Don’t go ask for permission; just do the right thing for your company

While in Peru for DevDays LATAM 2016 I was asked if I had witnessed any DevOps anti-patterns. The first thing that came to mind was employees asking for permission to do the right thing for their company. Many customers meet with me and ask how they can convince their CIO or CEO that Agile and DevOps are good things. I simply tell them stop trying. Words will never convey the power and benefits of a well-run agile team or a mature DevOps pipeline. However, results will. Stop asking for permission to do the right thing for your company. Just start doing it today. If you do not have a continuous integration build, just create one. If you do not have a unit test for the code you just wrote, write one!

EmbracePut yourself in their shoes. Many of these people are leading very successful businesses that have become giants in their industry without Agile or DevOps. So why would they fix what they believe is not broken? To them, things are great and they are driving on the highway of success with clear road ahead. What they are failing to realize is those faint lights in their rearview mirror are their competition that is racing to catch them. Yes, today they are not a threat, but they are travelling so fast to catch up that by the time they pass you and you finally realize how fast they are going, there is no keeping up with them. They completely disrupt your industry like Amazon did for shopping and Uber did for transportation. Either embrace DevOps or lose to your competition that does.

Our customers are demanding constant innovation which can only be achieved with automation. If you fail to deliver what your customers desire they become someone else’s customers. It is much easier to keep a customer than to reclaim one you have lost.

Nothing ends a debate quicker than results. Deliver faster with higher quality. Only when your CIO or CEO asks how you did that do you explain Agile and DevOps to them. Not before.

Comments (1) -

  • Robb Schiefer (@chief7)

    5/6/2016 11:07:38 AM | Reply

    Great post!  Couple of thoughts:

    I've seen many organizations as well that are not at the top of their game and are struggling to remain relevant in their industry against steep competition.  In this situation many managers don't want to "waste time" on improving the process.  They don't believe its won't be worth a BIG investment with questionable ROI.  

    I believe the key to either situation is taking an incremental approach to DevOps/ContinuousDelivery.  Find small experiments that won't require huge investment and shoot for small wins.  Over time those will snowball into big improvements to the process.  You don't have to ask upper management for small amounts of time to invest just do it and then (if warranted) advertise the results.

    The anti-pattern I see for many starting their DevOps/CD journey is they start with tool evaluations to solve ALL their problems and feel like they have to define a complete plan for all aspects of DevOps before they can start making actual changes.  They almost never get it right the first time and are just deferring improvement. Start simple with tools you already have and focus more on people/process.

    I recently blogged about implementing CD incrementally, check it out at

    Would love to hear your thoughts on this.

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