DevOps Practices – where have we come from and where next?

Where have we come from?

Our DevOps practices programme has been running for over a year now. During this time we have supported delivering value to users in many areas. In each case sought to guide the team towards making the product automated, reusable and maintainable. As a result of our work users are seeing new products delivered faster, the website is quicker and more sustainable, and teams across HackIT have been exposed to new digital tools for hosting, deployment and testing.

We have demonstrated the financial benefits of a primary cloud supplier, created standards and consistent approaches to development, deployment and automated testing which means we deliver value more quickly to users. We’ve worked across boundaries to do this between infrastructure, apps management, support and development.

We did this deliberately through the medium of specific projects but now we want to take what we’ve done and make it core to everything we do. So far we have been testing and learning and delivering value along the way. We have introduced people to new skills around automation, monitoring, and cloud architecture. We now want to focus on increasing the amount of value we’re delivering to our users and to ourselves. 

Where should we go next?

We held a retrospective with people who have been involved in the projects in the last few years to inform our next steps. There were a number of key themes that came out of it. 

We had worked well in collaboration across teams, we had helped people to learn new skills and try them out. However we needed to provide more structure, a narrower focus and dedicated time for people to really give people the opportunity to embed these new practices as part of their day to day work.

As a result of this we identified some key principles that would help us to find an area where we could narrow, focus and structure our future DevOps work. 

The principles agreed were that future work would: 

  • solve a whole problem
  • intentionally involve people from across teams
  • contribute to work we would need to do anyway
  • be an exemplar of what we mean by DevOps, 
  • incorporate key DevOps functions / principles / ways of working
  • help us to signpost or decide what happens next

What will we do?

We will use these principles to work on an area of technology that a project team of around 10 people could take ownership of. This team will be made up of people from across HackIT. It will be supported by Digi2al and will provide the expertise and structure people need to develop. 

We will be spending the next couple of weeks working out the details of how this will work with the existing HackIT teams. We will write something shortly about the types of people that will be involved in this project. If you have any questions please get in touch.

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