By Michael Kelly
As with life, the only constant in DevOps is change. To position your teams to seamlessly flow with the changes and to empower them to innovate, some of the old ideas on Operations and Development practices must be left behind. An integral component of DevOps is culture. An iterative approach to a collective ownership should be taken when planning your move toward a DevOps environment. You can start your DevOps journey by advocating for the adoption of a consolidation of tools designed specifically for DevOps, which provides an environment of transparency and ease of use.
Adopting Agile development practices, iterative planning and short cycles can alleviate the frustrations that fester as ill-planned deadlines are not met. Developers will be more empowered to meet shorter competitive deadlines while working appropriately planned sprints and have more time to innovate and experiment. Agile development will also be far less likely to produce bugs that are difficult to locate and fix.
Adopting the use of CI, you can avoid code that may have to be completely redone when it fails in production. Tests performed on small changes to the code, committed several times a day, have proven to be less prone to failure. Smaller changes lead to higher quality, have less risk, and allow for easier code reviews and locating problems.
Infrastructure as Code to define test, prod, and other environments has proven very successful. Self-service infrastructure for developers to have provisioned, tested against, and disposed of, can bring your team to a place of continuous learning and experimentation and make reactive scrambling to determine what is broken a thing of the past. Utilizing these methods, environments can stay in closer parity with fewer differences and remove the surprises when tests pass on the test environment, but fail in production deployments, as tests are more complete and valid.
Monitoring infrastructure, operating systems, application, and third-party cloud services are crucial in observing trends, understanding the health, and receiving an important feedback loop. Tying all of the monitoring together with a tool specifically designed to do so, and having alerts visible to everyone involved will provide transparency, trends to act proactively on, and ensure that the end user is receiving the highest quality product.
ChatOps is not the same as IM, or instant messaging. ChatOps tools have the capability to integrate with other tools. Seamless integration makes statuses of all the components transparent at all times. Utilizing ChatOps in your DevOps environment provides faster and continuous communication at all phases, from planning to a commit to a production deployment and its effect on the end users.
Select tools that enable continuous communication.
Feedback loops should be real time and visible to teams at all times.
To consider your environment DevOps, you should be in a state of constant and iterative improvement. Agile practices, CI, Monitoring, ChatOps, and the flow of Continuous Communication are all necessary steps to reach this goal.
If you're still interested in our approach to DevOps, be sure to register for our upcoming webinar "DevOps: An Interpersonal Approach" on October 10!
By Chris Hofbauer
Leveraging Atlassian's dashboards and gadgets can provide teams within an organization the visibility and transparency into their work they may be lacking. The use of these tools gives greater insight into work in progress and completed work for individual teams or team members as well as providing top-level views of all the work across teams. Dashboards can be configured in many ways and be custom tailored to surface whatever information is desired. Dashboards are made up of gadgets as they are the driving force behind the data. These gadgets are embedded into the Dashboards and the information within them is determined by the JQL in the filters.
Some of the commonly used gadgets are the Pie Chart, Jira Road Map, Average Age Chart, Created vs Resolved, and Issues in Progress. Below is an explanation of these gadgets and their uses.
Pie Chart Gadget: The Pie Chart gadget can display data from many fields. The determination of which field you choose depends on your particular use case. Assignee, Resolution, Status, and Priority are some of the more powerful and frequently chosen fields. The issues are split by these fields and displayed in a manner that is easily digested as a visual. Clicking on any chunk of the pie in the gadget will take you to a more comprehensive list view of those issues. From here the data can be dug into deeper or exported for reporting.
Created vs. Resolved Gadget: The Created vs. Resolved gadget is exactly how it sounds. The data in this gadget will show all the issues that are resolved against those that are not. The use of this help to track how well the team is keeping up with their work items. Team leaders can view this data to determine where they are within a given sprint. If things are going as planned, the later they are in the sprint, the fewer number of issues should be logged. Since the Created vs. Resolved gadget focuses on work submitted and work completed, it is a good choice for Kanban teams to see their workload and progress made within a given timeframe.
Issues in Progress Gadget: The Issues in Progress gadgets provides a more granular view of all the issues within the development cycle that are still being worked by the team. Team leaders can use this information to get a more detailed view and quickly determine if there are some bigger issues in progress that could not be completed before the end of the sprint.
Jira Road Map Gadget: Development teams will get great use from the road map gadget. This gadget shows what has been completed within the sprint and what versions are due to be released at the conclusion of the sprint. Teams leaders can leverage this information to see where they are at in their projects and how their teams are performing.
These are only some of the many gadgets that can be used to provide the desired visibility and transparency into the work in progress. Team leaders will find these gadgets easy to use and customizable to whichever way fits their needs. It is important for teams to leverage these dashboards and gadgets so that their work can be done as efficiently as possible and completed in a timely manner.
By Chris Hofbauer
For organizations that use the Atlassian product suite, it's critical to decide whether to administer the products in-house. After all, there are significant considerations with infrastructure, networking, product tuning, let alone the configuration of the products. Choosing to engage in a Managed Services agreement can be extremely beneficial. A great Managed Services team can be a great asset and provide tremendous value to any size organization.
One of the greatest values provided is the administrative relief you get from a Managed Services team. The Atlassian products require devoted attention, especially within organizations that use it for all sources of truth. Having a Managed Services team allows an organization to have fewer full-time employees dedicated to the tools and instead on their primary area of expertise. Depending on the contract, signing onto Managed Services is typically half the cost of hiring on a full-time Atlassian administrator as well.
System monitoring, performance, and upkeep can also become a major burden to bear. Atlassian products and add-ons are frequently updated and if the applications are not well kept, the system can become outdated fairly quickly. With a Managed Services team, we work closely to ensure performance and maintenance doesn't fall behind so teams can continue to leverage the power of the Atlassian toolset.
