Best Practices to Improve IT and DevOps Collaboration

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Lack of Preparedness

The study also found that IT support teams were often unprepared for new releases, with 99 percent of respondents saying releases posed a challenge for their team. This is especially true for the 74 percent who reported receiving notifications after the software was operationalized.

IT support teams have a unique opportunity to improve customer satisfaction. By not proactively engaging IT support teams, development teams run the risk of impacting customer satisfaction and the benefits that their releases would bring to customers.

Best Practices: Teams need to share dates and timelines on key activities, such as code freezes, release to launch, and grandfathering, if applicable. Teams should also share messaging and communications, take time to build and review customer documentation, and provide training sessions for IT support staff. It's also a good idea to run through a support "blitz" (e.g., run through the end-to-end deployment process) in an attempt to uncover hidden bugs.

It's no surprise that DevOps is a hot topic in the IT industry. The most recent Puppet Labs' "2015 State of DevOps Report" showed that high-performing IT teams were twice as likely to exceed goals in profit, market share and productivity. They also boasted 30x more frequent deployments, 60x fewer failures, 60x higher change success rates and 160x faster recoveries.

And while many vendors claim DevOps is about automation and continuous delivery, they fail to mention the number one success factor: culture. The core of the DevOps movement is about removing silos and improving collaboration between IT and development teams. Underpinning this movement is the culture, collaboration and sharing that bring about these monumental results.

Gene Kim, author of The Phoenix Project, talks about the second way of DevOps - amplifying your feedback loops. "The outcomes include understanding and responding to all customers, internal and external, shortening and amplifying all feedback loops, and embedding knowledge where we need it," writes Kim.

IT support teams have a unique perspective on the impact software has on users. They speak to users, day-in and day-out, listening to their feedback and solving their issues. This amounts to a wealth of knowledge that has the power to fix or improve products, reduce future customer requests and improve customer satisfaction. But is this feedback actually making its way back to product development? 

To find out how IT support and development teams work together, the JIRA Service Desk team from Atlassian commissioned research with HDI, the largest association for technical support professionals with 150,000 members. This slideshow features highlights from the study, as well as best practices organizations can implement to improve collaboration between the teams.

 

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