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Organizations stand to gain a lot from transitioning to a DevOps software development model. Switching to DevOps leads to quicker problem solving, increased employee engagement, and more time for innovation.

That’s assuming a transition is successful, however. Enterprises can run into various problems along the way, including inadequately measured risk, which could spell trouble down the road. Fortunately, none of these problems are inevitable if you approach the DevOps transition methodically. Follow these eight steps to make the most of your shift to DevOps.

1.    Develop a vision

You’ll need to set a vision of the perfect DevOps model to make the transition a success. This vision must include components that support your organization’s specific business needs to justify DevOps implementation in the first place. These business requirements can include anything from fostering more collaboration between disparate teams to improving security, as is the case with many Tripwire customers.

2.    Secure executives’ support

A transition to DevOps won’t get very far if the executives at your organization aren’t on board. It’s therefore imperative to convince these directors why the change is necessary. Demonstrating how DevOps will improve business efficiency and generate more profits is a useful way to frame the discussion. From there, it’s important to walk through the transition with the executives so they can both anticipate the periods when employee efficiency will inevitably diminish as well as identify all the risks the change could engender.

3.    Seek out supporters who embrace systems thinking

Organizations can get the most out of their transition to DevOps by first implementing the switchover on a small scale with staff who are receptive to a test run. In order to participate in that trial, those individuals should be familiar with systems thinking — a means of understanding that frames everything as part of a system. Enterprises can then get those individuals’ feedback and use the experience to expand systems thinking to the entire company.

4.    Create a beneficial tools strategy

Tools are a huge help for organizations both during and after the transition to a DevOps model. After all, these utilities ensure version control, project management tracking, security assessment processes, and change management. But those functions often aren’t organizations’ biggest concerns. Instead, enterprises must ask themselves what role each tool will play. They need to make sure they deploy tools that serve business goals — an effort which is key to developing a beneficial tools strategy.

5.    Set short-term milestones

Switching over to DevOps will be disruptive. That much is true. You should therefore make sure you’ve identified short-term milestones against which you can monitor progress to make sure your organization stays on the desired path. Those milestones should include small victories to keep key stakeholders and other supporters excited about the change.

6.    Invest in people

As part of the transition, your organization will no doubt spend money on purchasing new software and on rearranging existing systems. That doesn’t mean it should take funding away from employee training, however. On the contrary, organizations need to invest just as much money, if not more, to support their employees as they adjust to the new way of doing things.

7.    Use metrics to measure your progress

Like milestones, metrics help prove to executives and employees that the transition is working. That means organizations need to measure their progress throughout the DevOps transition. To do so, you can review the tools you’re using to implement DevOps and get a sense of how things progress. Hopefully you’ll see some improvement you can use to motivate your teams moving forward.

8.    Gather feedback

The transition to DevOps will affect various departments and individual employees differently. With that said, your organization needs to create continuous feedback loops to figure out how to continue growing and improving. It will only hurt your organization’s prospects for growth to ignore disgruntled employees instead of giving them the opportunity to vocalize their concerns.

Thinking about your own upcoming DevOps transition? Make it a success by reading Tripwire’s eBook Driving DevOps Security: Scalable Cybersecurity Best Practices for Scalable Teams.

The Executive's Guide to the Top 20 Critical Security Controls
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