Today organizations are fast transitioning towards agile methodologies like Scrum, Kanban, etc., in order to improve their software/product delivery services. Naturally, the role of DevOps teams has become increasingly important.
DevOps engineers perform continuous delivery of software with a faster time-to-market ratio. They also help create top agile teams who perform Continuous Integration with Infrastructure as Code and automated testing. Are you curious to discover the true potential of DevOps-oriented teams?
“DevOps is an integral part of every Agile approach, and DevOps engineers act as the bridge between development and operations teams.”
This article will discuss how DevOps experts can help build and manage agile teams and what are the challenges they might face. So let’s get started!
The Right Approach To Build DevOps Teams
Before discussing how DevOps experts build top agile teams, it is essential to understand how to form highly-functional teams at an organizational level. Here are some tips to consider when forming groups:
Identify the right mix of professional skills
Teams for DevOps Operations need a mix of technical and soft skills. Technical skills include knowledge of programming languages, infrastructure management, and automation tools. Also, professionals must have soft skills for collaboration, communication, and complex problem-solving.
Establish clear goals for the teams
Effective DevOps team members must clearly understand the organizational goals. All must verify the metrics to measure the team’s success. It helps align their efforts with the organizational objectives and demonstrate their dedication.
Create a culture of team collaboration
DevOps teams must collaborate with each other. Various developers, QA testers, and operations experts work together as an Agile Team. Hence creating a collaborative culture is necessary to improve team communication.
Managing Agile Teams With DevOps
The task of managing agile teams requires a different approach than forming a fully functional DevOps team. Here are some tips for managing professional teams effectively:
DevOps engineers rely heavily on automation to improve efficiency and reduce cyber threats. Automation helps reduce manual efforts and allows agile teams to focus more on critical tasks.
DevOps engineers need to experiment with new tools and technologies continuously. Thus they can identify more unique solutions and improvise old existing processes.
Foster a culture of continuous improvement
DevOps team members need to improve their processes and tools continually. Fostering a culture of continuous improvement will help them implement the required changes to enhance the operational workflows.
How Can DevOps Teams Help Create Top Agile Teams?
Now that we have established some best practices for building and managing teams for DevOps let’s discuss how they can help create top agile teams.
Continuous Integration & Deployment (CI/CD)
DevOps engineers implement organization-wide continuous integration and deployment (CI/CD) practices. This software development methodology helps integrate code changes faster with a shared source code repository. Hence developer can release the code changes to production environments. Here are some CI/CD implementation suggestions to form the perfect DevOps team structure:
- Use tools like Jenkins or GitLab to automate code builds and deployments.
- Use application performance monitoring tools to track and identify performance issues.
- Implement a feedback loop between all developers and operations teams.
All of these enable the teams to identify and address various issues quickly without impacting the end-user experience.
API Confidentiality & Security
API security carries huge weight in all software development projects. DevOps experts are responsible for improving API security with the following practices:
- Implement access controls: DevOps has the right tools, such as API gateways, etc., to implement access controls on application users. Thus the users require to authenticate before granting access to all APIs.
- Encrypt app data in transit: DevOps has high-quality encryption protocols such as HTTPS to encrypt app data in transit. It protects end-user data, reducing the risk of web threats.
- Perform regular security audits: Conducting regular security audits help identify system vulnerabilities faster. Based on that, developers can implement changes and enhance API security.
Implement Infrastructure as Code (IaC)
IaC involves complete infrastructure management through regulation rather than manual processes. DevOps teams are responsible for deploying IaC, which improves the infrastructure management process for all other agile teams.
- Tools like Terraform or Ansible are perfect for automating infrastructure provisioning and configuration. So there is no need to deploy infrastructure resources anymore manually!
- Enhancing infrastructure scalability with IaC is an easy process. Professionals can provision infrastructure on-demand and scale it up or down based on the requirements.
- Maintain consistent infrastructure across all environments with IaC. It helps reduce configuration drifts with reliable infrastructure deployments.
Seamless Team Collaboration and Communication
Agile development for software services requires seamless team collaboration and communication. Agile teams, including development, operations, testing, and security, must promote better cooperation and communication through the following strategies:
- Establishing cross-functional teams: One Dev Ops team comprises multiple developers, operations engineers, testers, and security professionals. All of them work together on various software development projects collaboratively.
- Encouraging knowledge sharing: DevOps promote knowledge sharing across different groups by providing agile training and conducting workshops.
- Promoting transparency: DevOps promotes transparency by providing visibility into the software development process, including metrics, KPIs, and progress reports.
- Emphasizing continuous feedback: DevOps professionals receive timely feedback from product owners and stakeholders to improve performance.
Key Challenges For Creating Top Agile Teams
Building DevOps-oriented Agile teams come with various challenges to overcome. Here are some common challenges faced by professionals when building agile teams:
- Resistance to accepting changes: Some team members might need help to adopt changes in various processes and tools related to DevOps practices.
- Silos: Traditional organizations may have silos between development, QA, and operations teams, making it challenging to establish a culture of collaboration.
- Toolchain complexity: Managing DevOps practices requires using several tools, which can be challenging to manage and integrate.
DevOps being the standard approach for all Agile Methodologies, DevOps teams are integral to driving the project’s success and implementing CI/CD practices, improving API security, and leveraging IaC. So organizations need to identify the right mix of skills, establish clear goals and metrics, and create a culture of collaboration to form the perfect Agile Teams. While there may be some challenges, the benefits of implementing DevOps practices will only become more critical.