Changing How We Work

Good Samaritans work with Reserve Soldiers in Puerto Rico

I’ve been thinking a lot over the last several months about how my team and I work. This is somewhat about the actual work we do, but more about how we do it. My thinking was prompted by several factors. First, we felt like we were always maxed out on capacity. The metaphorical CPU was always pegged at 100%. As a consequence, we had long cycle times and lots of context switching. Second, much of the time we felt like we were struggling against the system to get work done. It felt harder than it should have been, was draining our energy, and hurting morale. Finally, we didn’t feel like we were collaborating as a team as much as we would like. We were operating in our own silos.

We needed a change.
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We’re Better Together: DevOps, Security, Audit, and Compliance

nomnomnom from Katheirne Hitt
“nomnomnom” by Katheirne Hitt is licensed under CC BY 2.0

I’ve been on a kick recently about how DevOps, security, audit, and compliance all fit together. Spoiler alert: they all do fit together. In fact, we’re better off individually and collectively when we bring security, audit, and compliance into the DevOps tent and treat them like we would any other function that has valuable expertise to contribute to help our organizations win. We’d all benefit from what we can learn from each other.

I wrote about a few ways to do that on Excella’s blog. You can also get more information from a talk I gave a couple months ago on this same topic.

5 Tips for Leading a DevOps Transformation in Your Organization

Red-Green Leaves from Garry Knight
“Red-Green Leaves” by Garry Knight is licensed under CC BY 2.0

I wrote for XebiaLabs on leading a DevOps transformation within your organization. It’s based on a white paper I co-authored with a bunch of really amazing people at Gene Kim’s DevOps Enterprise Forum in 2016. The post covers five simple (but not easy) tips for making progress on adoption of DevOps patterns and practices within your organization. The tips include understanding other people’s goals and the problems they face, identifying a target mindset, and then developing and executing a plan with the most effective tactics.

In retrospect, I’ve been writing a lot for other blogs and less so for myself. Whatever gets the word out and advances the cause, right?

Top 3 Insights from the 2017 State of DevOps Report

2017 State of DevOps Report

The 2017 State of DevOps Reportis out. As in previous years, it provides a lot of information about the state of DevOps within the industry and some of the important factors that differentiate high-performing organizations from their non-high-performing peers. I noted a few highlights from this year’s report: the impact of leadership, the continued misconception about the perceived tradeoff between throughput and stability, and autonomy with teams and architectures.

I wrote about my insights from this year’s report on Excella’s blog.

You can also see my insights from 2015 and 2016.

Book Review: “Out of the Crisis” by W. Edwards Deming

Out of the Crisis book cover

I’ve spent some time around John Willis, one of the thought leaders in the DevOps movement. If you spend any time at all around John, you’re bound to hear him talk about W. Edwards Deming and the idea that Deming laid many of the foundational principles and practices of DevOps. After reading Deming’s book, Out of the Crisis, I have to agree. And now I’m a fan of Deming, too. Not as much as John (just look at his Twitter avatar), but a big fan nonetheless.
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DevOps and Audit Resources

binary and magnifying glass

I’ve heard a lot of questions about DevOps, audit, compliance, and how they all fit together. I’ve fielded more questions from more people recently. In my mind, that means more people are applying DevOps patterns and practices to their work and the work they’re doing is real (as opposed to sandbox, pilot, or “let’s try this stuff out” projects). Why else would they be interested in audit and compliance?

Here are some resources that might be helpful if you’re “doing the DevOps” and interested in making audit and compliance efforts go more smoothly.
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