Is Visibility the DevOps Magic Bullet?

DevOps is an area defined by aspiration – there’s a better way of doing things, it suggests, a path to faster software delivery, better results, more efficient processes and higher levels of productivity. The potential is there, but as we cover in our report Driving Value Through Visibility, the path to success is beset by challenges. Not least:

  • Siloed teams
  • Complex architectures and legacy constraints
  • Complicated and challenging compliance issues
  • Communications issues internally

These challenges can stymie development efforts, diminish potential value and negatively shape the view of development projects internally. It’s not just traditional enterprises that can suffer: younger, and reputedly ‘agile’ organizations can hit similar challenges when they attempt to scale.

At least part of the answer, in our experience, comes down to visibility (or, as somebody once said, “if you can’t measure, you can’t manage”. Building on themes we have been developing across our DevOps report series, visibility needs to be end-to-end, across the pipeline from development and into operations. This gives management the information they need to prioritize and plan; it helps teams identify bottlenecks in development; and it offers wider understanding of ongoing innovation projects, and their value across the organization.

As we discuss in our Key Criteria report, end-to-end visibility is a key element of Value Stream Management, which enables value creation across a process, helping deliver on the goals of DevOps, such as efficiency, improved time to value and so on. Not only this but it helps shift the mindset of an organization from project- to product-based thinking, effectively focussing on the outcomes for the customers, not the needs of the project.

As organizations look to scale their practices, they need to increase visibility within their organization in parallel with their processes becoming more complex. So, while there may be no such thing as a magic bullet (not in this industry at least), visibility helps decision-makers know which way to aim.

To read the full report, click here.