The Birth of StratDevOps
Many years prior to our formation in 2015, we committed to bring joy and purpose back into software development. We know from experience that the morale, trust and investment of a team, the talent, is at the crux of any company’s success. Success is not attributable to a framework or methodology. It is a mindset and it often takes time and a lot of alignment to achieve. But it is achievable. Creating technology with joy and purpose requires a clear vision and mission as well as intense and authentic collaboration across business, product and technology.
We are fortunate to partner with the largest mortgage technology providers in both the commercial and federal sectors to achieve and realize some pretty complex strategies and goals. We have spent years soaking up the learnings around why agile, SAFe, [insert framework name] transformations are often unsuccessful and painful to teams and organizations alike.
Here’s what we learned.
- You have to believe. It starts at the top. If you are a leader, get on board. Your team requires this.
- You have to be present. Leaders have to be present to lead. Your team requires this. Especially in the beginning.
- You have to truly appreciate learning but even more importantly, inspire it and encourage it to be practiced continuously.
- You have to create a cross-functional, self-directed environment. Allow team members to learn about other areas and put that knowledge to work.
- You have to focus on a mission and set the direction and value clearly.
Hopefully you see a theme in these five learnings. It is all about the team, the talent and leaders serving and inspiring the talent. A lock tight Talent Strategy is the most important aspect of any transformation. It is the reason for success and the root cause of failure to transform. It is also the first truth of the StratDevOps lifestyle. It is a lifestyle because it is hard to achieve it takes a lot of time, practice, failure and realignment to achieve. But it is worth the effort, the relationships that are built, the lessons that are learned and the experiences that are shared create a lifestyle that people want to embrace and master.
There are three truths in StratDevOps. The Talent Strategy that we have already discussed, the Product Strategy and the Technology Strategy. Within each truth are three tenets and within each tenet are three fundamentals.
3 truths + 9 tenets + 27 fundamentals = SDO Lifestyle
StratDevOps is not a hierarchical, horizontal or vertical lifestyle. It can be approached in any way an organization chooses to approach it. One caveat is that the Talent Strategy has to be there for the Product and Technology Strategies to be successful. We take a “Pac-Man” like approach to StratDevOps – eat it one bite at a time but eat it all!