3 Risks of Not Enough Time or Money for DevOps Transformations

The DevOps movement is taking off and many organizations are embarking on their own DevOps transformation. Just look at the talks from the DevOps Enterprise Summit and the latest State of DevOps Report for evidence of this. I’ve had people ask me, “What happens if I don’t devote enough time and money to our DevOps transformation?” Great question. We’re asked to justify budgets and priorities all the time so we need to have good answers. I’ll give you a few answers that might resonate with you.

1. Change won’t happen, and if it does, it won’t stick.
Change is hard and organizational inertia is tough to overcome. Newton’s First Law states an object at rest tends to stay at rest unless acted upon by an outside force. And his Third Law states for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. What is true for objects is also true for organizations. Without the needed time and resources to put the “oomph” behind a DevOps transformation and combat the pushback you’ll inevitably experience, organizational behavior won’t change or sustain any change that does happen. You’ll waste precious time and resources and what’s worse, you’ll make any future efforts even harder because people will have a bad taste in their mouth from the failed one.
2. You won’t win.
Whatever “winning” means to your organization, it won’t happen. Your competitors are going through DevOps transformations of their own and if their ability to absorb change and improve is faster than yours, they’ll win and you won’t. If you took an honest assessment of where your organization stands relative to your competitors, are you at the top of the food chain? Is everybody gunning for you and aspiring to be more like you? If not, you have some work to do. And if you are lucky enough to be the top dog, you probably want to maintain that position. To paraphrase W. Edwards Deming, DevOps is not compulsory… neither is survival.
3. You’ll live to regret it.
DevOps is in the mainstream. Clearly not every organization is a high performer, though. What’s the difference? I heard Gene Kim relay a statement from one of his mentors, “In ten years, everyone will get this. Right now, you just have to qualify better.” Not to be overly dramatic, but your choice is to get on board now as a leader for your organization or eventually get replaced by someone who is. DevOps is happening. Do you want to be the person who makes it happen for your organization? Or will you let it happen to you?

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