Are your agile and DevOps processes good enough for customer satisfaction in building and enhancing applications?
Many organizations have shifted to agile planning and delivery methodologies to improve consistency, reliability, and customer satisfaction in building and enhancing applications. Embrace DevOps cultures, principles, and automation to improve deployment frequencies, lead time to changes, mean time to resolve incidents, and other key performance indicators (KPIs)
Are your agile and DevOps processes good enough for customer satisfaction in building and enhancing applications
Many organizations have shifted to agile planning and delivery methodologies to improve consistency, reliability, and customer satisfaction in building and enhancing applications. They embrace devops cultures, principles, and automations to improve deployment frequencies, lead time to changes, mean time to resolve incidents, and other key performance indicators (KPIs).
You might be wondering how your team and department stacks up against other similar-minded organizations in adopting agile and devops. Are you adopting best practices, facing similar struggles, and targeting achievable outcomes?
Two recently published reports have some answers. The 15th State of Agile Report by Digital.ai and Puppet’s 2021 State of DevOps Report both provide benchmarks on the overall maturity of these practices. Both reports include many details and analyst commentary. Here are my five key takeaways from these two reports.
Agile and devops will evolve to support more hybrid work
Agile practices continue to move forward since the Agile Manifesto, while devops platforms and capabilities are making it easier for more technology teams to automate and operationalize the cloud. The switch to remote work in 2020 and the current interest in hybrid work models will create new opportunities and challenges for organizations.
In the agile report, only 16% of respondents claimed they were fully remote before the pandemic. As pandemic restrictions lift, 56% favor a hybrid approach, and another 25% will stay fully remote. Only 3% plan to report back to the office full time.
Innovation and collaboration are often easier with colocated teams, so many leaders will seek practical changes and tools that support hybrid ways of working. Hybrid work will require shifts in how agile teams organize daily standups, automate more workflows between agile and devops tools, and formalize communication and collaboration practices.
Achieving agile or devops maturity isn’t easy
The devops report said that 10% of organizations qualified as having highly evolved devops practices back in 2010. In the 2021 report, that number grew to only 18% of respondents. But these organizations can deploy on demand, need less than an hour lead time for changes, have less than one hour mean time to recovery from incidents, and have change failure rates under 5%.
That’s certainly a very high bar for most organizations, but 78% of mid-maturity organizations still demonstrate significant improvements in these KPIs.
In the agile report, 80% of respondents perform the basic agile ceremonies, such as standups, retrospectives, sprint planning, and sprint reviews. But more than one-third of respondents are not using estimation practices, assigning dedicated product owners, planning releases, road mapping products, or instrumenting agile portfolio planning. Respondents identified more than 20 agile platforms, 10 different frameworks for scaling agile, and more than 20 different planning and delivery tools currently being used.
This shows there isn’t a clear-cut answer on what maturity bar to target, which practices to adopt, or the types of tools to standardize. Every company’s business goals, cultural DNA, and leadership objectives will lead them to different technology strategies and different practice maturity paths.
Improving devops KPIs requires adopting standards
One of the 12 Agile Manifesto principles is, “The best architectures, requirements, and designs emerge from self-organizing teams.” I agree with that statement but also believe companies, departments, and teams should adopt technology standards, select common platforms, and establish practice centers of excellence.
Technology leads and architects might prefer complete freedom in selecting tools, but the research suggests that mature devops teams are more likely to create standards. In the devops report, more than 87% of high-maturity organizations and 65% of mid-maturity ones share common tools, languages, and devops methodologies. They look to have clear roles, plans, and goals for their work (89% for highly evolved and 72% for mid-level) and make sure people on their team have a clear understanding of responsibilities (91% for highly evolved and 78% for mid-level).