There’s no question that pairing agile development with DevOps methodologies helps product teams accelerate development and, ultimately, company growth. When Forrester surveyed 200+ technology leaders in late 2017, they found that teams treating Agile and DevOps as a single transformative initiative, as opposed to distinct efforts, were more likely to see the benefits associated with both practice: more frequent releases, better alignment between business and IT, improved technical quality, and reduced time to value.
Nevertheless, injecting Agile DevOps into your organization is anything but easy, especially when you have a small or resource-strapped development team. Agile DevOps isn’t something you can buy and embracing Agile DevOps is a cultural shift that takes time, consistency, and, most importantly, a team that understands the process.
We’ve found that it’s often this last element—a team highly skilled in implementing Agile DevOps—that ends up being the biggest roadblock. Hiring a new team is cost-prohibitive but expecting your current team to be able to understand and implement new methodologies after only a few trainings, while continuing to execute, is just as unreasonable. You can’t ask the pilots to rebuild the plane while it’s flying at 30,000 feet.
The solution? Team augmentation.
By embedding DevOps experts directly into your team by working with an outside partner, you can quickly bring your own staff up-to-speed and ensure that best practices are being built in to the fabric of your development process. This complimentary expertise will come at a fraction of the costs of hiring developers, and will, without fail, have a positive influence on your bottom line.
Here are a few suggestions to keep in mind if you’re considering team augmentation:
Keep a One-Team Mindset
An engagement with a DevOps partner is neither a training nor a consultation. It’s a collaboration that, if managed by the right partner, will result in immediate value and long-term knowledge sharing. For your team to truly internalize DevOps methodologies, the outside team must seem themselves as an extension of the team, not a silo or a replacement. Setting the tone at the top, through communication from leadership, is key.
Choose a Flexible Partner
Depending on your needs, you may require a larger team for the initial phase of your program and a smaller team in the future. As your original employees begin to understand the new processes, you’ll likely be able to scale back to only a handful of experts. It’s critical to choose a partner who has a strong bench, can ramp up quickly, and then gives you the option to scale down without arduous contract negotiations.
Remember, it takes time
Have patience. Like we said, DevOps is a cultural shift that will take more than a week – rushing the timeline will likely result in mistakes or bad habits, which will end up costing you in the long run. Additionally, keep in mind that leadership drives DevOps adoption and, thus, the level of success. DevOps teams with transformative leaders are 50 percent more likely to be high performers.
The math is simple: Team augmentation will lead to a quicker adoption of Agile DevOps practices, which in turn leads to more frequent, stable releases, an accelerated delivery of value to the customer, and overall company growth. Don’t bother with the buzzwords – this is about finding a partner who will help your team achieve speed and drive revenue.