DevOps Calls for New IT Leadership Concepts
Leading in the DevOps era means dropping some old habits in favor of ways that lead to better outcomes in the digital era.
DevOps represents an entirely different way of thinking about IT and demands a different leadership model. It is not simply a way to run software projects.
In the DevOps and Agile world, there are four major areas of interest for CIO concerns. This includes governance, risk management, build versus buy decisions, and enterprise architecture. Contrary to the waterfall development, which was about IT control of project delivery, DevOps involves collaboration across the business organization. So, to achieve business goals, cross-functional teams need to be adopted with both business and technology skills.
The DevOps Perspective
These cross-functional teams can take ownership of the strategic goals and work together to accomplish them while being accountable to each other for the outcomes. This is opposed to passing requirements and product back and forth between IT and the rest of the business. Now, it’s possible to explore diverse approaches, test hypotheses, and invent new ways of doing tasks.
With DevOps, teams can experiment on ideas and receive feedback quickly, as well as put together their plans from the results they get. Instead of being given a set of requirements and a deadline, the team can be charged with an outcome.
Regularly, the four CIO concerns from a DevOps perspective usually appear upside down.
Traditionally, enterprise architecture plays a role of standardizing and constraining. However, that is not the case in an agile world. Because architectures evolve through teamwork, enterprise architecture should play a hands-on role, simplifying reuse and guiding the enterprise to a flexible and agile architecture.
Build Versus Buy:
Conventionally, buying off the shelf seems to be preferred when possible. However, building allows for a more user-centric, quick-feedback, incremental delivery process.
Instead of thinking of risk as something to get rid of or moderate, it just needs to be acknowledged, with a tendency of earning a risk-based return. When it comes to IT leadership, the consequences of agile and DevOps thinking are far-reaching. It is time for IT leaders to take responsibility for business outcomes, rather than being passive recipients of business requirements.
Usually, companies make governance decisions at the granularity of projects or programs. What happens now that execution can be made at the level of single piece flow, fulfilling one requirement at a time?
Governance has gone beyond the formal process of approving project proposals, to generating resources so as to realize business objectives. In a digital world, IT plays the role of providing requirements rather than accepting requirements from the business.
DevOps involves an approach where cross-functional teams engage in a process that utilizes fast-feedback loops and constant adjustment to realize company objectives. The IT team is a part of the business teams, working closely together, discovering better ways to meet enterprise needs.
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