If you are involved in implementing DevOps practices or if you are researching DevOps, you know that culture change is critical to success. Developers and Operations must work together to create high quality deliverables on a frequent basis. For most organizations, bringing Developers and Operations closer together is a significant cultural shift. It is the most important aspect of transitioning to DevOps practices. Without fully addressing the people side of DevOps, you can only make so much progress.
The various DevOps discussions and materials tend to focus on the behavior and subsequent culture change required within the IT organization but what about the business. If you are going change how IT works and delivers services to the business, there is a business impact. They are the customer. They need to be prepared to have discussions about the value of various requirements and deliverables. These discussions require someone at the table that can make decisions about functionality that delivers value, resources that may be required for user acceptance testing, the business impact of delivery schedules, etc.
In the last fifteen years, IT leaders often talked about wanting a seat at the table with the business. They wanted to be involved in strategic decision making and offer advice and counsel on the various initiatives that the business was undertaking. Many IT leaders struggled with achieving this level of involvement. Now there is a new opportunity. In a sense, DevOps creates a brand new table and the business is definitely interested but they need to be involved in the planning as well as the execution so the entire organization can fully recognize the value of changing how the work is delivered.
The culture change required for DevOps involves more than just IT. It needs to include the rest of the business. IT provides foundational technology for the entire company and it may create services that are sold to the community.
It’s great the Development and Operations are recognizing the value of tearing down the silo between the organizations but to be truly successful, it is time to remove the silo that exists between IT and the business. Any organization adopting DevOps practices needs to focus on the behavior changes required across the entire organization.
It’s a new day. DevOps practices involve more than just IT. The business needs to adopt a new mindset as well. Organizational change plans that address IT behavior need to consider the behavior of their business partners as well. The business needs to take the journey with IT to achieve the expected return.
When adopting DevOps practices, engage the business in the early discussions prior to making changes. Even if you want some time to test and learn within the IT organization, take the first step in tearing down the wall that exists between IT and the business. Bring the business into the conversation. Talk with them about your objectives and ask them about the results they would like to see from this type of initiative. Partner with them on developing a strategy and path forward.
Engaging the business in the early conversations relating to DevOps will help to gain their buy in. The behavior change from the business will evolve as DevOps practices evolve in the organization. They will have a voice in the adoption of the changes and while IT Development and Operations are adjusting to a new way of working, the business will be planning and adjusting as well. Inviting the business to the table along with Development and Operations will strengthen the end result and help to tear down the silo’s that have existed for far too long.
To be successful, the adoption of DevOps practices requires a cultural shift from IT and the business. Take the journey together to achieve a much more valuable outcome.
Organizational agility is the ability for your IT organization to adapt quickly in response to changes in technology or changes in the business. It requires the IT organization to have a foundation in place that includes the processes and controls that equate to stability but allow for flexibility so that the IT organization can be dynamic, taking advantage of change and potentially, actually thriving on change.
When the IT organization has high agility, it not only supports the business in achieving its’ goals and objectives, IT offers a competitive advantage providing its’ customers with the opportunity to improve the speed to market for new products and services, facilitate a new customer experience, or optimize costs by taking advantage of changes in the technology landscape.
To build agility, IT organizations must take actions to harness the power of change in the organization. It must help people not only adapt but feel that they can prosper in times of change. This often requires culture change with the organization. IT leaders can define a path which embeds agility into the culture. This requires targeted actions that tie to the very foundation of the organization. Redefining the vision and strategy process and plan, identifying and changing management behaviors, modifying job descriptions, changing the reward and incentive plan, and redesigning employee development are some basic actions that tie to embedding agility into the culture. It is an effort that requires focused planning and leadership.
What if you aren’t ready to undertake this type of initiative but you want to improve the agility within your team or division? What steps can you can take to see some improvement?
5 Tips to Improve Organizational Agility
Embedding organizational agility into the IT culture takes time and focused effort but given the critical nature of technology and the pace of change in your industry, how can you afford to postpone taking steps to improve the effectiveness and adaptability of the organization?
At AdOPT, we are transformation consultants focused on strategy, innovation, process, and culture to increase effectiveness, improve efficiency, and optimize costs. Discover how an cultural assessment can help you identify key steps to influence change adoption. Ask us to complete an assessment today and discover how to improve the return on your initiatives. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 520-591-2427.
When was the last time your governance team talked about culture? What about how your culture may be affecting organizational adoption?
Research over the last 20 years has consistently found that a substantial amount of changes are failing due to people. The root cause could be a lack of buy in, change fatigue, fear, etc. but the research shows that people are critical to success yet managing organizational adoption of change and harnessing the energy of the existing culture do not appear to be a priority.
A recent survey by the Katzenbach Center shows that eighty six percent of C-suite executives indicate culture is critical to success and sixty percent see it as more important that their strategy or operating model yet management and evolution of the IT culture continues to be an afterthought.
IT Governance is focused on ensuring IT is aligned with the strategic direction and needs of the business. One of the primary goals is to ensure that IT decisions, investments, initiatives, and performance are delivering the appropriate level of value.
How can IT governance ensure the IT value proposition if it doesn’t address and plan for the cultural adoption of change?
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Change Adoption: Building a Plan for Organizational Acceptance - a 2 Day Workshop focused on enabling leaders to be successful with managing change in IT. For more information, contact us at email@example.com or by calling 520-591-2427.