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Surviving DevOps: bringing everyone along on the transformation journey

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Surviving DevOps: bringing everyone along on the transformation journey

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DevOps is about reskilling yourself and others in this new IT age.
Through DevOps improvement we transform the way we work.  DevOps provides the approach to improving our way of working, and the navigational stars to steer by (the unicorn exemplars to aspire to).

Such transformation is essential to make people's lives better.  So be careful our attempts doesn't make  people's lives worse, or damage the culture of the organisation.

Let's ensure we lift everyone, or at least as many people as we can.  We can make life better, the results better, and  customer satisfaction better.

DevOps is about reskilling yourself and others in this new IT age.
Through DevOps improvement we transform the way we work.  DevOps provides the approach to improving our way of working, and the navigational stars to steer by (the unicorn exemplars to aspire to).

Such transformation is essential to make people's lives better.  So be careful our attempts doesn't make  people's lives worse, or damage the culture of the organisation.

Let's ensure we lift everyone, or at least as many people as we can.  We can make life better, the results better, and  customer satisfaction better.

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Surviving DevOps: bringing everyone along on the transformation journey

  1. 1. Surviving DevOps No-one left behind v3
  2. 2. Feedback from transformation  NZ Ministry of Social Development  Westpac New Zealand  The Walt Disney Company  CSG International
  3. 3. Moving on Our work is changing
  4. 4. Moving on  All of us must continually refresh our careers.  Learning to move with the times, pick the wave, continually grow. Steam engine driver Typist Telephonist Assembler programmer DBA Sysprog Webdeveloper Computer operator
  5. 5. Questions to get people moving 1. Will your work be better in a year? Better results? Better enjoyment? 2. Are you working sustainably? Can you keep working the way you are indefinitely without accruing technical or cultural debt? 3. Does IT deliver value faster than the business is ready for it? Or is IT a constraint? 4. What does a great day at work look like? 5. How would your behaviour change when you trust me or someone else?
  6. 6. What’s in it for me  A better life  Pride in results  More respect  More predictability  Normal work hours  Treated like a grownup  Personal growth  New things to learn  Better culture  New ways of working  Job opportunity  Align with the future
  7. 7. Exemplars  Hire in, parachute in.  Get expertise and seed it into teams.  Or move exemplary people from an ace team to a beginner one  Hold up exemplars as models.  Performance review people against exemplars working near them.
  8. 8. Leadership  A new leader can change an organisation drastically within a year.  Negative change is easier than positive: entropy, tear down vs build.  Empower teams to devise change. You can’t provide a packaged answer  Reorg when teams tell you to, crowdsource change.
  9. 9. Nudge  New tools as a driver for change  Management decree  Expose people to other worlds, create disaffection, pull for change  Deep-ending: push them in the pool  Change the policy and rules, and the related measurements  Formal re-organisation to destabilise resistance Run to the fire - Meg Whitman, HP
  10. 10. Bringing them along  No-one under the bus
  11. 11. Patience  Human rate of change  Normal distribution  Embrace diversity Innovators 3% Early Adopters 12% Early Majority 35% Late Majority 35% Conservative 15% Time to Adopt New Ideas or Technology Critical Mass
  12. 12. Evolution not revolution  Iterative  Exploratory  Incremental If you have to reboot it is an order of magnitude harder - Jason Cox, Disney
  13. 13. On the bus Change has to be pulled not pushed - Dawie Oliver, Westpac  Modulate the level of disruption.  Don’t get ahead of the teams.  Give them space and time.  Circle back constantly, Check in with teams, MBWA.  Check your passion.
  14. 14. Anger Shock Denial Anger Resistance Resignation Exploration Acceptance Building CommitmentStatus Quo Time MoraleandCompetence Kubler-Ross
  15. 15. People blossom  Permission, empowerment  It is ok to experiment, to fail, to take initiative, to lead.  Victims of the system  Unreasonable systems create unreasonable people  What are they like outside work?
  16. 16. Duty of care  As few people left behind as possible.  5%-20% don’t make it.  Management’s role is to coach, develop, offer opportunities.  Don’t lose valuable skills and knowledge.  People are on the bus or off the bus, but don't let anyone go under the bus.  Identify, support and welcome those who don't want to come along.  Make their exit graceful.  Ensure enough cultural change programmes and staff training.  Ensure inclusion and investment. Make work safe and healthy Eliminate chaos - Scott Prugh, CSG
  17. 17. Surviving DevOps  Work is always moving on.  Make sure no-one goes under the bus.  Let people blossom. DevOps doesn't enable just learning, but also joy. - Gene Kim
  18. 18. Some questions  How do you keep hope alive until an organisation feels ready to change?  What are the best patterns/models for the transformation engine (the system that drives the culture change)? rob.england@twohills.co.nz @theitskeptic Images copyright CanStockPhoto.com© Two Hills Ltd