One of the most valuable aspects of hiring a Managed Services team is the tribal knowledge and best practices that come along with it. When an organization has one or few Atlassian administrators, they are limited to the knowledge of those individuals. With a Managed Services team, you have the entire company to leverage. We have a large team that has seen various installations and configurations (both supported and unsupported) of the Atlassian tools, including those we host in Cumulus, our Atlassian Hybrid environment. By seeing all these variations, we are able to provide the best solutions that have been tested and proven.
The Atlassian product suite requires attention and care from people who are dedicated to the tools. Our Managed Services team helps to relieve administrative overhead for every organization through system performance and monitoring as well as best practices through tribal knowledge, all at less expensive option compared to a full-time employee or team. With this, hiring a Managed Service team provides peace of mind and great value.
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By Michael Knight
You've probably heard about a lot of the benefits DevOps teams enjoy - more effective investments, less stressful deployments, increased collaboration and visibility, and a healthier, happier, more empowered team. With such encouraging results, the choice to take on a DevOps approach becomes an easy one. The trickier question, then, is what products can help your team take on that approach?
Fortunately, there are thousands of applications to help get you there.
Unfortunately, there are thousands of applications to help get you there.
We've worked with hundreds of clients across virtually every industry, and we have encountered untold numbers of applications, tools, and solutions along the way. In our experience, the Atlassian stack is a top choice.
We typically see a lot of added value with each team using an Atlassian stack:
The overall solution is more cost effective. Atlassian prefers to spend money on product development, rather than supporting a gigantic sales team. This enables them to build best-in-class products while keeping the price tag favorable.
Every application in the solution is integrated. Again unlike other companies, Atlassian produces products across the entire DevOps infinity loop, which results in a number of standalone products that integrate extremely well. It's kind of like the days before Apple became a dongle company when all of their products just worked together.
Teams can customize the products to meet their needs. Not all teams want to work the same way. Differences as large as Scrum vs. Kanban or as small as where to record Acceptance Criteria can be easily managed.
The Atlassian marketplace has over 1,700 different add-ons, meaning there are options to extend into nearly any other existing application in the DevOps space. If that somehow doesn't cut it, there's also middleware like Workato to help bring systems together.
Atlassian prefers to focus on building products that people love, and we've seen and confirmed for a dozen years that teams love using the products. And after all, isn't empowering teams what DevOps is all about?
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By Christopher Pepe
Walking the halls of Praecipio Consulting you will often hear people talking about the cost of quality. One of the areas that we focus on with our clients is the cost of rework which is due to poor quality and can often be improved with better process. While there are many reasons for poor quality, a common reason (which permeates all aspects of our lives) is rushing. One of my favorite youtubers put it as "Never rush that which must be done quickly." You might ask what sitting in snow, or a survival skills/mindfulness youtube channel has to with the quality software, incident management, or any of the other high tech stuff we do. Especially when it comes to high stress, time-sensitive situations there is a lot to learn from other domains.
I was a waiter for about a month. More correctly, I was a terrible waiter for about a month. I never got orders right, I failed to bring second drinks, or really fulfill most customer requests satisfactorily on a busy night. I was ok at serving lunch and slow nights but I was easily overwhelmed by the volume of tasks that waitstaff has to manage. I often look back at that time for insight because I have generally been pretty good at most jobs but failed so completely at waiting tables. My core issue was that I was also rushing because I was in a hurry and that lead to decreased quality of service and longer cycle times. Because I rushed: I delivered the wrong dishes (or accidentally took dishes meant for other tables causing the rest of my team to fall behind too), I forgot that coke, I didn't split your check, I made the wrong change... And with each mistake, I had to stop, correct that problem, and leave my other tables with a worse experience too.
You can go a lot faster if you start with slowing down.
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At the 2018 Atlassian EuroSummit, Praecipio Consulting wins an Atlassian Partner of the Year award for the fourth consecutive year
For Immediate Release
BARCELONA, September 3, 2018 -- Atlassian announced today that Praecipio Consulting has received Atlassian Partner of the Year 2018: ITSM for their outstanding contribution and achievements during Atlassian's fiscal year 2018. This includes exceptional efforts in developing new business, thought leadership, and products and services that complement Atlassian.
"It's a privilege to be named Atlassian Partner of the Year for the fourth year in a row, and it is a milestone in our successful partnership with Atlassian," Praecipio Consulting Founding Partner Christian Lane said. "Serving as an Atlassian Platinum Solution Partner is a critical and core capability and we are honored to be named an Atlassian Partner of the Year for the fourth year in a row. We look forward to continued success and to bringing best-in-class solutions to our customers contributing to their success and achievements. Winning in the IT Service Management category is a validation of the expertise we have in the ITIL-based ITSM disciplines. Our business' roots are in ITSM."
Praecipio Consulting was one of 15 recipients honored as Partner of the Year during the Atlassian Partner Day at the company's European Summit in Barcelona, Spain.
"Atlassian is thrilled to recognize and honor our 2018 Partner Award recipients", said Martin Musierowicz, Atlassian's Head of Global Channels. "Solution Partners are instrumental to our customers' success and we are excited to be able to highlight some of our top partners who are going above and beyond to support customers and provide Atlassian services."
Praecipio Consulting enables impactful transformations to build, release, run and manage better products and services. As a cross-disciplinary consulting practice, Praecipio Consulting specializes in DevOps, ITIL-based ITSM processes, Agile/SAFe, and various ALM frameworks. Praecipio Consulting is a trusted partner to clients of all sizes and industries.