Last week, we hosted a live webinar, “Efficient Service Stability” – the final episode in our four part short-form, interactive series, “Quantifying DevOps Outcomes.” For me, this series has been a fun improv exercise in working with audience feedback to figure out where we should focus our time together. Your feedback in these webinars has helped sharpen my views around how focusing on measurable outcomes drives much larger bodies of work.
From Skid Row to Gallery Row
Many years ago I lived in Los Angeles. Back then, downtown LA was most notable for being run down and decaying: most of that being personified by its Skid Row neighborhood. If you visit downtown LA today, the difference is staggering. Today you’ll find a vibrant and growing community of culture, leisure, and nightlife. Downtown LA transformed into a beacon of creativity for the arts and now what was once Skid Row is now Gallery Row. That level of transformation at scale is complex and difficult to deliver, but it’s also no accident or coincidence for LA city leaders.
Harnessing the energy and focus of many groups with diverse interests, like real estate developers, merchants, artists, residents, and entrepreneurs, to revitalize an area once thought to be beyond saving is no small feat. City leaders could have adopted a top-down approach, where all projects and initiatives filter through their leadership and approval via rigid legal frameworks and complex regulations. For the second most populous city in the US, that sort of management model simply doesn’t scale. Instead, city leaders focused on choreographing revitalization by creating policies that guide behaviors and create virtuous cycles by incentivizing desired practices.
Effective leadership at scale means setting proper context and giving your teams the knowledge they need to make decisions and act autonomously. Disruptive leaders win by distributing expertise that enables teams to make decisions with a high degree of both decision quality and decision velocity. The hard part is distilling large complex initiatives into small, easy to convey, and easy to understand guidelines to follow. Urban revitalization is a massively complex undertaking. Increasingly, cities are driving that type of complex transformation by boiling it down into a handful of measurable metrics (i.e. less than a dozen) that drive desired outcomes.
Driving DevOps Transformation
IT is a bit different than city government. But the same general rules for driving revitalization initiatives across diverse teams apply. The Quantifying DevOps Outcomes webinar series explores metrics to help organizational leaders drive DevOps transformation at scale. Some organizations get bogged down in filtering work through rigid and complex project implementations that don’t convey a clear vision. Instead, organizations could benefit from setting concise policies to achieve measurable goals, knowing that in order to deliver on those metrics, any groups involved must adopt behaviors that incentivize self-reinforcing practices that create virtuous cycles.
The “Quantifying DevOps Outcomes” series explores the strategy behind how these patterns are set by leadership, why they matter, and how they connect to the underlying technology within our organizations. I thank you for your participation in this series. If you weren’t able to participate, I invite you to watch the recordings and let me know what you think. As always, you can reach out to me via Twitter or in the comments section for this post.
Meet George Miranda at ChefConf 2017 and learn more about digital transformation, DevOps best practices, and measuring DevOps outcomes.