Understand your continuous deployment maturity

Robert Stroud
Principal Analyst
December 19, 2017

At Forrester, we have developed an assessment to help organizations understand their continuous deployment maturity. The assessment should take 10 minutes or less to complete with the outcome identifying where you are in your continuous deployment journey. DevOps teams should focus and build four critical competencies including: process, structure, measurement, and technology. Your honest assessment of these competencies will help identify key areas of improvement and help get everyone in the organization on the same page. Additionally doing such a assessment might just avoid the disconnects between leadership and DevOps teams identified in my last blog –  Executives Overestimate DevOps Maturity.

DevOps is predicated on teams driving inclusive behaviors such as collaboration and leveraging feedback loops, destructing silos of functional excellence, with empowered product teams who are delivering business outcomes. To support this, we identified four competencies that enable continuous deployment:

  1. Process: I&O leaders must constantly review processes to ensure integration across the complete pipeline.
  2. Structure: Dev and ops teams must evolve from individual competencies, creating a product team that is accountable for all facets of product development, testing, and deployment.
  3. Measurement: To understand progress and measure success in a continuous deployment journey, I&O leaders need SMART (specific, measurable, actionable, relevant, and timely) metrics.
  4. Technology: I&O leaders must adopt and automate best practices and tooling for infrastructure, middleware, and application deployment processes — including release package modeling, pipeline management and governance, and vulnerability and defect tracking.

Delivering DevOps requires consistent execution with accelerating velocity across dev, ops, and the other parts of the product lifecycle. To succeed, I&O leaders must hold their teams accountable, encourage experimentation, and create a learning culture. Thus, I&O leaders must look for and foster the following behavioral attributes on their teams:

  1. Rigor: The team follows an effective and documented process.
  2. Cadence: The team executes continuous deployment regularly and according to a plan, and it documents and automates its DevOps practices.
  3. Coordination: The team includes all relevant parts of the organization in deployments.
  4. Accountability: The entire product team accepts accountability for its work throughout the life cycle.

The Forrester DevOps maturity model can assist you and is available in my recent report, Gauge Your Continuous Deployment Maturity.

As always, I welcome your observations, comments, and experiences. You can contact me here and do not forget to follow me on Twitter (@RobertEStroud).


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