DevOps Working Group
What is DevOps? An approach? A tool? A role? Many government IT leaders find themselves being pushed towards DevOps but have not had a chance to truly understand its benefits, or how to best leverage it as a tool to drive IT value optimization within their agency.
DevOps is the combination of cultural philosophies, practices, and tools that increases an organization’s ability to deliver IT applications and services at high velocity: evolving and improving products at a faster pace than organizations using traditional software development and infrastructure management processes. “This speed enables organizations to better serve their customers and compete more effectively in the market.” (Source)
ACT-IAC created the DevOps Working Group to identify and explore the culture, practice, and tools needed to increase the government's ability to deliver applications and services at a faster pace than using traditional software development and infrastructure management processes. This speed will enable the government to better serve their customers and fulfill their mission.
The current government DevOps culture adoption is in its early phase of the maturity journey and mostly focused on solving IT problems without a feedback loop with business needs and outcomes or focused on a single IT capability (e.g. Development is Agile but Deployments are Waterfall). As a result, many efforts are becoming stagnated, or suffering from major cultural setbacks that inhibit delivery of value. Continuous Integration / Continuous Delivery(CI/CD) capabilities/tools can help agencies deliver code into production faster, but if that code does not deliver the value to the business the increased velocity achieved CI/CD becomes irrelevant. It is important to review existing processes, value streams and organizational alignment to remove bottlenecks to value delivery, which can be considered independent of product delivery.
In FY20, the DevOps Working Group developed DevOps Primer, which provides :
- Terminology and basic concepts.
- Case studies highlighting where agencies are in their DevOps adoption and implementation journey. It is a collection of lessons learned and ideas for how committed IT professionals can persist through the challenges and make progress.
- A Maturity Model with stages of advancement which organizations can use to move toward a state of continuous improvement.
- Recommendations from government and industry leaders to advance the DevOps journey.
However, answers to some of the key questions (see Appendix) regarding success/failure stories, which may inform agencies on best practices are still open.
FY21 Goal #1:
Expand the Primer with success stories/lessons learned focused on “How” agencies can tackle DevOps adoption through focus on the DevOps Value Proposition: Deliver Highest Value Faster. The Working Group will meet regularly to conduct interviews of Government and Industry teams who volunteer to provide their DevOps success/failure stories.
FY21 Goal #2: Continuous improvement for group via continuous learning
Create learning opportunities for the group to expand its internal DevOps knowledge and understanding through sharing of concepts, ideas, and experiences in individual learning sessions led by group members. This would expand our community of practice and establish opportunities for members to expand their personal networks and DevOps skill sets. The group will create a marketplace of needs, listing key areas of interest that individual members would like to learn more about. Once a month, the group will create opportunities for members with experience and expertise on these topics to present and share their knowledge with the group.