Succeeding with DevOps: Google’s DevOps survey findings mapped to DASA’s Team Competence Model

First, the expected good news, “Harvard Business Review Analytic Services Study Competitive advantage through DevOps” – a survey sponsored by Google Cloud, confirmed that DevOps delivers key business results. Survey respondents who adopted the DevOps approach say that it has improved speed to market ( named by 70%), productivity (67%), innovation (66%), and product/service quality (64%).

And now, the not so unexpected but still disappointing news, only 10% of the surveyed organizations have successfully used the DevOps approach to achieve the goal of developing and deploying new software/applications into production quickly.


The gap between the promise of DevOps and making DevOps work points to the obvious truth – doing DevOps well is really hard. And one of the reasons why doing DevOps well is so hard is because, as the report rightly points out: “Adopting DevOps is not a technology project. It requires changes to staffing, organization structure, performance management, and even culture ¹”. It is easy to do a tool’s implementation and declare victory, but that won’t get organizations the benefit of DevOps – developing and putting new software/applications into production, quickly.

To help organizations successfully adopt DevOps and realize its business benefits, a DevOps change program should consider both the technical and management aspects. DASA’s ( DevOps and Agile Skills Association, a community-driven organization ) competence model provides that urgently needed holistic guidance on how to structure the DevOps change program in order to do DevOps well.

So, for organizations that want to join the 10% who have mastered rapid software delivery with DevOps, here are the fundamental categories of competencies that they have to build at an individual, team and organizational level, based on DASA’s Team Competence Model mapped to Google’s DevOps study and reaffirmed by it.

DASA’s Four Skill areas: Courage, Team building, DevOps leadership, Continuous improvement

“Teams to be empowered to act with a high degree of autonomy”

“sense of psychological safety to take risks and make mistakes”

“using failure as an opportunity to learn, and continually experimenting to drive improvement.”

Google survey: Competitive advantage through DevOps study findings: ¹

DASA”s Eight Knowledge areas: Business value optimization, Business Analysis, Architecture and Design, Programming, Continuous delivery, Test specification, Infrastructure engineering, Security risk and compliance

“Matching speed with quality – By engaging the people who will use and maintain applications early and often while also involving developers in the operational aspects of running their systems, DevOps not only increases the likelihood that software will meet user’s needs, but it ensures that quality is built-in from the start, too”

“Full cycle nature of DevOps – The whole cycle – from design to development, verification, testing, release, and management of the service at the telecom provider – is tightly coupled”

“For an IT service provider, the ultimate business goals may be to increase reliability at a lower cost. For consumer-facing business, however, the goals may focus more on speed to market and customer relevance.”

Google survey: Competitive advantage through DevOps study findings: ¹

Roles : DevOps leader, DevOps Product owner, DevOps coach

“The role of senior leaders is set to clear goals and objectives and make their commitment visible”

“That’s why one of the most important roles in a DevOps operation is the product owner and why it’s critical to view what’s being rolled out as a product that is developed and managed over its life-cycle, not a project with a set beginning and end.”

“Increasingly product owners come from the LOB.”

“Many companies employ DevOps coaches”

Google survey: Competitive advantage through DevOps study findings: ¹

So, here it is – further confirmation of the holistic and practical guidance provided by the community-driven DevOps Agile Skills Association, to help individuals, teams, and organizations do DevOps well. Leverage it to realize the elusive but achievable promise of DevOps – the development and delivery of high-quality software, rapidly.

References :

¹ Competitive advantage through DevOps – Improving Speed, Quality, and Efficiency in the Digital world, Havard Business Review Analytic Services, Research Report ( Sponsored by Google Cloud)

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Irfan Shariff

DASA Research Director, Expert Program - Project Manager, Management trainer & Agile/DevOps coach, RTI Consulting Services

Irfan Shariff has extensive experience in managing strategic technology-based business initiatives in a variety of industries – Hi-tech, Financial, Retail. He has deep expertise and…