Whitehurst: on DevOps, apps, and infrastructure; Blogagility – Agile Scrum is the answer

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An analysis

Jim Whitehurst discussed the interactions or lack thereof between infrastructure and operational folks and the guys who are locked in the closet – developers – in an interview with Fredric Paul (Network World). They discussed the fact that software is becoming ever more omnipresent in technology. It is the first level of interaction for users. People do tend to tune out the sleek new hardware and focus on the software experience. And it better be a good one! Not many end users care about the backend. So, Whitehurst asks the important question…

What’s behind this fundamental shift in emphasis and how can IT departments best deal with it?

The answer lies with the use of Agile Scrum of course! Fully implementing the principles of the Agile Manifesto and Scrum have proven to reward software development teams with significantly increased productivity in working software. How to implement Scrum effectively in an organization is where the real challenge lies. Scrum could (and is) used on infrastructure, support, and general IT projects. If the entire organization (in this example) was utilizing Scrum, it would be easy to assess the value stream from each organizational component — including the traditional cost centers surrounding infrastructure. The key takeaway is exactly what Whitehurst alludes to in the discussion. That developers and IT folks were different and no one realized it. If Scrum were implemented properly, the various teams in the organization could be managed under a Scrum of Scrums. Additionally, Scrum teams could be comprised of resources from throughout the organization rather than only from compartmentalized silos.

For instance, when selling OpenShift, “we sometimes get dev and ops into a room and they have never met each other! It’s just amazing.” And yet if you picked five random devs and five random ops workers and lined them up, he added, those CIOs said they could identify which group was which with 90% confidence. They look different, they dress different, they act different, they drink different drinks.

There is a great example of executives diving into Scrum and realizing significant gains in productivity — Yahoo.

Subject originally published at Network World by Jim Whitehurst: article.

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