Improving Our Way of Working

The first core value is to Improve beyond the limits of today’s processes. Whether a product or project, it makes sense that we have a goal in how we work that includes a measurable and definable plan to improve our way of working. While it takes some thoughtful consideration and planning to improve how we work, in Disciplined Agile we call this process goal Evolving our Way of Working or Evolving our WoW (for short) (Ambler, Lines, 2019).

Let us examine a bit more on the “why” before we discuss the “what”. The community of practice is a great forum to share learnings across the company. Sharing our learning is a great DevOps mindset goal and core value because:

  1. Every team is different, approaching how they work and what they solve differently. If the world was run by Automaton or robots, we all might work the same. However, as this is not the case and people are unique, how we configure things, where we work from and other variables add to the complexities of life, some of which are self-inflicted. Being unique gives our world colour and character. It is because of this that we need to tailor how we work to the team and since we never get this right the first time; we must continuously evolve how we work.
  2. We are always learning. As soon as our brains form, we are “wired” to learn. Life and work challenges may require new skills and approaches, so we need to be open to learning in order to solve these challenges.
  3. We must adapt and evolve. DevOps and Agile require teamwork, so why not join your team’s evolution or revolution.
  4. Everything around us is evolving; our environment,
  5. People need a place to work, whether virtually or physically, that accommodates and evolves with us.
  6. People need (and like) tools and tooling are necessary when making teams effective, including digital and physical toolsets.
  7. How we work and evolve is beyond the team and DevOps, so improve your processes beyond today and the team, really building on the DevOps mindset.

The goal, Evolving Your Wow, is a lengthy group of decisions and options, which can be found in the Choose your WoW book (Ambler, Lines, 2019). Choosing & evolving our WoW over time might look something like the process in Figure 45 in the book, and shown below:

NWTD-Continuous Improvement, Brent Reed

How we get there depends on our ability to guide our individuals, teams and divisions.  Without good guidance such as an Agile Coach with DevOps experience may impede or worse yet negatively impact the value, speed and acceptance of our approach.  The subject of Guided Continuous Improvement is throughout our book and another specific topic I shall bring out in another blog.

Agent 77 at Tactec uses the following Decisions based on working with DevOps teams throughout any agile lifecycle they choose.

DecisionSome of the options
Organize Physical Environment
. Openwork area
. Dedicated workroom
. Agile Modelling Room
Choose Communication Styles
. Face to Face
. Video Conferencing
Choose Collaboration Styles
·       Regular Pairing
·       Meetings/working sessions
Select Lifecycle
·       Lean
·       Agile
·       Continuous Lean
. Continuous Agile
·       SAFe
·       Exploratory
·       Scrum
. Flex
Visualize Existing Process·       Kanban board
·       Value Stream Map
·       Business Process Model
Tailor Initial Process·       Process tailoring workshop
·       Adopt DAD / AoC suggestions
Identify Potential Improvements·       Measure existing Wow
·       Retrospectives
·       Value Stream Mapping
Reuse Known Strategies·       Ideas from the AoC, DA toolkit
·       Local core practices
·       “Good practices”
Implement Potential Improvements·       Guided Continuous Improvement (coaching)
·       Controlled experiments
·       Measured improvement
Capture your WoW·       Detailed Team Process
·       VSM
·       Working agreement (internal/external)
Share your Improvements·       Open Spaces
·       Hackathons
·       Lean Coffee Sessions
·       CoP
·       Blogs
. Guilds
. Meetups / Webinars
Organize Tool Environment·       Acceptance test/criteria
·       Code Analysis
·       Configuration Management
·       Continuous Deployment (deployment rings)
·       Continuous Integration
·       Dashboards
·       Wiki
·       Digital backlog
·       Task management
DA Evolve Your WoW Goal (Ambler, LInes) additional options Agent 77 (Brent Reed) 2019

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Born 1965, San Antonio, Texas and lives in Dallas, Tx.
Mr. James, Ronald, Maverick holds a Bachelor of Science in Psychology at The University of Texas, San Antonio.

Mr. Maverick or JR as many call him is a “slick” but warm and friendly character in our upcoming book on the DevOps Mindset. Mr. Maverick cares about his IT team very much and could charm the socks off a Texas Longhorn. JR is liked by many in his organization; however, he is not as well trusted by the Overlords as he used to be. Mr. Maverick has a group of loyal staff, including Mr. Barker a bit of an opposite to JR. Of course, Mr. Barker would never call him JR; he would only call him Mr. Maverick because well, Mr. Maverick is his boss. Mr. Maverick has held many IT positions in the past, including starting as a Sales Professional for HP and IBM mini and mainframe computers. Over the years he has risen through the ranks to hold this senior position by delivering using high-paid consultants and Big name firms. He also received his promotion from outsourcing to a foreign country where he was able to reduce his IT spend significantly. Recently he has discovered (actually this was made painfully aware to him by the Overlords) that both the Offshore roadmap and use of external consultants was not giving him the value and velocity for his IT department, and he was probably paying more than he bargained for

So, after hearing a talk at a DevOps event by the Agents of Chaos, JR decided to enlist them to help with their digital transformation roadmap and help improve the value, focus and velocity of his department. However, MR. Maverick has a few ideas about agile and DevOps, something he has heard about for a while and read in various CIO magazines; he thinks of these as Marketing terms and something that can be bought. While Mr. Maverick has held on for many years to traditional IT ways of working he has come to the end of his tenure if he doesn’t do something fast and get DevOps working quickly as he has promised to the Overlords providing him with a little more rope to get the transformation completed more quickly as they view his IT department ageing, procrastinators who are not able to keep up with business demands. JR says in his mind, “I will get it done, they don’t call me Maverick for nothing!“