DevOps Consulting: A New Global Opportunity
Carl Jung, the famous Swiss psychiatrist and psychoanalyst who founded analytical psychology once said, “Everyone you meet knows something you don’t know but need to know. Learn from them.”
This is one of the reasons we both become DASA DevOps Ambassadors, to expand our knowledge about DevOps. After many years in the project and program sector, the word DevOps started to become more prevalent by teams that were delivering IT projects. This caused some confusion, what was this DevOps? – another new approach to managing projects or programs? What is its origin? What is its supporting body of knowledge?
We soon found out that DevOps is a philosophy, a culture, and a movement that arose from an urgent need for better alignment, collaboration, and empathy between IT Development and IT Operations teams or departments. When used on an enterprise-wide basis, DevOps encourages a rethinking of traditional IT practices and capabilities, including a product, process, and people perspective. DevOps is the ultimate search for improved flow in the delivery of IT services.
It was through meeting new people in the DASA DevOps community that we started to learn more about the DASA approach to DevOps and ways that we can ensure IT solutions are provided in an easier, cheaper way, ensuring value is provided faster to the business/consumer/user. After years of planning projects and programs, the focus on maintaining momentum in a project, bringing together new skills and bridging the gap between IT and the Business was very attractive.
Since becoming DASA DevOps Ambassadors, we have both become more aware of this gap that can occur between IT and Business. Project and Program managers have access to a wide range of resources that help plan and deliver solutions, but often the momentum for product development is lost without close collaboration between IT Operations and the development area. When advising organisations on how to improve their project and program management, products are clearly identified, intra and inter project dependencies defined, but little guidance is provided on how to bring together the right skills to provide a solution in a more rapid way. The Covid pandemic has highlighted where this gap exists by forcing many organisations and advisory consultants to find new ways to deliver a solution where there is a rapidly changing environment and multiple new business needs.
One of the key questions consultants are asked by the client is have I got the right team? Or what should the structure of the development team look like? This was a struggle until we were introduced to the DASA DevOps Competence Quickscan. This innovative approach helps Project and Team Managers validate the current readiness to work effectively as a DevOps team. The self-assessment questionnaire is free and located on the DASA DevOps website and provides a way to look at what are the skills you have in a current team and more importantly, what areas you need to efficiently deliver a DevOps approach. As a consultant, facilitating the answer to these questions is a way to add great value for a client, as well as a structured way to bring a team together to objectively recognise their current strengths and experience. From this it becomes clear that the role of a consultant is changing towards a coaching role. As a (DevOps) coach you can provide insight into the performance of a team and help improve it. We hope that Carl Jung would be impressed that there is such an effective way to help people start to learn from each other.
Consultants also often get asked how we increase DevOps capability and this is another feature that attracted us to the DASA DevOps approach. DASA identifies three broad areas of expertise and has developed a certification program designed for each profile. The three profiles are Foundational (Know), Professional (Know and Apply) and Leadership (Lead and Enable). Within each of the three levels there are certifications, 1 in the Foundational level and 3 in each of the Professional and Leadership level. These certifications test the practical skills and experience of professionals and have been developed and tested by practitioners from all parts of the globe. The DASA DevOps Coach program as part of the Leadership profile fits in very well with change towards a coaching role. As a consultant, this program can help you further develop as a coach.
In addition, DASA offers the Skillsmap™️, which makes it possible to find training courses that match certain areas of the DASA DevOps Competence Model. Skillsmap™️ enables you to fill in any gaps that arise from the Quickscan with knowledge and experience from training. This allows customers to boost their teams for the capabilities needed for DevOps.
So where to from here? The Oxford Dictionary defines consulting as engaged in the business of giving expert advice to people working in a specific field. Our experience from two opposite sides of the globe (Australia and the Netherlands) confirms that regardless of where you are, there are ways a consultant can become more familiar with DevOps by using the DASA approach. In addition to a growing group of country Ambassadors, DASA has recently created a network of Influencers who have specific technical expertise to share.
Carl Jung also said, “If you are a gifted person it doesn’t mean that you gained something. It means you have something to give back.” The DASA DevOps network provides the global consulting community with a chance to both learn from others and a way to share your experiences.
Two focused Global Webinars are being planned for consultants who would like to know more about DevOps.
For more information about DASA DevOps and how it can help your consulting advice go to DevOps Agile Skills Association (DASA)