eye on changes easily creeps up on you. Instead you should strive to shift the change review process to an earlier stage and avoid a change review board.
In addition, by carefully managing your overhead time you can avoid unnecessary inefficiencies. Simply put, developers should do what developers do best. If you succeed in shaving off a few hours each week, you’d be surprised to see how much you can add to their plate. Again, this is not one of the DevOps secrets, but something that can have a big effect with relatively small effort.
To summarize, successful DevOps teams that deliver high quality software are able to do so by maintaining a user experience foucs, leveraging automation and cut time between releases. They collect feedback early and often, and act upon what they learn. Stay competitive and start your journey towards a more efficient and flexible development today – laggards tend to stay behind for a long time.
Have you started your DevOps transformation? Don’t know where to start? Let us know in the comments below!