Recent DEVOPS Study by Nigel and Puppet Labs


At the DevOps Enterprise Summit in 2014 the community identified several problem areas with enterprise DevOps adoption we wanted more written guidance around, and one of them was around cultural and leadership aspects during transformation. The DevOps movement has been primarily driven by practitioners, which is why we’ve ended up with such success at the practice level. As success and awareness have risen, we’re now seen new challenges and questions around the path to success and applicability for larger organizations. Some have done this very well, others are struggling, and others yet have no idea where to start. In May we assembled a series of working groups together to address these problems, and the Culture/Leadership group decided to focus our efforts on targeting specific subsets of enterprise VPs, CTOs and CIOs who were either facing significant internal skepticism or lacked concrete experience leading companies through a DevOps transformation.

We identified several specific technology leaders who are:
● Curious about DevOps and skeptical about whether it’s applicable to their environment.
● Convinced about DevOps, but facing skepticism from their executive peers and middle managers.
● Aware of DevOps at a high level, has some teams who have led successful initiatives, but are unsure how to take an organization¬wide approach.
● Experiencing pressure from their CEO and/or peers to investigate DevOps without any successful internal initiatives to learn from.

Once we started collaborating, it quickly became obvious that many of us involved in such transformations had had the same conversations over and over again, all focused around demolishing myths and misconceptions. We decided to confront this head on, listing the most common leadership and cultural traps for our target audience, ultimately aiming to provide high-level reassurance and evidence that DevOps practices are generally applicable and plausibly successful in enterprise environments. Our goal is to make it clear to technology leaders that transformation in enterprise environments is both feasible and desirable.