Strategy is a main theme of #NoDrama DevOps and here is a curated set of posts that will help you learn about it.
There is much more to strategy than a chart with four quadrants and some slides with a few bullet points cribbed from a Gartner whitepaper.
If you’re responsible for setting or even influencing strategy, it’s critical to know how to define the mission for your organization and develop a strategy to achieve it.
I advise leaders that Technology organizations should measure and optimize the Aspects of Software Delivery Performance identified by the DevOps Research and Assessment (DORA).
DORA’s multi-year, scientific study found that improving Software Delivery Performance improves Organizational performance. And elite and high performing software delivery organizations don’t outperform by a little, they outperform by 2x or more against their competition.
Read all about that in The Value of DevOps to Your Organization. The Aspects of Software Delivery Performance are:
- Deployment frequency
- Lead time for changes
- Change failure rate
- Time to restore service
The technology organization’s mission should be to optimize these four Aspects of Software Delivery Performance.
I hope you’re wondering how to improve Software Delivery Performance for your organization. If you’re comfortable developing strategy skip the next section and head to Delivery Strategy. The next bit is about learning to develop and evaluate your own strategy with Wardley Mapping.
Learning how to develop and evaluate strategy
Wardley Mapping is a visual approach to analyzing how systems provide value to their customers and exploring strategies for evolving them to a better state.
I use Wardley Mapping a lot to:
- build understanding of an existing or proposed system from customers and stakeholders perspectives
- (re-)designing systems and processes to an efficient implementation
If you’re interested in using this strategy development technique, I suggest starting with either:
- a primer, A 6 Minute Step Towards Better Strategy, Mapping Templates
- another resource listed in Learning to evolve strategy with Wardley mapping
Once you have at least a passing familiarity with mapping, check out Identifying Undifferentiated, Heavy Lifting, which will help you identify things you should stop doing or hand over to someone else. Similarly, be careful not to optimize an existing process when you should evolve the system instead.
Here are some examples of mapping using maps to develop services:
- Mapping a Safer, Faster IAM Development and Review Process
- Improving software delivery processes at the organization level
- Thanksgiving with the Wardleys (warning! this is both funny and useful)
Delivery and Organizational Strategy
Your organization’s delivery strategy and implementation are critical to your organization’s success (c.f. The Value of DevOps to Your Organization) and collaborating teams’ perceptions of your effectiveness.
I take this position because the Aspects of Software Delivery Performance listed above are all about software delivery processes that serve customers better and make your organization more competitive.
The DevOps Organization Build Trap describes in detail why and how the main service(s) of technology organizations should be delivery pipelines that optimize the flow of changes from concept to customer in support of the organization’s major value streams.
The best practice is to use Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery to deliver each value stream.
So if you want to determine how to organize your teams, first determine the major delivery pipelines your organization needs to support its value streams. Then you will be ready to improve software delivery processes at the organization level. Once your delivery MVP is succeeding, scale your architecture and delivery processes across the organization.
Now let’s move on to technology strategy.
The most important technology strategy explorations we’ve worked through so far are:
- Improving Software Delivery Performance with Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery
- Choose Container Orchestrators Strategically, which wraps up the Container Orchestrators are the Same But Different series
- Cloud lock in and the cost of portability
If you’re looking for posts to determine whether we should work together, please read the material above — really.
This is where the rubber hits the road because you’re dealing with decisions that result in 2x, 5x, or greater impact to organizational capability and cost. I’d love to help you make your organization 100% or 500% more effective.
I provide private, personalized guidance on these topics and would love to help you develop and execute a winning strategy as part of a Guidance Engagement.