It is difficult enough to answer questions like What is DevOps? without encountering the misguided myths put forward to block the path of progress. Left unattended in your organisation myths can spread like a virus, raising doubts and stalling change momentum.
Just as DevOps has evolved since the term was first coined in 2011, so too do the myths: gone are the fairytales that DevOps only works for start-ups/cloud deploy, or it does not work with legacy, or it means no-ops. Today there is a new generation of myths. These are more subtle, taking a seed of truth and tying it up in a knot of negative disinformation. This blog helps to dispel the myths to keep your DevOps initiative on track.
DevOps means IT has to re-organise
This myth confuses team organization with organization structure. IT does not have to re-organise because it is possible to have line managers who manage your career and task managers who manage a team that delivers a service.
DevOps and IT outsourcing wont work
Yes, it is more efficient to have DevOps insourced but outsourcing Dev and/or Ops works perfectly well, as Syngenta demonstrated at DOES 2019. The most pertinent question is: is the business able to consume services at the rate IT can deliver them?
There is only one single right way to do DevOps
This myth stems from old school business and IT management – namely the top-down approach where the top tells everyone how things work at lower levels of the organization. This negates the advantages of an empowered team which is required for successful DevOps implementation. To be clear – DevOps is a framework and each company can plot their own path. We do offer basic training for those that want to explore best practice and initiate change with a third party.
It’s just about (open source) tools … and it wont work with existing tools…
These myths are fathered by the ‘it’s just tools’ myth when it is clear that culture is the most significant factor in any DevOps journey. If your existing tools are sufficiently open and integrat-able via APIs then you do not need to replace them. And you can integrate older tools with new tools as required where there are gaps. If, however, existing tools are propagating silos, thereby restricting data flow from right to left and vice versa you will need to replace them. We work closely with the Atlassian toolset – there are over 5,000 add-ons and they publish their cloud API’s as microservices on their Forge platform.
The ‘open source’ or not element of this has been superceded by the emergence of licensable editions of commonly used open source tools such as Jenkins and Puppet. There is nothing wrong with using open source but some organisations can get nervous about using tools where support is not guaranteed within a defined SLA.
Lean and DevOps are not related
DevOps theory is founded in lean yet this myth originates with people who see lean as applying only to manufacturing processes… not software delivery. Lean says remove waste from processes and DevOps says remove manual tasks from processes. It is recommended to use Value Stream Mapping on all SDLC processes in advance of automation.
DevOps and Agile are different things
Agile is often regarded in too small a sphere. As such, this myth stems from IT Operations teams observations of SCRUM teams building software in an Agile fashion and concluding this cannot apply to them. DevOps adds value because it improves Agile software delivery. Agile will also works for HR, Marketing, Finance etc as a set of simplified yet rigorous ways of breaking down tasks into smaller measurable units of work.
Agile ways of working can be applied to IT Operations irrespective of whether the software is built using an Agile methodology or not. Several organisations we have engaged started their DevOps journey in Operations before they considered developing in sprints.
DevOps cannot work with ITIL.
This myth stems from a person’s fear that their accreditation will no longer hold value in a DevOps world. However, ITIL holds even more value as organizations increase the rate at which features are delivered and our Jira Service Management Solutions facilitate this. More features equates to more end users engaging the delivered software and the ensuing potential for more bugs which need to be repaired at pace.
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