By now, #DevOps shouldn't be a word you hear in your organization, and if you do, see if you can steer conversation towards specifics:

Focus and get specific!
Focus and get specific!

Steve, you love DevOps, why are you doing this, again?

The reason people talk about DevOps in 2021 is that they haven't drilled down into specifics, and they're missing a focal point. It's like GPS giving you directions to your country when you're looking for a bar. Zoom in!


1) Define your own lexicon

First off, define terms with your team so everyone can speak the same language, and make sure you can share a language with the larger org. When you say value, what does that mean? What does quality mean to us and our customers? When we say infrastructure, is that specific enough?


2) Outcomes and Value over everything

Everything happens for a reason, working backwards from what we want makes that reason explicit and clear. It's too easy to say 'automate everything' and then be buried in a pile of backlog items or waste time on low value work.


3) Value streams, Value chains, Flow networks

DevOps isn't specific OR broad enough. Where's planning or marketing or success? They're all involved. Across the entire flow, where are the limitations? Value stream thinking shows the big picture and bridges the biz/tech divide.


3) Design it for feedback

When something is working or not working, you should know about it. Wherever possible, our products, services, and processes should be providing feedback to let us know if our bets are paying off, or that we need to adjust course.


5) Site Reliability Engineering

This is the one item on the list that people do talk about often, and specifically 👏. Even so, based on where you see challenges and opportunities, break it down into smaller specifics, and focus on your unique limitations. Can you productize it?


6) Security Built In

If you want a 'DevSecOps' equivalent, use SBI, or come up with your own terms, own your process! Security needs to start before development, and it goes all the way to sustainability and continuous feedback.


7) Distributed collaboration

How are you working together across a value stream where contributors could be anywhere? How do individuals and teams come together, interact, decide, relay work? These things have to be designed or the assumptions become a house of cards.


8) De-scale to scale

The first "secret" to scaling is to do the opposite. Break things down into small parts, loosely coupled. Design for autonomy, communication, connection, adaptation. Smaller teams, products, iterations.


9) Everything as a service

The second "secret" to scaling is to pretend that everything has a customer and competition. Every capability is produced, or hired from a vendor or other team. When you create an infrastructure platform, it's competing to be the best option available.


10) Bonus: No copypasta allowed

Sorry to end on a 'no silver bullet' point, but it's true. You can't even just choose your own adventure, you have to write your own story. You can borrow from a lot: Models, frameworks, ideas, checklists, cases, past experience - but write yours.



Thank you for reading! This was built for twitter so if it's too terse, I'll jump in and expand! If you're interested in how you can start to put any or all of this in motion with your team, check out my free ebook at that is all about the HOW of DevOps specifics and beyond.