What the role of a #DevOps coach? Part 2: What is Holistic #DevOps ?

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By : Liat Palace  (Director, Delivery Technology Office Agile/DevOps Coaching Team Lead – Amdocs)  & Shirly Ronen Harel (Co-Founder & Agile / DevOps Coach -WeChange)

“DevOps does not just mean the technical practices and tools to put your code into production with confidence. It is much more than that. It is an overall approach where the entire organization must acknowledge the existence of DevOps. Starting from sales and marketing, DevOps must be an integral part of their processes to be included in every project. It must be taken seriously. Eventually, when the project is passed on to the next party taking responsibility of the project, it is essential to have best DevOps practices in place.”


DevOps practices exist throughout the lifecycle of a product, from sales to support.  They don’t focus on one person or on a small part of the organization; instead they address the entire production line, providing end to end value stream cultural change. When an organization adopts DevOps, this affects different parts of the organization. It is a culture, a mindset and practices that should be present across the board. It means removing barriers and building a collaborative culture that affects much more than just Dev to Ops.

Adopting DevOps is hard. It requires management support, a company-wide mindset change, and of course coaching.

If DevOps is a culture of collaboration, then we cannot limit the close collaboration and continuous feedback to development, testing and operations. We also need to include accounting, marketing, sales and more in the loop; otherwise the organization will sell and market deliverables that the Delivery group will not be able to deliver. This would leave us in the same place we were when Agile was implemented on development only, while testing and operation were out of the loop. This is good but limited, and we no longer want any limitations.

If we want to achieve Faster, Cheaper, and Better, this requires the entire production line to be involved. As an example, the Sales department cannot enter into a ‘silo’ contract with a customer, while Delivery delivers a small chunk of working software each sprint. All parties in the organization must be aligned with the same mindset.

Defining job titles such as “DevOps engineer” and “Director of DevOps”, and creating DevOps training and certification programs, are not sufficient. DevOps is a culture; it’s not silos of specific people developing tools or collaborating among themselves. It means that everyone in the organization is part of a single approach call DevOps. Everyone is expected to act according to the principles and values of the DevOps approach. However, a DevOps coach is a sufficient term, it’s a leading role in transforming an organization into a DevOps organization, using a holistic approach, addressing system thinking, and focusing on the end result.

Disclaimer: The views shared here are my own. Assistance from a language model was employed for organizing and summarizing my thought. Some of the accompanying images were created using AI technology.

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