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5 DevOps Pitfalls and How To Avoid Them

11/30/2015 by: The SunView Team

Plenty can go wrong when making a transition to DevOps processes, but that isn't a good reason to avoid the move. Just about any technology strategy presents organizations with ample opportunities for disaster, but effective management and strategic planning goes a long way in minimizing risk and establishing a framework for success. Of course, it always helps to have an understanding of what can go wrong so you can be intentional about avoiding problems. Five common DevOps pitfalls include:

1. Leaning too Hard on Devs
Many developers are terrified about the very idea of being put in a DevOps environment because they are worried that they will be asked to carry the entire operational burden. Think of it from their perspective; they work tirelessly to create a new app and it doesn't quite work well in the production environment but instead of having the ops team adjust the configuration, they just send the app back to the Devs and say, "rewrite this code to solve our compatibility challenges."

This kind of dialogue is the worst-case scenario of a DevOps setup. It means that your Devs are carrying the brunt of the work and that your team lacks an effective framework. You must clearly establish expectations for each job role at your DevOps project's outset and ensure that your employees are positioned to live up to those requirements. No one team should have to carry the majority of the burden.

2. Neglecting Collaboration Tools
Cross-disciplinary teams can only work as effectively as they can collaborate. If individuals lack the tools to talk naturally and solve problems, your DevOps plan will quickly fall apart as employees never develop methods to support one another.

Advanced IT service management solutions that feature built-in collaboration features are invaluable in this area. If you are expecting workers to operate in one application and go out to another to interact, you won't usually get the results you need. Collaboration should be built into operations.

3. Failing to Clarify Expectations
Everybody in a DevOps team must know their exact role and how they are expected to live up to that operational requirement. Anything less can leave your workers struggling to figure out how they fit into the process, increasing stress. Furthermore, the many unconventional elements of DevOps make it an inherently intimidating framework for many IT teams. If your employees don't understand their role, they'll be worried about their ability to keep their job. If they know what's expected of them and are assured that they have the right skills, they can step forward with confidence.

4. Pushing Automation to the Back Burner
DevOps depends on having your entire team collaborate and perform critical analysis of the tasks at hand so you are constantly finding the best solutions to problems, not just filling in gaps in the hopes that something better comes along later. Supporting this high-thinking environment is impossible if employees are spending most of their time dealing with tedious manual processes that don't engage their skills. Automation is essential to fueling DevOps success, and advanced ITSM tools let you create scripts and workflows that drive innovation.

5. Expecting Immediate Change
Any successful DevOps plan will focus on cultural change that extends out to operational adjustments. You can't shift your culture overnight, as employees need time to get used to new requirements and expectations. If you make a big deal out of DevOps, enact a bunch of new strategies and then let the energy dissipate because you aren't getting immediate results, you are undermining the migration. You must continue to encourage workers to keep the momentum over time, as it can take a while for the many changes that come with DevOps to take hold.

DevOps is a fairly revolutionary technological trend. As such, you need to be careful to avoid pitfalls and be strategic about fine tuning your operations around its demands.

| DevOps / Change Management