In our ongoing series, we started by highlighting the challenges businesses face in today's rapidly changing world of technology and services and the benefits that an agile, DevOps approach can bring to your organization. In short, you need to either be first to deliver new digital capabilities to your customers or be prepared to catch up with more innovative competitors faster than ever before. While the case for DevOps sounds great in theory, implementing it effectively is another story, and it's not a one-off activity, but rather an ongoing journey, beginning with governance which we discussed in the last blog. Moving along, the next step involves implementing workforce management.
Why workforce management is critical
While managing your workforce effectively is extremely important to succeed in any business model, it becomes even more critical in new agile environments for several reasons. For context, let's take a step back and look at how DevOps benefits your customers, and ultimately your business. Today's customers expect new and improved products and services to be made available to them whenever they want, wherever they are and from whatever device they choose.
Your employees are no different, especially as millennials have taken over the workforce, and considering the well-known shortage of IT talent (particularly in DevOps), if you don't provide the same ease of access to the applications and data they need to be productive, they won't be satisfied or stick around for long. On the other hand, older employees that are accustomed to legacy, siloed operations will end up frustrated, confused and unproductive if you don't create an environment that is intuitive enough to adapt to.
When it comes to security, you must be extremely diligent when giving or taking away access and privileges to systems, applications, and processes when employees transfer between departments, quit or are let go. It is also essential that you have sound project management procedures and systems, as well as best business practices and processes that create a productive environment with the ability to track employee accountability. In the end, you will get nowhere without clear visibility into the innermost activities in your environment, or whether your workforce is tightly aligned with your business strategy.
Defining your workforce management strategy
Implementing workforce management in DevOps may seem like a Sisyphean task, but if you follow some basic steps, you will be more likely to get the most out of your investment. Four critical areas to define and implement include:
- Roles and responsibilities. You need to assign the right people to the right functions. Define how you will organize your resources to handle the critical functions of engineering, deployment and ongoing maintenance and ensure you can track accountability.
- Project and task priorities. Define how your workforce will prioritize strategic initiatives that facilitate innovation, efficiency, marketplace leadership and an environment of continuous improvement. Implement collaboration tools to improve workflows and communication.
- Utilization and load. Define how you will track the time and resources it takes for your workforce to perform essential functions, and measure against and adjust to your changing business priorities and requirements. Look for ways to automate and systematize activities that require significant human resources to free up time for employees to create better business value.
- Learning and training. Continuously educate and train employees about business objectives, best practices, and policies, how to use existing tools more effectively and how the industry is evolving to maximize the engagement, efficiency, and effectiveness of all teams involved.
If you're in the beginning stages on your DevOps journey, there's a lot to consider. Also, it's important to understand that technology platforms won't get you there alone ̶ an agile DevOps environment requires a wider cultural change within your organization, meaning that the silos of yesteryear need to be broken down and stitched back together in a more fluid manner with ever-evolving best practices and business policies to meet your rapidly changing business demands. By working with an experienced managed service provider that understands these challenges and specializes in DevOps transformation and ongoing management, you can not only get a better return on your investment but make more time for your entire staff to focus on more strategic and competitive initiatives.
Contact us now to speak with one of our DevOps specialists.