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Is DevOps Real?

In this article, we will learn how DevOps is moving from a niche undertaking to a mainstream presence in the enterprise.

Why DevOps?

There is a notion in development that you need to compete to keep up. If you are not delivering value to your customers, your competitors will.

To illustrate this, let’s consider the OODA loop and the fail fast concept.

The OODA Loop

The OODA loop refers to the decision cycle observe, orient, decide, and act and was developed by military strategists and the United States Air Force Colonel, John Boyd.

Boyd applied the concept to the combat operations process, often at the strategic level, in military operations. It is now often applied to describe commercial operations and learning processes. This approach favours agility over raw power in dealing with human opponents in any endeavour.

Fail Fast

If you have ever performed experiments in your business, you know that you do not always get the results that you were hoping for. The result of your experiment may be either good, bad or indifferent. No matter how well thought through and defined your hypotheses are, you only have a 33% chance that you will achieve a good result.

About a third of the time, you are likely to diminish your hypothesis through experimentation. You may want to increase engagement, you conduct an experiment and you end up with less engagement than anticipated.

At this rate, a one in three chance of achieving the desired results, you want to fail fast on your experiments. You want to move on quickly from those actions that do not move the needle in the right direction.

What does this mean?

When you consider the concept of failing fast in the OODA loop, the aim is to improve your cycle time so that you can speed up your feedback loop. As you accelerate the rate at which you obtain feedback and implement improvements, you will find the business value of an accelerated DevOps process.

In summary, the business value is determined by the number of experiments you can run over a particular time. You want to maximise speed and experimentation so that you can get more of the right things and fail faster on the wrong things.

This will result in cost reductions and business improvement while still focusing on the velocity of your loop.

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Microsoft Future Ready: Fundamentals of DevOps and Azure Pipeline

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