Ways to Avoid DevOps Burnout

  • June 10, 2018

    You want your DevOps culture to thrive in your company and across your entire team. DevOps initiatives bring incredible value to the organizations they serve. Nevertheless, a recent article published in The Enterprisers Project warns that missed warning signs and unmet needs within a DevOps team can lead to employee burnout.

    So the question is, how to avoid driving your DevOps team into the ground. There are many actions that leaders in IT can take to foster a thriving DevOps culture that is healthy and maintainable. In this post, we will discuss some of the methods highlighted in the article for creating a healthy and sustainable IT environment.

    Remove Friction

    DevOps brings operations and development together in an effort to eliminate internal silos and increase communication. Yet change is always hard, and coalescing teams can raise friction among people. Make sure to address any friction as soon as it comes up, and well before before it becomes a problem. IT leaders need to strive for frictionless workflows.

    What’s more, friction extends beyond people. Friction can arise from policies that put up unnecessary roadblocks that don’t add value. Reduce and eliminate the friction and the resistance.

    Turn Setbacks into Comebacks

    Embrace the philosophical approach that failure as a way to learn. That approach starts from the top, and your team will adopt what they see at the top. Fast development will certainly lead to lots of setbacks and tribulations. Don’t punish your team for mistakes and failures but rather turn them into lessons and move forward. The article quotes Robert Reeves, CTO of Datical, “Instead of asking who is to blame, I would ask, ‘What are the next areas to improve using DevOps?”

    Measure the Program

    In a previous article, we discussed methods for measuring DevOps performance. Measuring your DevOps efforts provides key indicators for stakeholders on the value your program brings to the organization. It also gives credit where credit is due. Your team will want to know their efforts are worthwhile and that internal influencers acknowledge it. Sharing positive feedback, and looking at any negative KPIs as an opportunity to grow–these will help your team feel engaged and that their work is of value.

    Pay Attention to Warning Signs

    Burnout is commonplace in the IT profession. Tech by nature attracts people willing to work hard until they accomplish their goals. Couple this natural drive with the fast pace and pressure of DevOps, and employees are at risk for suffering from burnout. That’s why it pays to keep your eyes open. Look for burnout warning signs and listen carefully to your team. Dary Merckens, CTO of Gunner Technology, says you can obtain a sense of the mental energy in DevOps by the bug frequency. The more bugs, the more likely your team may be running on fumes. That’s a sign to take action, review and give your team a chance to get fresh.

    Learn more about our DevOps practice–we’d be happy to help share DevOps best practices and help you implement these processes across your organization.

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