Ask two people the definition of DevOps these days and if you get fewer than five answers, you are doing well. My casual definition of DevOps is “a culture around how software is developed and delivered into production operations.” That does not mean everyone does it the same way. One primary and fundamental characteristic of this is continuous movement (hopefully progress). This means continuous development, testing, deployment, and monitoring.
Where did quality (i.e. Quality Assurance) go? It’s assumed that this is fully embraced within development, but many have not seen it executed as such. Even so, the path forward is clear: Quality practices must adapt to a continuous model, or find themselves left behind. We need to start talking about “Built-in Quality” (BiQ) rather than Quality Assurance (QA). QA is a verification step after the software has been developed. When traditional quality teams start to embrace BiQ as their standard bearer, they will start to see that their traditional function no longer attempts to test quality in, but looks to ensure it is built in all along the development stream.
I have heard about the term EnterpriseOps, and I personally like this. EnterpriseOps, (short for Enterprise Operations), is a comprehensive set of activities and processes within an organization that are focused on efficiently and effectively managing its day-to-day operations, infrastructure, and resources to support its business objectives and ensure smooth functioning systems. Even if you are a startup, you can operate like an Enterprise by using the same sound guiding principles of DevOps. It involves a combination of strategic planning, process optimization, technology adoption, and ongoing monitoring and improvement efforts. The more complex the organization is, the more I think this definition works.
How does built-in quality work within the EnterpriseOps model? 🧐
Is it compatible with Agile software delivery methods & a DevOps culture? Yes! ✅
Below is a list of common traits and how it fits:
- Establishing Quality Standards: Quality standards are frequently defined by agile teams in the form of “Definition of Done” (DoD) or acceptance criteria for user stories and features. These guidelines ensure that the team is on the same page about what defines a completed and high-quality product increment. DevOps teams establish quality requirements for the software they produce, which are frequently expressed as service-level objectives (SLOs) or service-level indicators (SLIs). These standards aid in ensuring that the program satisfies performance and reliability expectations.
- Process Documentation: While Agile approaches prioritize functioning software over detailed documentation, they also advocate the provision of lightweight process documentation to help teams understand how to accomplish tasks consistently. Despite the fact that DevOps stresses automation and code-driven infrastructure, documentation is still necessary for understanding and maintaining infrastructure-as-code (IaC) and configuration management scripts.
- Quality Metrics and KPIs: Agile teams track progress and product quality using a variety of metrics and KPIs. Velocity, burn-down charts, and lead time are examples of common measurements. These indicators assist teams in evaluating their performance and identifying opportunities for development. Metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs) are used by DevOps teams to monitor the performance and stability of their systems. Uptime, response time, and error rates are all common measurements.
- Continuous Monitoring: Agile teams inspect and adapt their work on a regular basis through ceremonies such as Sprint Reviews and Daily Stand-ups. These ceremonies allow teams to track progress and address problems when they develop. DevOps encourages constant monitoring of apps and infrastructure in order to detect and respond to problems in real time. Monitoring tools and techniques are critical components of DevOps.
- Issue Identification: Sprint Retrospectives empower Agile teams to openly identify and discuss concerns. Teams can talk on what worked well, what didn’t, and how they can better in the next iteration. DevOps promotes a “blame-free culture” in which problems are viewed as opportunities for improvement. Incident reviews and post-mortems are popular techniques for identifying and collaboratively addressing issues.
- Corrective and Preventive Actions (CAPA): Continuous improvement is embraced by agile teams. During each Sprint or work cycle, they prioritize addressing issues and improving processes iteratively. DevOps teams take the “fail fast, learn fast” approach. When problems arise, they prioritize speedy resolution and put preventive measures in place to avoid similar problems in the future.
- Process Improvement: Agile’s iterative and incremental methodology promotes process improvement by definition. Teams constantly improve their methods in response to feedback and lessons learned from each Sprint or iteration. DevOps promotes a culture of constant improvement. Teams evaluate their procedures and tools on a regular basis, looking for ways to streamline and improve their delivery pipeline.
- Training and Development: Cross-functional communication and skill development are encouraged in agile teams. Members of a team may cycle jobs to enhance their skill sets, and training is frequently incorporated into the Agile process. DevOps teams frequently spend time cross-training team members to provide them with a broader skill set. This aids in automation, infrastructure management, and other DevOps-related tasks.
- Compliance and Regulatory Adherence: Agile teams can modify their methods to accommodate compliance and regulatory constraints. In their backlogs, they may include compliance-related user stories or tasks. Compliance checks and automated testing can be added to DevOps processes to guarantee that software and infrastructure fulfill regulatory standards.
- Feedback Loop: The relevance of client input is emphasized in agile principles. Agile teams prioritize user feedback to inform product development and ensure that the end product satisfies the needs of the client. DevOps promotes regular feedback loops with stakeholders and operational teams. This feedback is used to enhance both the product and the delivery method..
- Automation and Technology: To improve product quality and decrease manual errors, agile teams use automation technologies for testing, continuous integration, and delivery, which align with quality assurance initiatives. Automation is a fundamental principle of DevOps. Automation tools are used by teams for infrastructure provisioning, testing, deployment, and monitoring, all of which align with quality assurance initiatives.
- Reporting and Communication: Agile techniques place a premium on transparency and communication. Common rituals such as Sprint Reviews ensure teams routinely report to stakeholders on their progress, impediments, and quality indicators. DevOps encourages openness and collaboration. Through channels such as chatops, dashboards, and regular meetings, teams communicate openly about their work, progress, and challenges.
EnterpriseOps is one approach that lays out ways of improving operational efficiency, customer happiness, and overall organizational performance. It does not disregard built-in quality, performance, security, or any other aspect that may have been regarded as less important from a developer-centric standpoint. Quality assurance should be integrated into every stage of the software delivery pipeline, from development through deployment and operations, in a DevOps culture. EnterpriseOps allows for this every step of the way.