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How to Overcome Challenges When Adopting DevOps in Large Organizations?

~ 5 min read
How to Overcome DevOps Adoption Challenges in Organizations


Large organizations can implement a few strategies to overcome challenges while adopting DevOps in the large organizations. They must foster collaboration across silos, strategically integrate new tools with legacy systems, address cultural resistance with clear communication, and establish outcome-based metrics. All while prioritizing people and process over flashy toolkits.

According to Puppet—over 80% of organizations are now practicing DevOps, and this is expected to increase by 94% in the near future. But it has never been challenge-free to adopt DevOps—both for large organizations and small businesses.

Let’s discuss in detail about how you can overcome common challenges when adopting DevOps for greater agility, innovation, and efficiency.

Establish Clear Objectives to Overcome the Vision Gap

Large organizations often face a critical hurdle in their DevOps journey—and that’s the vision gap. You should know that the vision gap exists when the goals of different stakeholders differ regarding DevOps implementation.

It is surely understandable that the lack of a shared vision leads teams to focus on different objectives. For instance, developers might prioritize rapid development—whereas operations might be more concerned with stability. This misalignment leads to friction and hinders overall progress.

In fact, the vision gap also makes it hard to determine the effectiveness of DevOps initiatives. This lack of measurement makes it difficult to secure continued support and funding.

Here’s how to establish clear objectives and overcome the vision gap:

  • Get buy-in from all key stakeholders, including developers, operations, IT security, and business leaders. You may facilitate workshops to discuss their goals and concerns regarding DevOps.
  • Focus on the desired business outcomes of DevOps adoption. For instance, faster time-to-market, improved product quality, or increased development velocity. 
  • Translate the desired business outcomes into specific, measurable goals. You may set metrics like deployment frequency, lead time for changes, or defect escape rate.
  • Continuously communicate the vision and goals throughout the organization. It is suggested to use clear and concise language that resonates with different stakeholders.

Involve Teams in Decision-Making to Address Top-Down Approach Issues

Large organizations often struggle to fully embrace DevOps methodologies due to a reliance on top-down decision-making. This hierarchical approach can stifle innovation and create resistance from teams on the ground.

For instance, senior leadership might prioritize features or deadlines over operational stability. This would lead to frustration for development and operations teams. Right? Unfortunately, teams who are simply handed down tools and processes are less likely to feel invested in their success.

Here’s what you should do to overcome the top-down approach when adopting DevOps in large organizations:

  • Involve development, operations, security, and business stakeholders in defining DevOps goals and implementation strategies.
  • Empower teams to choose tools and workflows that best suit their needs and skill sets. This fosters a sense of ownership and accountability.
  • Create regular channels for feedback exchange. Leadership should actively listen to team concerns and adjust strategies accordingly.

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Implement Gradual Transitions to Manage Fear of Change

Large organizations are usually accustomed to established processes. So, they may experience resistance when adopting new methodologies like DevOps. That’s surely because fear of change is a natural human response.

Here’s what large organizations can do to overcome fear of change while adopting DevOps:

  • Begin with a pilot project involving a single department or a specific product line. This allows for controlled experimentation and learning.
  • Clearly communicate the advantages of DevOps, such as faster deployments, improved collaboration, and reduced errors.
  • Provide comprehensive training programs to equip teams with the knowledge and skills required for successful DevOps adoption.
  • Acknowledge and celebrate successes along the way. This reinforces the positive aspects of change and motivates continued progress.

Foster Cross-Functional Collaboration to Shift Away from Siloed Teams

It’s hilarious but true that silos often lead to finger-pointing—like developers blaming QAs and on. DevOps encourages a culture of shared ownership. Teams work together to proactively identify and address issues—which leads to faster resolutions and improved product quality.

So—DevOps implementation requires effective collaboration between development teams. It isn’t easy, but can be achieved with proper planning.

Here’s how to foster cross-functional collaboration as you embrace DevOps:

  • Structure teams with representatives from different disciplines. This fosters better understanding of each other’s roles and challenges.
  • Consider creating physical or virtual war rooms where teams can brainstorm, troubleshoot, and celebrate successes together.
  • Develop a common language to bridge technical divides. This reduces misunderstandings and fosters a collaborative environment.
  • Utilize collaboration platforms that streamline communication and information sharing.
  • Recognize and reward collaborative efforts. Celebrate milestones achieved through teamwork to reinforce the value of collaboration.
  • Provide training opportunities to help teams develop the skills needed for effective collaboration.

Prioritize People Over Tools to Avoid Misplaced Focus

You must know that the use and influence of DevOps extends beyond development and deployment. DevOps is as much about people as it is about technology.

For instance—you shouldn’t get caught up in the latest DevOps trends or flashy toolkits. Tools work merely as amplifiers of your team’s capabilities. Makes sense?

Here’s how the large organizations can avoid misplaced focus while adopting DevOps:

  • Provide training programs on DevOps principles, practices, and tools to equip your teams with the knowledge and skills required to thrive in the new environment.
  • Create a safe space where team members feel comfortable sharing ideas, admitting mistakes, and learning from each other.
  • Encourage a culture of experimentation, feedback, and iteration to constantly improve processes and tools.
  • Select tools that are user-friendly and easy for your teams to adopt. Extensive training requirements can hinder adoption and create resistance.
  • Evaluate tools based on their ability to deliver desired outcomes, such as faster deployments, improved quality, and increased collaboration, not just features.
  • Recognize and reward collaborative efforts that contribute to achieving DevOps goals.

Final Words

Large organizations must ensure a holistic DevOps adoption. It requires a three-pronged approach: People with the right skills and mindset, Processes that streamline workflows and encourage collaboration, and Technology that automates tasks and empowers teams.

All this works in concert—enabling large organizations to overcome all challenges and create a powerful synergy. Just to drive innovation, efficiency, and continuous improvement.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can we measure the cultural shift required for successful DevOps adoption?
You need to conduct surveys and feedback sessions as these help gauge employee sentiment towards collaboration, ownership, and continuous learning. Moreover, it requires you to track metrics like the number of cross-functional interactions and the time taken to resolve issues. All this indicates progress in cultural change.
You need to start small with a pilot project in a non-critical area. This allows for testing and refinement of processes before wider adoption. Simply build a strong DevOps champion team within the organization to advocate for change and provide ongoing support.

First of all, focus on the business value of DevOps. So, carefully quantify the expected benefits in terms of increased efficiency, faster time-to-market, and improved customer satisfaction. Make sure to present a clear roadmap for DevOps adoption with defined milestones to gain leadership buy-in and secure necessary resources.

It is suggested to;everage collaboration platforms like video conferencing, instant messaging, and shared workspaces to bridge geographical divides. You should encourage a culture of documentation to ensure everyone has access to the latest information, regardless of location.

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Artur Aliev

Artur Aliev

Since 2013 i am building a vibrant online presence for e-commerce and retail brands across diverse industries. In 2021 I turned my passion towards the exciting world of programming and turned newfound knowledge into insightful articles that guide and inspire learners of all levels. While working with WEDEVX for almost a year i learned a lot about software testing, QA and coding bootcamps firsthand from instructors and top-earners in their field.


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