Editor's Notes

  • © Two Hills Ltd 2017
    Created and published by Two Hills
    letterbox@twohills.co.nz
    www.twohills.co.nz
    PO Box 57-150, Mana
    Porirua 5247
    New Zealand

    licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
    Content must be attributed to "© Copyright Two Hills Ltd www.twohills.co.nz”

    Images copyright CanStockPhoto.com
  • reskilling yourself and others in this new age.
    In this improvement we transform the way we work.  DevOps provides the approach to improving our way of working, and the navigational stars to steer by (the unicorn exemplars to aspire to).
    Such transformation is essential to make people's lives better.  So be careful our attempts doesn't make  people's lives worse, or worse still damage the culture of the organisation.
    Let's ensure we lift everyone, or at least as many people as we can.  We can make life better, the results better, and  customer satisfaction better.

    David Habershon
    Dawie Oliver
    Jason Cox
    Scott Prugh

    And my own personal journey
  • Generations ago, the career ambitions of an intelligent and ambitious geeky young man (we’re talking pre-women’s–lib) might well have included such demanding and technically advanced professions as steam engine driver or typist or telephone operator.  The technically inclined among their children and grandchildren aspired to be business machine mechanics, electricians, and then computer operators.  A generation ago, leading edge roles for young persons included programmer, or – for the elite – systems programmer or database administrator.  Then it was network administrator or communications architect or web designer.
    The relentless advance of the technological revolution over centuries creates an interesting phenomenon in the technical professions that doesn’t happen (at least as markedly) to other professional areas such as law or finance or even medicine: jobs become commoditised.
    In part this is because they become semi-automated, or at least the interfaces become easier to learn and use.  Database administration is not the arcane art it was with say IMS[1] or IDMS[2] [you kids go look them up].  Even Oracle is easier to run… slightly.  Anjd MS-SQL is a doddle, comparatively.
    At least as important is that the technical sophistication of each generation of workers stands on the shoulders of those who came before.  A typewriter isn’t any easier to use today than when first invented.  Word processing is much more complex and intellectually demanding than hammering away at mechanical keys.  Yet my son was using  MS-Word at age 6.
    The third factor at work is that elite specialist technical professions hide their IP behind a shroud of mystery and jargon.  They maintain a Masonic priesthood.  Only the invited get the training.  Over time this gets stripped away as the knowledge is taught in mainstream education.  Think MCSE.
    Fourth and last is that some jobs just fall from prominence as they get displaced by new technology: think CICS programmer.  Yes I know the few that remain command high prices but this is a market aberration because too many dismissed it too early and the IBM mainframe stubbornly refuses to die (might be something to do with the way it continues to offer efficient, effective, robust processing of transactions year on year).  CICS programming is probably not a smart career choice, and eventually the occupation’s value will fall to zero.
    There is a great risk exposure here for technical people.  One day you are the highly-paid hero.  Then your kids go to school, you build a new house, you change companies a couple of times… and you turn around one day and the salaries are falling as every kid out of college can do your job.
    This is a particular danger for those who launch out as consultants based on an extremely marketable skill.  That is fine if you are five years from retirement.  It is not so fine if you are young.
    The smart ones reinvent themselves.   They watch the trends, sniff the winds of change.  They take the opportunities that come along to learn new skills in the right directions.  They jump from the downhill side of one occupation’s lifecycle to the upward rise of another’s.
    So keep a weather-eye on your chosen occupation.  Have a plan for your career.  Make sure that plan doesn’t assume the value of your current skills will continue to increase, or even hold the same level.  Advanced technical jobs eventually become commoditised.

