In 2016 I had the good fortune to join a massive DevOps initiative as a head coach. The goal was to, in a 7000+ person technology organization, get product development teams fluent in topics such as CI/CD, automated testing, and product management. Over the course of six months our team tuned an initiative a successful, impactful program.

In this talk, I’ll share the experiences and learnings from my 6-month journey. We’ll start with the concept of a DevOps Dojo and explore it from four perspectives: product, place, process, and, most importantly, people.

Product: Elaborating on the classic “coder’s dojo” - where the focus is on building technical skills - to a “DevOps Dojo” where we perfect technical skills while delivering on product learning goals.

Place: We’ll go on a virtual tour through of a massive engineering space designed to promote collaboration, learning, and rapid product feedback.

Process: How we managed to scale the program to 12 concurrent dojo teams of 4-16 people with a custom pull system (kanban) featuring unusual-but-realistic WIP limits.

People: What skills (some quite surprising) does it take to make a program like this succeed? I’ll share the framing tool we developed for rapid team alignment during onboarding.

 
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Outline/Structure of the Case Study

This is a stand-and-deliver talk with a number of visual aids. It's an elaboration of a talk I've done once at a devopsdays event. That was a 30-minute talk, so I'll expand the territory I cover with more examples and further case study from several other DevOps dojos I've helped start and participated in.

Learning Outcome

  • Lessons and tips on scaling programs gradually and consistently.
  • The importance of a product mindset in DevOps evolution.
  • Techniques for balancing goals that often compete: quality and delivery, learning and progress.
  • Several practical tools for tuning more general agile process (such as Scrum) toward positive product outcomes.

Target Audience

Engineering managers, leaders, and practitioners. Agile coaches. Product managers. DevOps engineers.

schedule Submitted 7 months ago

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