Agile and DevOps So Far

The old saying about the one thing that we can all count on as a constant is change?  This year has definitely been more than enough change for me, I’ve had multiple adjusts to our Agile methodology, new projects, new responsibilities, new team members and four different changes in leadership and on and on and on…. So what now?

While I’m working on a new level or renewed level of understanding into Agile processes within my new division, I’ve decided that starting in January, we’re going to get moving on our one combined single process for my development team.  That means I have three team members to train, I have to finish our JIRA setup, I also need to get product backlogs and project plans done for the year, and deliberately groom what’s out there on the to do lists that are in multiple different lists. Also, I need to a new team backlog to address transition and process issues we’ll have along the way to getting this new team work properly.

I’ve started working on a repeatable set of agile training classes that I can break down into 1 hour online tutorials. I decided to break them out into the five process levels with a couple of expanded workshops on user stories and requirements gathering that is at a lever where everyone can gain a common understanding on how it’s done. It is in large part a replacement to the three-day boot camp that I used to do on-site for development teams but done in a way that is easier for someone watching to follow along instead of requiring full participation.

And as far as my place in the Agile strategy for the rest of the company, I’ve made the decision to just not really worry about that right now. I do hope that these training’s will spark some interest in actually doing Agile in full and not piecemeal it out, get some of the bigger changes (that have bigger impact) out there and build some more ground roots support for making it work for us as an organization. At the end of the day, I don’t feel like there is enough understanding of the process as it really is to gain support for implementing it across the board so focusing my efforts on building that understanding is much more important.

This year I’ll be spending a lot of time managing a DevOps project with another manager. It’s an exciting prospect, involves a couple of different teams but also comes with some really negative and emotional history. I’ll get a chance to learn and grow of my own skill set, get a better understanding of what DevOps entails and how to implement it and flex some emotional intelligence muscles along the way. While I am really eager to get it going, it is also a lot more damage mitigation than I’m used to having to work with and gaining the respect and trust of some folks that don’t seem to care much about this being successful will make it especially stressful. I’m told that I’m perfect for the job!

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