As the demands from the software industry get increasingly complex, teams are constantly on the lookout for effective systems & practices that can make application development a breeze while augmenting the quality and delivery.

ALM & DevOps have hence become a trend in the business world, with many organizations embracing the culture to transform the development and delivery of software. However, for ALM & DevOps to be a success, what is needed is a balanced change management approach on the process, technology, and culture.

The approach you take depends on your business objectives, processes, needs, and a lot of other factors that are unique to your organization. A one-size-fits-all approach never works.

Most often than not, finding aligned competency within the organization in all these aspects is rare, and that’s why you need an external expert who specializes in ALM and DevOps to help strategize and execute your initiatives

In this blog, we will have a look at -

-       The unique challenges of every enterprise – what and why?

-       The typical inefficiencies faced by organizations

-       Where do organizations fail in their DevOps / ALM initiatives

-       Possible Alternatives

What makes every organization unique?

Although every organization – no matter the size or the industry – looks to drive higher profits and better customer experiences, the path they take to reach these goals is very different. This is because every organization is unique and is on a different level of business, process, and cultural maturity.

Here are various factors that contribute to the uniqueness of every organization

  • Business Model: Every business is unique and hence their Business Model & value stream.

  • Organization Structure: The organizational hierarchy is different, and business process varies with the way they are structured. Some teams are more proactive on processes and tools hence need different teams need different emphasis.

  • Choice of Tools and Technologies: The choice of tools and technologies to carry out day-to-day operations are distinct based on technology platform, release rigour and team preferences.

  • Business Driver: While some want to accelerate time to market, others are looking to improve efficiency, reduce delivery risk, enhance reliability, and so on. So business driver for ALM & DevOps is another crucial aspect.  

  • Software Development Approach: Some follow Agile, some traditional, and some multi-speed IT; there are tools which some with specific features / capabilities to address such unique needs.

Typical Inefficiencies in Software Delivery centers

Although adoption DevOps practices into their work culture is beneficial in the long run, it can be uncomfortable in the beginning as it calls for teams to move out of their comfort zones. Although success comes eventually, it is not without inefficiencies along the way.

Organization waste is a result of several factors:

  • Lack of standardization- With different teams using different processes, best practices, tools, templates, etc.there is no uniformity in the way they operate.

  • Inefficient handshakes- When people wait for each other unnecessarily, there is bound to be a delay in delivery, and an overshoot of budget – not to mention the frustration of the team.

  • Scattered tools and disintegrated workflows -When different teams use different tools and workflows, it is bound to result in incoherence, that causes a lot of confusion and inefficiency.

The common ALM & DevOps Challenges

The success of DevOps doesn’t come so easily, as the road is paved with obstacles.

Here are some challenges that are commonly faced by organizations looking to transform their application development outcomes:

  • Unclear goals not mapped to business objectives. Some time goals are defined without buy-in from impacted teams and hence they face major resistance during rollouts.

  • Heavy focus on technology but failing to integrate process and culture into roadmap.

  • Blindly following of the DevOps bandwagon, without realizing the fact that many aspects may not apply to their unique organization. There are a lot of misconceptions around what is DevOps; hence organizations end up choosing incorrect approach while picking practices from Industry peers.

  • Varied or biased focus on some functions like development and customer support, and not on the entire delivery Value chain.

  • Lack of communication mechanisms with business leaders on the progress being made or value being realized from DevOps initiatives.

  • Heavy focus on implementation without a well thought out long term strategy.

The DevOps Partner Value-Add

Almost every organization knows that successful software development is a result of having the right resources use the right tools and processes at the right time. However, many still struggle to understand what tools to use, or what best practices to follow.

What organizations really need is a DevOps partner who can offer specialized consulting with respect to the methodologies to embrace, the frameworks to follow, and the tools to use.

A qualified DevOps partner can accurately design and implement cross-functional BizDevOps systems with a top-down approach. The partner can also help -

  • Break down the complexity that comes with DevOps implementation

  • Put together a phased roadmap and plan your investments with maximum ROI.

  • With a constant focus on process improvement, a partner can ensure the processes you embrace at repeatable, consistent, quantitatively managed and optimized with time.

Possible Solutions

Here are two solutions that a specialized partner can curate for you to achieve the best DevOps outcomes:

Discover

With a scientific and proven approach, the partner can

  • Understand the processes and tools being used, and baseline or benchmark your current delivery maturity or capabilities. As  you establish where you are with respect to the industry, and your expectations; putting together a roadmap becomes feasible.

  • Discover (as-is) what tools, processes & cultural best practices different teams are using.

  • Discover (data driven audit) if (and to what degree) your teams are compliant with the laid down regulators and are adhering to the required processes.

  • Furnish organization-level report that covers key pain areas and as-is scores across your Continuous Delivery pipeline i.e. Continuous Development, Continuous Integration, Continuous Testing, Continuous Deployment, Continuous Support, and Continuous Improvement.

  • Provide gap analysis and recommendations needed for DevOps transformation

Define

Once the Discovery of the problem areas and the current state of affairs is done, the next step is to define a plan of action. A partner can help you-  

  • Facilitate workshop to define DevOps goals aligned to your business objectives.

  • Define processes and integrated tools to be used across ALM and ensure automation is aligned to your CD needs

  • Develop a transformation roadmap to accomplish defined ALM and DevOps goals

  • Architect and design ALM/DevOps solution to accomplish your goals

  • Provide budgetary estimates and ROI for the proposed roadmap; effectively enable you to build a business case for your DevOps Initiative.

Factors Affecting the Success of ALM & DevOps

ALM/DevOps provides a robust foundation with standardized processes, unified tools and workflows, and a culture that is needed for application development success.

By bringing together teams from across the software development lifecycle, and bridging departmental silos, ALM/DevOps can bring about a transformation in the way applications are developed and delivered.

Given how critical ALM/DevOps is, it makes total business sense to get a qualified and experienced DevOps partner on board who can provide specialized consulting throughout the DevOps journey. A partner is able to:

  • Provide an independent and objective view to facilitate and drive consensus among conflicting cross functional teams

  • Implement best practice knowledge acquired through years of experience helping clients from similar industries and characteristics.

  • Offer techno-functional expertise on tools, process frameworks, methodologies (e.g. SAFe & ITSM expert with working knowledge on Atlassian tools)

  • Typically bring well-tested tools for diagnosis, assessments, benchmarking, audit etc. in the form of interviews, software utilities, surveys, charts and presentations.

  • Extended support and guidance on Implementation Management so that proposed roadmap gets realized effectively.

Achieve more with a Specialized Consulting Partner

That ALM/DevOps helps IT teams achieve application delivery goals with ease is known to all. What organizations lack is the knowledge of the tools, methodologies, frameworks, processes, best practices to use in order to reach those goals. A long-standing ALM/DevOps partner can offer specialized consulting & Implementation Management in all areas of DevOps: from what tools to use to what workflows to optimize; a partner is all you need to achieve the intended software development outcomes, reduce the impact of risks, and get the maximum return from your DevOps investment.

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