"Start At The Top" is Curtis Franklin's leading tip in "10 Ways To Win At DevOps ...".
That's hard for me to swallow; I associate executive-level initiatives more with vagueness and expense than the effectiveness my occasional collaborator Franklin claims he's after. In this case, though, ... he's right. Here's why:
DevOps is bigger than you and me
The larger point of Franklin's list is that DevOps is pervasive and difficult. We think we developers and administrators are the winners because DevOps improves our efficiency and rationalizes our workflows. We too often jump from there to a conclusion that DevOps is about us. It's a whole lot bigger, though. As Franklin puts it, successful DevOps demands "... a team that includes members from every business function affected by the shift ..." Leadership in DevOps has a lot more to do with being able to speak to Marketing and Finance than it does with memorizing Puppet's release dates or arguing the alleged benefits of DC power in the DC.
DevOps is radical. To ensure we're automating the right workflows, not just the existing ones, we have to shake things up all the way down to their roots.
All ten of Franklin's tips are valuable. Be realistic enough to start with the first one. Learn, if you haven't already, that executive-suite support doesn't mean "the suits" decide for us; it means that we put together specific, concrete proposals that are so compelling in business terms that they receive budget backing at the highest levels.
How did DevOps take off in your organization? What would you do differently? Let us know in the comments below.