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          Accelerate State of DevOps Report 2019: Communities of Practices are so dope!


          New Accelerate State of DevOps Report 2019 has been published yesterday! In case you’re wondering what’s all the fuss about, it’s the largest and longest-running research of its kind revealing what truly successful software delivery companies do differently than their less successful counterparts. Wow, who wouldn’t want to take a look at that?! The research is led by Dr. Nicole Forsgren and here is her take on the Report.

          There is a deeply rooted belief that the speed of software delivery process comes at the expense of the stability and vice versa. If you’re delivering something fast, you’re bound to break things in production. Therefore, if you want a reliable system, you cannot go fast. And if you need to go fast, rest assured your system will not be reliable.

          What data say?

          Year after year, this report, backed by data and scientific methods, proves that speed and stability are not working against each other. Rather, speed and stability enable each other.

          Elite performers massively outperform low performers. Numbers are staggering: 208 times more frequent code deployments and 106 times faster lead time from commit to deploy.

          Is this possible? It sure is, when using proper organizational and technical practices.

          How to move the needle?

          One of the recognized organizational practices is establishing Communities of Practices (CoP) as opposed to Training Centers or Centers of Excellence (CoE). As confirmed by the Report, CoE represents bottleneck for the relevant expertise in the organization. CoE also scales badly across the organization. Furthermore, the Report recognizes that CoE “establishes an exclusive group of “experts” in the organization, in contrast to an inclusive group of peers who can continue to learn and grow together.

          The Community of Practice is precisely the latter, informal group of peers gathered around common topic that is of interest to everyone. Group members share knowledge, experiences, and skills, and work together toward common goal. Do you feel like your organization could benefit from a better testing process? Find your like-minded peers and recruit them into Community of Practice for Testing. Work together on improving testing process. Define your working agreement. Everything is acceptable: you can come together every morning over coffee, or later during the day, or after work over beer. The only thing that is important is that participation is voluntary and members are genuinely interested and motivated.

          Our experiences with Communities of Practices

          Time and again, this approach proved its value at CROZ. Striving to build a healthy and inclusive organizational culture, we have zero tolerance to Ivory Towers where experience and knowledge are hidden from the rest of the organization. Some of our most active communities are CoP for Agile, CoP for DevOps and CoP for Product Management.

          Each community is fully open and everyone can participate and contribute. Members meet regularly and share their experiences as well as useful books, blogs, tools, insights, and ideas. Equally important: all communities have full autonomy in defining their goals. Members work together to define steps and experiments which will get each community closer to its goal. No management is involved here. Community members autonomously collaborate around tasks and navigate toward defined goal.

          The social aspects of CoPs are spectacular! People are getting together. I’ve seen new friendships hit off. I’ve seen numerous old hatchets buried. I myself got really close to some people. Today I would do whatever it takes for them and I’m sure they would do the same for me. That’s what CoPs do to your organizations. Try them.

          Ivan is Director of Engineering at CROZ, 🎙0800-DEVOPS podcast host and O'Reilly author contributing to "97 Things Every Cloud Engineer Should Know". His special areas of interest cover DevOps culture, sociotechnical nature of software delivery and cloud native architectures. Particularly interested in leadership and organizational change, he is helping organizations align business and tech, focus their efforts, and essentially work smarter, not harder. You can follow him on Twitter as @ikrnic.


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