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Is your DevOps success dependent on heroic efforts?

Are your developers routinely putting in late nights, weekends, arriving at work bleary-eyed, and hitting deadlines by the skin of their teeth?

When heroic efforts are necessary to succeed, a DevOps team is exposed to a fleet of associated issues. Aside from the long hours, everyone tends toward being reactive rather than proactive. Tight time frames mean a dependence on luck and chance that nothing unexpected will go wrong.

What leads to a “Heroic” dependency?

The typical causes of this state are insufficient automation; immature processes that only cover a fraction of the situations that occur in the real world; and a shortage of training or good leadership. And the ‘heroism’ culture often leads to burnout, high turnover, and unreliable delivery – leading to unsatisfied customers.

Perhaps the greatest effect that a “heroism” culture can have on an organisation is a lack of trust. Heroes tend to have low levels of trust with their colleagues and as a result, take it upon themselves to take up undue responsibilities, eventually leading to said burnout and lack of delivery.

How can you remove “Heroism Culture” from your organisation?

First and foremost, it is imperative that there is a high level of trust in the abilities of colleagues, to create a collaborative and efficient foundation for a DevOps culture. This will allow the workload to be shared around, to which proper management and planning can be implemented around expected delivery time cycles.

In addition, automated testing frameworks and consistent workflows will reduce complexity in work, to allow greater productivity amongst employees.

DevOps is not a role or a position, nor is it a one-man show dependent on ”Heroic” efforts.  It is an all-encompassing culture that requires significant buy-in by employees across the whole organisation.

If your DevOps organisation relies on heroes, stop and dig down to the root cause. Find the expertise and tools that are needed to stop relying on over-work and fix the culture issue quickly.

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