DevOps, J-Curve, and change management - Agile

I've been working professionally in the tech industry for more than 7 years. The change was always one of my things. It didn't matter what was the role or the level, I started to do that starting from my first day in this career!

And that's actually why I do love "DevOps movement" because it's about "change"!

DevOps and Agile are two different things but mostly they show together like two sides of the same coin. Flexible change is always part of Agile, but in the end, change is "risk" and it should be planned and be part of Agile processes and strategies.

When I move to a new company I normally do something: once the onboarding starts, for the first one or two months I take notes, watch, and learn. What's good? What's bad? What could be better?

Then I start to discuss this with the team and managers. I used to do that verbally. But a few years ago, I saw this graph called "J-Curve"! So I do a presentation and make sure the whole team is aware and ready for the next steps ... to the change!

So what's going on here?
With any change, there is always a "deterioration" of something related to that change (that could be actually anything, velocity, efficiency, or anything else).

For example, if we have a manual task and we want to automate it, working on the automation for this task will consume time, which means less time available for the actual tasks!

If the task is done manually in 10 min, maybe it could be done in 20 min while working on the automation! But once the automation is finished, it will be done in 1 min (and it's not just about time, but more accurate with fewer errors).

So when we have some slowness with the task during the automation phase, people don't panic because the goal of the change was to make it "better"! Hence it's important to make it clear that this deterioration is actually part of the change and already expected!

Also, I explain that the bottom of the curve, first and last, depends on all the people who are involved in the change ... it depends on "all of us"! So we could actually get a different path/result. That's the dotted line in the curve.


The nice thing is that every time people are aware of "what's next", they are more likely to want to adopt the change at an earlier stage. And that gets you pretty good results.

On the other hand, you will always find people not in favor of "change"! Some are against "change" in general! Some will just deal with the situation as it is and don't try to fix the root causes because it requires "change"! Some are afraid of "change"!

You need to deal with it and plan accordingly. But never let your anger control you! First of all, you need to remember that some people will never change ... that's life!

However, also remember that some people are not really against change per se but they could be just "shy", not "early adopters", or just want to "see" more the benefits of change. You just need to find the sweet spot to deal with that.

That's it! Keep moving, keep the change!

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Hello, my name is Ahmed AbouZaid and this is my "lite" technical blog!

I'm a passionate DevOps, Linux system engineer, CKA, AWS SysOps/Solutions Architect, RHCE, Free/Open source geek, author, interested in environment, calligraphy, and I believe that “Details Matter”!

Automation, data, and metrics are my preferred areas. I have a built-in monitoring chip, and too lazy to do anything manually :D

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