5 Competencies You Need to Succeed in DevOps and Beyond

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DevOps (development and operations) is an enterprise software development phrase that is used to define an agile relationship between development and IT operations, which encourages better communication and collaboration between the two business units

When an organization applies this same goal to its entire business, it can transform itself. Instead of siloed, traditionally adversarial groups, everyone collaborates with a common goal that will help the organization win in its market sector.

Skills vs. competencies – What is needed?

In order to take advantage of the DevOps transformational wave, organizations must determine how their existing skills and competencies align to their future goals. In particular, they must embrace new delivery processes such as agile, lean, continuous improvement and obviously, DevOps. These areas will require an updated set of abilities, attitudes, and critical thinking. It is not just a skill that can be learned but an evolved competence.

While skills are an important part of learning, they are not enough to guide people towards true mastery and success. Skills focus on the abilities a person needs to perform a specific task or activity. Competencies, however, take skills to the next level by translating them into behaviors that demonstrate what has been mastered. Competencies include a dynamic combination of abilities, attitudes, behaviors, as well as knowledge.

5 key competencies for success

Success in DevOps will rely on much more than skills. Therefore, it’s time to develop innovative DevOps competencies that will serve all organizations now and in the future. An organization needs to focus on five key competency areas.

1) Culture

Culture is a set of shared organizational assumptions that are learned by teams as they resolve problems. Integrated into day-to-day norms, culture is considered the correct way to perceive, think, and feel in relation to problems.

Within DevOps, culture evolves to include implementation of continuous improvement, the building of collective intelligence, and continuously react to feedback—all based on trust.

2) Leadership

Transformational change requires strong leaders at all levels with core competencies in visioning, strategic management, flexibility, and the ability to inspire others to innovate and perform. Learning a set of skills does not make you a leader; instead leadership embodies an innate passion, integrity, authenticity, and courage.

DevOps, like any other environment, requires leaders who are champions – individuals with advanced communications skills, the knowledge of diverse cultures, and people who behave collaboratively when working in teams. DevOps leadership is not something you learn and just do. For DevOps champions, leadership is a journey of discovery that inspires, persuades, and fascinates their followers.

3) Resource/management

All change programs (and DevOps is no different) require the effective management of available resources. During your DevOps transformation, you will move from existing processes that overburden and deliver poor results to processes that are focused on value, continuous delivery, and quality outcomes.

Continuous collaboration across multi-functional teams is at the heart of DevOps, delivering an accountable business outcome. Organizations need to ensure collaborative working behaviors are the norm; silos are broken down, and trust is built into the delivery process.

4) Continuous delivery

Continuous Delivery is a set of processes and practices that radically removes waste from your software production process, enabling faster delivery of high-quality functionality. It also sets up a rapid and effective feedback loop between your business and your users.

Essentially, continuous delivery is about putting the release schedule in the hands of the business, not in the hands of IT. Implementing continuous delivery means that your software is always production-ready throughout its entire lifecycle.

5) Business value

In DevOps, business value is an informal term that determines the value assigned to an outcome. It is the ability to deliver a user-centric product that generates business value throughout the production development cycle by using continuous feedback from the end customer. Product features are shipped straight away – as opposed to the traditional way of delivery where the product is only shipped when it is complete.

Successful DevOps outcomes rely on a true understanding of the business processes and needs that will add the most value to the business practice. They also identify potential improvements, analyzing the business to ensure implemented solutions are effective in terms of cost, desired outcome, functionality, and lead time.

Understanding the bigger picture

The real challenge for an organization is how to go from the current skills and certificate-based specialist job functions to a broad-based expertise and awareness, supported by the right skills and these 5 core competencies.

Skills, competency, and experience are the most sought-after mix of abilities any organization wishes for their teams.  This never-ending quest toward DevOps goals will probably be the most exciting journey of growth your team has ever dared to take. It will provide significant gains in productivity, quality, business success, and ultimately employee happiness.

To learn more about DevOps and the HPE Developer Community, visit HPE DEV.


About Mario Devargas

5 Competencies You Need to Succeed in DevOps and Beyond TechNativeMario Devargas is a CIO Advisor for HPE, consulting with organizations in the adoption of collaborative working processes — not just in IT, but across the entire enterprise. With over 30 years at an executive level, he is a passionate and visionary CIO with an extensive record of achievement across the private and public sectors within the corporate and commercial markets, banking, manufacturing and most recently public sector. To read more articles by Devargas, visit HPE’s Transforming IT blogsite.

To read more about Digital Transformation, visit HPE’s Shifting to Software-defined blogsite.

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