Despite all the hype about DevOps, little has been written on a formal DevOps strategy. Too often DevOps initiatives starts with tooling discussion and gets stalled in technology. The larger vision is rarely discussed. The goal of this article is to provide enterprises, large and small, with a framework for creating that vision and unlocking the promise of DevOps.

Elements of a DevOps Strategy

A holistic DevOps strategy, at the most basic level, must answer the following questions:

  • Where should we focus our efforts? Where do we begin?
  • What are we trying to solve?
  • What is our goal? How are we going to solve it? How long will it take?
  • How is this going to impact the larger enterprise? Who are our stakeholders and what do they value?
  • Is this worth doing it? What are the benefits and costs?

If implemented correctly a good strategy provides an organization with focus, creates a common (unbiased) view of the current problems, develops the future state, unveils opportunities for growth and results in better business outputs.

DevOps Strategy Map: A Balanced Scorecard Framework

A Balanced Scorecard typically consists of four high-level perspectives that highlight key practices and objectives that are needed to build a strategy. We choose this framework primarily because it does three things really well. First, it provides a disciplined approach towards creating a strategy. Second, it links the key activities together and describes the cause and effect between them. And third (and most important), its easy to use and follow.