We’ve organized ourselves as multidisciplinary, silo-free dedicated customer teams since our company began in 2000. This style of teamwork has always been part of our approach to DevOps, and we were one of the earliest organizations in the Netherlands to embrace this model. Yet, the DevOps paradigm focuses heavily on the technical components and systems of delivering value as a team. Business stakeholders therefore often end up being involved in the development process too little or too late, and their requirements get lost in translation – or simply get lost. Such a solution hardly addresses the customer’s actual business needs. And little, if any, value is delivered. With nearly every company already on a path toward a digital transformation, we believe it’s your business that should be driving your technology. This is why we call our method BizDevOps, as elaborated here.
We begin an assignment by understanding the desire of those responsible for a customer’s primary business – Biz, for short. Our whole team explores the business domain, asking questions to define the requirements that the desire demands. Once requirements are sufficiently clear and detailed, project planning can start.
Next, developers – Dev, for short – can start coding and building first prototypes. We test and, as often as needed, refine. New input from functional and non-functional testing is incorporated and, when needed, translated into new requirements. When the software meets all mission-critical requirements, we release.
After the software release is created, it is automatically deployed in production. Then we go about gathering telemetry data about the solution’s operations – Ops, for short. We continuously monitor the solution’s behavior and log exceptions and anomalies. That information feeds back into the cycle as more valuable input for the Biz: does this release actually achieve the intended objectives?
While each of the three domains has distinct responsibilities, a project’s team members are free to participate in each other’s activities. Sharing skills and combining crafts, they learn to better understand, empathize with, and feel at home in the other domains. This enables a self-steering team to put experts in the lead and truly integrate Biz, Dev, and Ops.
For any BizDevOps project to be successful and impactful, a product mindset is key. This often takes shape with a product owner serving as a mini-CEO. Their responsibilities entail taking accountability for the project and all its dimensions, including non-technical matters, such as marketing, team dynamics, and end user feedback.
Contact Henk van der Schuur.