Best Practices to Improve IT and DevOps Collaboration

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Ineffective Change Management

While 89 percent of organizations have a change management process implemented, more than half of organizations (51 percent) have a change process that does not work. Change management is the second most adopted service management process according to HDI and is critical to collaboration between IT support and development. A common change management practice for IT teams following ITIL is having a change advisory board (CAB) approve any software or infrastructure changes. The State of DevOps Report 2014 showed that when change approval boards were involved before deploying to production, IT performance decreased. The report also found that external change approval processes had little impact to stability. 

Best Practices: When the IT team uses peer review techniques, performance increases. For organizations with a successful change management process, they have more involvement in all stages of development, from predevelopment, testing and post-release.

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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