Sunday, April 12, 2015

What is DevOps

Image Courtesy- http://www.freedigitalphotos.net
DevOps is a software development method that encourages strong communication between the software developers and operations/ IT professionals.The adoption of DevOps is driven by factors such as
  • Use of Agile and related development methods and growing demand of faster and frequent releases from customers.
  • Growing differences between development and operations community where both see the roles differently. Each role strongly believes that they are doing the right thing for the business and both of them are correct in isolation.
  • The organization structure and the reporting of both the roles are different in most of the cases due to which there are differences in focus.
  • Difference in  mindset of the development  and operations teams.
  • Greater availability of virtualized and cloud infrastructure.
  • Greater focus on automation.

Some Organizations divide the development and operations into different department. Development team is driven by satisfying the end user needs and operations is focused towards availability, scalability and ensure cost effectiveness. While both of them are equally important from an organization standpoint, both the communities are not able to understand the big picture of this. Developers sometimes does not involve the operations in the architecture and design related decisions. Developers often do the configuration management and the environmental changes locally in their system and do not document each of the steps. These steps are evolved after lot of permutations and combinations. It is often very difficult to replicate the same steps in the target environment as there are differences between the environment of developer machine and target run time environment. Another anti pattern seen is that development focuses on delivering functional requirement faster, whereas, operations focuses ensuring stability. This in turn slows down the release of the new feature.

The need of moment is to have greater collaboration between the two teams , giving the development team more infrastructure related understanding and the operations team more application centric knowledge. Also build a team with a shared vision and appreciation for both the roles keeping the big picture of success in mind.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

From Six Sigma to Lean Startup- GE is the largest implementation of Lean Startup in the planet

Article adapted and interpreted from http://www.gereports.com/post/82723688100/the-biggest-startup-eric-ries-and-ge-team-up-to

Yes you heard it right. GE is the example of largest implementation of Lean Startup in the Planet. 100 projects in the pipeline. Eric Ries trained 80 Lean Startup coaches exclusively dedicated to GE’s FastWorks. Together they exposed almost 1,000 GE executives to Lean Startup principles.

The Lean Startup approach does not mean that you have to think small. GE, a global industrial leader with 300,000 employees and $147 billion in revenues, has been in business for more than 130 years. Started by Thomas Edison, the company has historically embraced innovation and new business ideas to remain competitive in the rapidly shifting global market. To advance that goal, GE is now transforming its culture to be leaner, faster and closer to customers.

Over the past year, GE has been working with Ries to develop FastWorks, a program built on his Lean Startup principles. As the name implies, FastWorks combines a set of tools and behaviors designed to deliver better outcomes for customers faster. “It will harness our entrepreneurial spirit and improve the way we work,” says Steve Liguori, GE’s executive director for global innovation and new models.

The program has the backing of top GE management, including Chairman and CEO Jeffrey Immelt and Chief Marketing Officer Beth Comstock. They saw an opportunity to take many of the aspects of the Lean Startup movement and apply them inside the company. “I tell all of our managers to read The Lean Startup,” Immelt says.

GE executive development leader Janice Semper says that through FastWorks, GE was “creating a culture where we operate faster while delivering better outcomes. At the heart of it is the discipline of testing and learning that permeates the entire the organization,” she says.

In the first year, Ries trained 80 coaches exclusively dedicated to FastWorks. Together they exposed almost 1,000 GE executives to Lean Startup principles. GE also launched 100 FastWorks projects in US, Europe, China, Russia and Latin America. They range from building disruptive healthcare solutions to designing new gas turbines. GE plans to expand the program to 5,000 executives and launch hundreds of new projects next year. “GE is an ideal laboratory for applying lean practices because of its scale,” Ries says. “This is undoubtedly the largest deployment of Lean Startup ideas in the world.”

GE Energy Management executive Jeff Schnitzer, for example, is already building a startup inside GE focused on entering large energy markets dominated by established players with a small team and limited funding. “We’ve learned from Eric and started building ‘minimally viable products’ to solve quickly customer needs,” Schnitzer says. “We needed a disruptive, transformational and meaningful solution that included some very substantial ‘pivots.’”

Pivot is a Ries’ term that he borrowed from basketball, and one of the most crucial aspects of lean management. It describes a special kind of change designed to test a new fundamental hypothesis about a product or strategy.

The Lean Startup guru Eric Ries explains his principles to GE managers. | GE Reports