Successful DevOps: Breaking Down Silos

February 19, 2019

During traditional software development, it isn’t uncommon for development and operations teams to work in silos. Silos limit cross-team communication until the very end of the software development project. 

This means that throughout the development cycle, developers only work on developing and operation teams only focus on operations. This method of software development is less than ideal and leads to reduced productivity. 

Successful DevOps relies on the idea of cross-functional teams. A cross-functional team consists of individuals from every department of the software development cycle. 

A successful cross-functional team should include developers, testers, project managers, and even stakeholders. The combination of developers and operations leads to a more efficient development cycle. 

Here is how you can break down development silos.

Establish a unified end goal

It’s much easier to get multiple teams to work together when they are working toward the same end goal. Establishing a common goal allows individuals to work together toward the same end result rather than focusing on the specific goals set by their respective departments. 

To successfully establish a unified end goal, Forbes suggests that much of the onus falls on individuals at the executive level. 

“A unified leadership team will encourage trust, create empowerment, and break managers out of the “my department” mentality and into the “our organization” mentality.”

Once company leaders have collectively determined an end goal, they can get individuals at every level to move forward in the same direction.

Create a collaborative culture

Cross-team collaboration doesn’t happen overnight, especially when departments have traditionally been siloed. If you want to enforce collaboration, you have to foster a collaborative work environment. 

Allow individuals to have some insight into the work of their peers so that there is an understanding of everybody’s roles and responsibilities.

For example, testing for quality is usually the responsibility of the QA team, but cross-team collaboration encourages developers and project managers to work together ahead of time to establish quality standards. By the time a developer sends off a new feature to the QA team, it should already meet certain criteria.

Not only will this help improve the overall quality of a product, but it will also increase productivity. 

Employ the right tools

Choosing the right tools can also help with breaking down development silos. For example, continuous integration tools create a shared responsibility among both development and operations teams. 

With a continuous integration tool like Probo, everybody has to work together in order to push new features live. Probo breaks down barriers between developers, QA teams, project managers, and stakeholders, by improving end-to-end visibility.  

The right tools can help your development and operations teams avoid bottlenecks and reduce errors.  

Successful DevOps relies on the collaboration between development and operations teams. By establishing unified goals, fostering a collaborative workplace, and using the right tools, you can effectively break down development silos.