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The Synergy Matrix for DevOps Success - Learning from Formula 1

 

Worldwide, companies are adopting DevOps to accelerate solution deployment and drive measurable benefits. But this is unlikely to guarantee success.

Because with acceleration comes the risk of going off track and crashing into obstacles. Only the right Quality Assurance (QA) approach, can ensure total control at high speeds, and on wet tracks.

This point of view presents a view on how QA, with sophisticated telemetry and a proven process, can prepare you to win the DevOps race, just like an ace Formula 1 car driver.

The Formula 1 experience and DevOps
DevOps is like a Formula1 race experience. You need to consistently practice and keep your car in perfect condition – check electrical systems, brakes, steering and communication software. On the race day however you realize that it is a wet track – so you need to exercise better control over your car. Accelerating the car without proper focus will not guarantee a win but instead can turn out to be a dangerous mistake. In DevOps too, accelerated software alone cannot get your business to the finish line before others. Your business needs synergy between QA and DevOps, so that you can time your pit-stops with reference to others, know how and when to take your laps, corners and turns, and when to come back to the pit for refueling and wheel checks.

Synergized pit stops
In Formula1, it is important for drivers to time pit stops with reference to other cars. You sometimes need to stop and take stock of the situation, regain momentum, then push forward and ultimately get ahead. These are strategic calls that need to be taken quickly – at the spur of the moment, depending on the data on your car dashboard and your position in the race with respect to others. In DevOps too, you need QA-validated data to make such strategic calls – to continuously stay in control, and win the race against competition.

Synergy between development, operations and QA results in better collaboration and continuous communication, enabling early identification of defects, and avoiding costly rework in production.

Telemetry
In Formula1, the telemetry comprises electronic devices that transmit car performance data to the pit wall and pit garage - enabling in-race correction during pit stops as well as engine and component tuning for future races. The in-car dashboard helps the driver maneuver the car accordingly, while external monitoring and analysis of the race helps the pit crew and external team remain ready for pit stops, wheel checks, refueling, and strategy corrections during pit stops. It is also important that such strategy corrections be communicated in time to drivers, during pit stops.

In a DevOps-QA synergy too, monitoring and analysis of the project, combined with timely communication and healthy collaboration, helps initiate necessary course correction and defect preventive steps, resulting in reduced mean time to repair (MTTR). The following are some typical lifecycle measures that rely on the synergy between DevOps and QA to be a success in each phase of SDLC:

  • Requirements analysis: Collaboration and synergy of development, testing, operations and business teams culminating in joint requirements review at the outset, has a positive impact on applications and test environment. Deploying this process would result in increased trend of requirement related defects identification in the early phase, and improved stability index which is an indication to the quality of the process and evolving product.
  • Design and development: Code walkthroughs and tool-based static code analysis done jointly by development, testing and QA teams help in early detection of performance related glitches and incorrect data flow. The practice significantly reduces expensive rework during production.
  • Review and testing: In the review phase, joint verification of basic functionality during development and system testing not just accelerates the testing cycle, but also reduces effort, defects and cost of quality. Test data and test script automation ensures significantly reduced, near-zero manual intervention, resulting in effective verification and validation.
  • Deployment: QA-driven, closed loop mechanism for feedback on production defects, results in proper understanding of existing system issues and timely corrective action

The winning edge
With all stakeholders continuously collaborating, DevOps presents infinite possibilities for your business. The recommended measures act as a synergy meter for your business, enabling it to win the DevOps race. Success depends on continuous measurement, monitoring and improvement. In a high pressure race, team synergy and collaboration are the most critical success factors. Besides helping teams stay on track, synergy metrics in the overall process measurement portfolio enable QA teams to act as quality guardians across the life cycle.