In 2021, 83% of teams reported that they’re under pressure to accelerate the pace of delivery thanks to DevOps. Establishing a centralised DevOps programme and following proven strategies for evolving traditional packaged application quality processes allows for faster, safer enterprise application releases. But the journey to DevOps maturity is not an easy one: it requires a culture change for organisations, incremental implementation, and a fearlessness in the face of failure.
Tricentis sat down with DevOps experts to discuss how to cultivate a culture of organisation-wide DevOps delivery, the importance of incremental change, and how to remain CALM in the face of failing fast (see below for what CALM means to DevOps teams).
Embarking on the DevOps Journey with SAP
Tricentis set the scene by illustrating how tools can tackle challenges on the DevOps journey with SAP. When working with SAP, organisations need to consider what will be impacted when testing, what should be tested, what tests should be run, and how to ensure good levels of test coverage.
Tools are to be seen as enablers for testing and allow for the capability and benefits of routine testing. Once it is established what capabilities are needed, such as machine learning algorithms, these tools can be created and distributed within the business. The tools fix capability and testing gaps by telling organisations what the risks are, what needs testing, how to schedule and automate, what needs to change, and where there are gaps in the testing. This kind of testing can put organisations on the path to continuous test automation for SAP enterprise systems.
Top Tips to Become a DevOps Master
A poll conducted revealed that participants were at various stages of their DevOps maturity journey with the majority of participants (39%) already seeing the fruits of DevOps methodologies. Tricentis sat down for a fireside chat with Katie Bianchi, Agile Delivery Lead and DevOps Coach at Aviva, and other DevOps practitioners from different industries to discuss the challenges of adopting DevOps methodologies, and the top tips for getting started.
Here are the top tips for embarking on the DevOps journey for testing teams:
- Testing is a team sport. The DevOps journey “is not a tech one”, it is part of a larger process of change management that requires input and collaboration across the entire organisation. The best testing teams are part of a delivery team. They are made up of multifaceted and multi-skilled people from across the organisations, not just the testers themselves. This holistic approach allows for a quicker turnaround to market and ensures organisation-wide investment in the testing journey. This is most successful if you have people from the top not only involved, but driving the culture of collaboration and mutual responsibility for DevOps transformation.
- Test early. Understanding and getting behind this philosophy is important for successful enterprise software deployment. Implementing practices to test the quality from the beginning to end of the systems development life cycle is paramount in creating a new implementation paradigm. Testing should begin before you even write code. The benefits of building quality from the beginning through to the early-stage testing allows for the software to do what it intended to do and separates traditional and agile ways of working.
- Create a culture of CALMS. It was encouraged to measure progress and success using the pillars outlined in the CALMS DevOps framework. The first pillar is culture. As previously highlighted, the journey to DevOps maturity is not a technical one, it requires a culture of collaboration both laterally and vertically across an organisation. The second is automation. Automation simplifies the journey by removing repetitive tasks and can be implemented across the build, test, and deployment phases. The next is lean, which acknowledges the necessity of failing and continuous improvement during the DevOps process. Then there is measurement, with the importance of measuring your progress with data showing not only how you have improved, but it can also help with identifying where to go next. Lastly, it is important to share the responsibility of the work in the DevOps maturity journey to really reap the benefits of speedier and more reliable software deployments.
- Create a personalised DevOps journey. For those who were hesitant about the risk of the disruption caused by testing, especially for the public sector, it was noted that testing did not necessarily have to be high-risk. Although the phrase “fail fast” is touted often as a positive, organisations who are more risk-averse are able to only test “safe” items if they wish. The beauty of the incremental DevOps journey allows for an individual approach to testing according to business needs. Furthermore, this incremental approach will illustrate the benefits of catching software errors in the early stages, and in turn, will mitigate this testing fear. Tricentis noted that “the object of testing is not to fail”, but to catch the failures before they become obvious to enable safer applications.
- Remember it's a journey, not a destination. A key takeaway from the session was that the journey to DevOps maturity was exactly that: a journey. It was noted that it would take five years for an organisation to move from a low to an elite performer if they focussed the whole of their time solely on progressing on the DevOps maturity journey. Participants were reminded that DevOps processes were to be added incrementally over time. This also helps people within organisations be open to the idea of change and should be managed from the top down to encourage a culture of continual change and improvement.
This event was in partnership with Tricentis who provides software testing automation and software quality assurance products for enterprise software.