    [1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Information_Management_System
    [2] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IDMS
  • Questions
    Will your work be better in a year?  Better results? Better enjoyment?
    Are you working sustainably?  Can you keep working the way  you are indefinitely without accruing technical or cultural debt?
    Does IT deliver value faster than the business is ready for it?  Or is IT a constraint?
    If not, you need to be continually improving, as an individual, a team, and an enterprise. So
    What does a great day at work look like?
    How would your behaviour change when you trust me or someone else?
  • There are times when people need a push.
    Judicious use of
    New tools as a driver for change
    Management decree
    Expose people to other worlds, create disaffection, pull for change
    Deep-ending: push them in the pool
    Change the policy and rules, and the related measurements
    Formal re-organisation to destabilise resistance
    Make sure it is judicious: apply the nudge only at times when minimal intervention will have maximal impact.
    Intervene: engage with nay-sayers, work with problem people.  “Run to the fire” - Meg Whitman, HP
    Give them opportunity, hear their story, empower them,.
  • Change at a human rate.
    There is a need for management and change agents to be cognisant of the human rate of change: it is measured in years.
    It takes a year to see early results.
    The normal distribution: People change at different rates
    Some people need time to process and absorb new ideas.
    Some people can imagine, others need to see and touch it.
    That's ok: embrace diversity.  Welcome those conservatives who put a brake on some of our wilder ideas, and who stress test all of them.  Good ideas grow stronger when challenged: forge them in fire.
    In legacy organisations we have opportunities for conservative staff to have time to change.  Legacy systems and ways of working remain in parts of the enterprise for a while
    Give people time to understand and to choose to change.  At least a couple of months.  Some people need years.  Some don’t get it until after they leave.
  • The irony of taking a big-bang, one-shot approach to Agile transformation seems lost on some people.  Iterate, increment, explore, experiment.
    There are times when the organisation needs a nudge, when a JFDI (Just Do It) approach is required,.
    But in general we should move incrementally forward, learning and adjusting as we go.  Anyone who says they can design, plan and predict large scale organisational change in advance is delusional.  We’re not psychic.
    Formal reorganisation is something we especially shouldn't rush into.  Separate the formal structured frontage work structures: use virtual teams, secondment, and other collaborative mechanisms to experiment with new ways of working before making any formal changes.  
    Make change as gradual as possible so as not to disrupt culture (unless it needs disrupting).
  • Modulate the level of disruption, don’t get ahead of the teams.
    Give them space and time.
    Circle back constantly to pick up those falling behind, and if necessary slow programs down to let them catch up.  Check in with teams, MBWA. It is easy for a few early adopters to get all fired up and race off in the bus.
    Constantly circle back to ensure people are coming along
    Check your passion.  Don’t go full steam ahead. Don’t read into other people your own level of understanding.
  • Hostility is a good thing.   Welcome it.  Passive aggression is far more worrying a signal.  Once someone engages emotionally with you, even if negatively, they are on the journey to positive engagement.  They have moved from zero engagement.  Remember models such as Kubler-Ross:
  • Empowered people blossom.  let them know it is ok to experiment, to fail, to take initiative, to lead.  Many people are "victims of the system": they behave the way they do because of the unreasonable position they are put in: if you put people in an unreasonable system you will get unreasonable people. What are they like outside work?  Maybe they are not being their authentic selves at work.  Change the system, change the mood.
  • The enterprise has a duty of care for its staff: to ensure as few people are left behind as possible.  It seems like 5%-20% don’t make it.
    Management’s role is to coach, develop, offer opportunities
    There is self interest here too: dont lose valuable skills and knowledge.
    People are on the bus or off the bus, but don't let anyone go under the bus.  Identify, support and welcome those who don't want to come along: make their exit graceful, painless and courteous.  They are doing you a favour.
    Ensure there are cultural change programmes and enough staff training.  Ensure inclusion and investment.

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