There is a myriad of tools available at our disposal. From application monitoring and Selenium testing to sequel databases, everything from a financial institution’s new payment management system to a product launch can be executed with the latest tech on the market.
But at some point, we need to stop talking about technology and tools and start talking about something that still holds many companies back: the layer of culture and collaboration that is needed for DevOps to flourish.
The Effect of a Dysfunctional Team
Being on a dysfunctional team has a huge ripple effect. Not only does it inhibit your team from reaching its goals, but it also trickles into the personal lives of team members. This dysfunction bleeds into the products you are building and it stops you from creating world-class solutions in your market.
Help Your Team Produce the Best Work of Their Lives
Focusing on building teams that enable people to do the best work of their lives is the foundation that you should be paying the most attention to. Start with creating a culture of collaboration, build on the tools that you need, and from there you can create really great products.
To do this, you need to check the health levels of your DevOps team periodically, which can be after every sprint, after every month or quarterly.
Your DevOps Health Check
Some of the attributes that team members should rate the entire team on during your DevOps health check include:
Team leadership – was the team led by someone with a clear vision and strategy?
Balanced team – did you have the right skills in the right roles, or were there instances where someone was forced into a role that they didn’t have the right training for?
Service mandate – did the team understand the service they were providing and the expectations on what was to be delivered?
Service levels – did the team understand the expectations and did they communicate that to other parts of the business internally?
Customer centricity – did the team understand what the customer wanted and did they have information about customer needs?
Tools and processes – did the team have the right tools and did they operationalize the usage of the tools in the right way? Could they communicate with each other effectively?
Effective partnerships – were team members empowered to partner with the right stakeholders throughout the project?
Reporting and analytics – was the right data and insights available as feedback?
This type of DevOps health check should be discussed in detail. Gaining feedback from team members about what worked and what didn’t can give you the business intelligence you need to hone in on areas that need to be improved.
What to Do About Dysfunctional Elements in Your Team
If team members’ feedback points to a problem in service levels, you can delve into what caused frustration in this area. It could be that the support team didn’t receive advance notice of a new product feature that was being launched and that they weren’t prepared for the influx of ticket volumes.
In this scenario, the support team lead may not have been able to prep his team, which led to the team being ineffective in meeting their goal of being able to service customers effectively. Instead of sorting out a customer’s problem, they had to resort to going back to developers for feedback (which they should have been given upfront).
Other types of feedback could be from your Ops team, who may have felt that they didn’t have enough input into the development of the product and as a result, the product doesn’t scale well or perform as well as it should, which is contributing to the Ops team’s frustration.
Broken Processes Lead to Lost Employees
Many times, companies have stressed out developers who are trying to code very fast, Ops teams who take the brunt of a failure when a product is launched to customers, and a support team that wants to be empowered to better service customers they are talking to.
This points to a breakdown in processes. Left unsolved, these are problems that will lead your employees to go work for your competition.
If these issues are brought to light after a sprint or a product launch, continually checked and improved upon, your team members will be productive and more fulfilled with their jobs. The DevOps health check process will also highlight issues in any of the key attribute areas that may arise so that it can be fixed before the next sprint or project.
If you have a large, Agile organization with cross-functional teams, then you need a health monitor to show you how your team is performing over a period of time. This way, you can create the culture of collaboration that your team needs to flourish.