Devopsdays 2020: BizDevOps, bridging the dominant divide between business and IT - Henk van der Schuur

Tags: devopsdays

(One of my summaries of a talk at the 2020 online devopsdays Amsterdam conference).

The demand for IT has increased a lot. At the same time, there’s democratisation of technology: previously you only had professional developers, now there are also what he calls “citizen developers”. And even “consumers” themselves are starting to do a bit of development (IFTTT, for instance).

IT usage has also changed. Way back in the old days it was mostly internally focused: bookkeeping, HR. It is now focused much more outside the company: it delivers value for the customers.

New technologies allow constant changes for businesses. Philips started out as a lightbulb company and now builds medical equipment. Nintendo started as a physical playing card company.

Business and IT are often separate. IT says to business “trust us and give us freedom, that results in value”. Business says back “trust is hard when there’s downtime and when features are late and don’t match what our customers actually value”.

Devops is a bit in the middle between business and IT, in a sense. What can we do? Well, get the right people together in one room (or online channel…) from througout the organisation. And focus such a meeting on specific actual customer values. We’re in this together.

What you need is bridge builders that can get this going.

Such a meeting or series of meetings can be an intense “pressure cooker” to kick-start a team. “What is the minimum information the inventory manager needs” is the kind of focused question you could ask. It can result in a quick prototype within a week.

  • Preparation: what is it really about? Why are we doing it?

  • Ideate: do we really understand the problem? What are we missing?

  • Sketch: check “is this what you mean?” What should be changed? How does this bring value?

  • Prototype: what are the most important requirements? Who is the audience? What are we going to deliver? What do we leave out?

  • Decide: was value actually deliverd? What’s next?

He uses the term BizDevOps. He sees a role for OPS on the way from business to development. Business has a desire, OPS helps define it and IT can start with a good plan. DevOps is empathy between dev and ops. Can we repeat the “trick” with business included? logo

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My name is Reinout van Rees and I work a lot with Python (programming language) and Django (website framework). I live in The Netherlands and I'm happily married to Annie van Rees-Kooiman.

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