Teams are constantly asked to do more with less, and engineering teams are no exception. Every team needs engineering resources to meet its goals, leaving engineering scrambling even more to meet their own goals.
Many organizations are approaching this challenge by creating DevOps teams that combine developers (or engineers) with operations (IT) teams for stronger collaboration, with the end goal of streamlining the software development lifecycle. Automating repetitive, manual tasks is key to delivering high-quality features and products to customers.
Here’s how DevOps automation can give engineering teams back the resources they need to unleash their creativity and do their best, most efficient work – ultimately shortening release cycles and positively impacting sales.
It seems every year, teams are asked to do more with less: less time, a smaller budget, fewer team members. If engineering teams, in particular, are strapped for resources, they cannot deliver updates on features and products on the timelines other teams expect from them. Software development lifecycles become longer, with target release dates getting missed repeatedly.
Sales and customer success teams use upcoming product releases and feature updates to help cement deals and retain customers. If those promises are broken, customers are likely to be unhappy and strain is placed on the business relationship. If it happens often enough, customers churn, negatively impacting revenue.
Teams need to be proactive about this challenge rather than reactive. One place to make changes? Seeing what time-consuming, manual tasks can be automated to free engineering team members up to do the exciting, challenging, deep work they were hired to do. Enter DevOps automation.
DevOps isn’t just about putting every engineer on a team together and asking them to work together; it’s about an internal cultural shift emphasizing principles of collaboration, automation, continuous improvement, and integrating feedback from the end user to create a more efficient cycle.
The key is that the organization needs to have buy-in before DevOps principles are adopted and applied. They won’t have maximum impact if they’re only adopted and applied to the engineering team, though it makes sense to start there.
To be successful, be sure your team:
The goal is to make everything more efficient without overwhelming it.
One of the challenges organizations face is bottlenecks; projects get slowed down when teams have inefficient systems in place for communication and collaboration. Implementing DevOps principles, processes, and tools is one approach to solving this problem.
This can look several different ways in practice. Customer-facing roles might be collecting feedback from customers about products and features, for example, but without having a designated place for that feedback to go, how will engineers ever see it to address it?
That feedback must also be filtered and curated so the right engineering team members see it. The team members responsible for fixing bugs should see those tickets, while those working on the product roadmap should see feedback about how customers use products. If everyone sees everything, it quickly becomes too noisy to be helpful.
One way to reduce this kind of potential information overload and communication bottleneck is incorporating DevOps automation to get this feedback efficiently filtered and delivered to the right team members so they can act on it.
More efficient teams can reduce development lifecycles, hit roadmap targets, keep customers happy, and give sales and customer success teams more to work with on their deals. Product teams can build out more reliable product roadmaps. All of this leads to better customer retention, upsells, and bringing in new customers – all positively impacting revenue.
That’s the why. Next up is the how.
Automation is a critical part of building a successful DevOps team. The first step is to take stock of current workflows and your current tech stack by asking:
You don’t want to automate everything all at once; pick a few processes to start, focusing on repetitive, manual tasks to give software developers back their time. This way, they can do more creative, strategic work that will have a bigger impact on the business and, ultimately sales.
You don’t want to have to overhaul your tech stack and dev ops automation every few years, either. A one-time fix to realign and set everyone on for success is preferred to requiring ongoing resources to keep everyone on the same page.
Be sure to compare the best DevOps automation tools available and choose what’s right for your team now and as you scale. A cheaper, simpler option might make sense for where your team is, but the savings are a waste if you have to start the entire process again in six more months.
Crucially, you also want any technology you’re investing in for DevOps automation to integrate with other teams' tech. The principle of collaboration in DevOps applies to engineering and all the other teams they work with. To work efficiently, the entire organization must operate as seamlessly as possible.
To properly implement DevOps automation in your organization – and benefit from it in terms of increased efficiency – you need to understand its operating principles in more detail and apply them beyond the DevOps team.
Adopting the mindset organization-wide and getting stakeholder buy-in are two crucial steps before investing in the necessary tech and tools. Be sure to emphasize the problems this shift will address and back everything up with data where possible.
There are multiple ways to break down the key principles and practices of DevOps, but the biggest pieces to know include:
By implementing these automated processes, practices, and principles across an organization, you can shorten software development lifecycles, improve customer satisfaction, and respond more efficiently to shifts in market demand. All of these factors have you poised to increase sales.
If you’re starting small with DevOps adoption in your organization, starting with your development teams and measuring the results before moving to other teams makes sense. Done right, here’s what you can hope to see:
These principles and practices make engineering teams more efficient, allowing them to deliver high-quality software on improved timescales. That allows your organization to stay competitive in the constantly shifting tech landscape.
The ultimate goal of reorganizing your organization using DevOps principles and practices is to increase efficiency to increase revenue. While many of the measurements are more indirect, it can be done – especially if you have your baseline measurements before you begin.
To see the impact of DevOps automation on revenue, consider the following:
Your organization can use a combination of quantitative metrics like time-to-market, customer satisfaction scores, churn rates, revenue growth, and qualitative feedback from customer-facing teams to measure impact.
Customer feedback on user experience and existing pain points should be regularly incorporated into product development cycles. Gather this information from regular surveys, customer interviews, and sales performance data.
DevOps automation principles and practices – implemented thoughtfully – can give engineering teams the resources they need to unleash their creativity and do their best, most efficient work. Applied across your entire organization, they can improve collaboration and alignment, resulting in improved revenue.
It’s how you can actually do more, with less.
Take a closer look
The all-new Zentitle2 is the leading Enterprise-Class Monetization Platform for Software, SaaS and IoTPlatform Overview →
Sign-up for our Newsletter and never miss a post again!