In the new paradigm, managers take on more of a “servant leadership” model, Kern advises. There are ways to move from an operational manager to a transformational leader.
“The biggest mistake that I see companies making is confusing doing a process with being agile,” Kern said. “Be humble. The successes come when the soil is fertile for allowing agile and ‘DevOpsy’ things to take place. It’s OK to fail. Be able to do experiments. Don’t be too cocky about it.”
He said it’s all about constantly learning, adapting, changing and growing – and being inquisitive enough to question what isn’t working and to do it better.
“It’s very challenging to be agile in that you have to constantly evaluate what you’re doing,” Kern said. “So it’s not easy to relax.”
But when done right, you deliver business value. Products get better, service gets faster and customer needs are met more effectively. At the same time, the teams are happier and more energized.
The Right Mindset
When an organization successfully lives the DevOps culture, transformation takes place because the top executives support employees. They support the innovative spirit of a team that tries to emerge and do something better for the business, said Kern. And teams are integrated and transparent.
“DevOps got its name because its original focus was breaking the organizational silo between technology development teams and operations,” said Zucker.
It’s made such an impact that phrases like DevSecOps, BusDevSecOps, BusDataSecOps and DevNetOps have now started creeping into the vernacular.
“These monikers explicitly recognize that organizational silos and poor collaboration exist all along the value-delivery stream,” Zucker said.
He said companies must learn to create cultures where best practices, tools, knowledge and patterns are broadly shared throughout the organization.
This spirit of collaboration is one of the guiding principles highlighted by the Agile Manifesto, which states that “business people and developers must work together daily throughout the project.” The philosophy is just as relevant today as it was 19 years ago, according to [Kern].
“The primary essence of software development is captured in the Agile Manifesto,” said Kern, humbly. He added that much like the Declaration of Independence captured the essence of human freedoms, the Agile Manifesto doesn’t need to change.
“It magically nailed something that we had no intention of. We didn’t get together thinking this could happen. We just decided to publish it. It resonated. It hit a nerve.”