What is Change Management in DevOps?
By Shormistha Chatterjee, Community Contributor - February 8, 2023
The conception and theory of change management is not new. If incorporated into existing practice and automation, executing DevOps change management can be less painful. This kind of change management for small businesses or modern enterprises is recognized as ITSM or IT Service Management.
- This technique is used to control all facets of changes related to configuration and infrastructure to production.
- It can sometimes prevent minor changes from happening as fast as they could because of the extra change management processes put in place.
- Change management is often implemented in ways that fly in the face of crucial principles of DevOps.
A tech stack denotes an amalgamation of technologies a company uses to build and run an app or project. The most used and standard technology skill in the DevOps tech stack in 2021 was Linux, which nearly half of the respondents preferred. AWS (Amazon Web Services) ranked 5th, being preferred by only 9.7 % of the respondents.
Most popular technologies in the DevOps tech stack globally 2021
What is DevOps Change Management?
A DevOps approach to change management necessitates shifting the concentration of change management from the myopic focus on constancy. We must broaden our perspective to apprehend change management as a procedure that allows agility and speed while ensuring stability. Rather than using it as a gate to control change, we use it as a procedure to allow change to get to the clients rapidly.
- Development becomes aware of the complications that delay QA as well as deployment
- QA & operations departments turn aligned with the business purpose and intended client value formed by the release
- Development, as well as operations, cease working at opposing objectives, which can otherwise result in inefficiency when something goes wrong.
Why is DevOps so popular for Change Management?
DevOps is the most preferred framework used by businesses the globe over. Redgate’s survey revealed 74% of enterprises had adopted DevOps in the planning phases. This survey consolidated the influence of COVID-19 on the technology adoption rate, DevOps practices, and delivery performance post-implementation.
Certainly, the advocacy of agile testing methodologies aided by DevOps has not gone unnoticed. Business leaders prize DevOps for its capacity to accelerate rapid change management with a nominal risk of disruption. High-performing DevOps companies can deploy code 208 times more frequently than low performers.
- One of the core reasons DevOps facilitates fluid change management is that it is structured in phases.
- New changes are, preferably, committed through a continuing procedure of CI/CD
- Process optimizations decrease friction between team handoffs, aiding in decreasing change lead times.
- Operations facts also inform release priorities, possibly addressing the factors that tend to stretch QA & other pre-deployment reviews.
Role of DevOps & Change Management in Enterprises
The topmost DevOps benefit embodies an alliance between development and operations teams — it’s in the term! The two groups are intertwined, helping to smoothen, facilitate and create change though sustaining its value. The collaborative DevOps approach and change management remove common bottlenecks concerning IT operations, particularly regarding production defects and errors.
Illustrating the types of issues DevOps & Change Management can solve:
- Development and IT operations become more aware of the bottlenecks that delay QA and deployment.
- Integrating processes between operations and development controls situations where a change failure or deployment bottleneck extremely jeopardizes a launch timeline.
- Imagine a bug is identified, and ops mentioned that the dev offered them faulty artifacts. Dev highlights that everything operated well in the test environment. Debugging fire drills start, with ops spending all night mitigating production issues as the production environment isn’t QA’s and development’s responsibility.
- DevOps change management helps avoid these circumstances/ situations. Joining the efforts of the two different silos and encouraging the practice of feedback formed by operations promotes accountability & enhanced product quality.
- DevOps also addresses the failures and shortcomings of traditional approaches such as ITIL. While ITIL puts precise roles and procedures in place, it does not always capably address persistent glitches. Trouble assigning accountability isn’t essentially an ITIL quality. The work becomes the purpose, whereas, in DevOps and ITIL change management, the objective is continual product improvement enabled by the effective processes available.
7 Change Management Best Practices
- Apply structured change management practice
- Mobilize visible and active executive sponsorship
- Engage with front-line workers
- Integrate and engage with project management
- Communicate openly and frequently
- Dedicate and bestow change management resources
- Support and engage with middle managers
Test Automation and Change Management– The Win-Win Situation
We often see thousands of releases regularly occurring through CI (Continuous Integration) and CD (Continuous Deployment). To carry out change management at this pace, you are required to automate the entire procedure.
And when it comes to Test Automation tools, Jenkins provides plugins that assist run test suites, collecting dashboard results, and giving details on failures. Jenkins is the most preferred and famous CI orchestration tool.
- It offers multiple plugins to integrate various test automation frameworks into the QA testing pipeline.
- It provides plugins for multiple test frameworks like Appium, Cucumber, Selenium, etc.
- These can be easily incorporated into CI pipelines to implement automated tests for every build.
When it comes to overall DevOps change management process improvement timelines, companies must consider their automation maturity level and integrations with multiple CI/CD tools, before setting procedure expansion and improvement timelines.
BrowserStack’s cloud Selenium grid of 3000+ real devices and browsers proffers integrations with multiple CI/CD tools. Sign up for free and start implementing automated tests on modern devices and browsers on the cloud.
Install & configure the BrowserStack Jenkins plugin:
The BrowserStack Jenkins plugin eases the procedure to configure Jenkins to run testing on BrowserStack. This segment explains how to:
1. Install the BrowserStack plugin2. Configure your credentials of BrowserStack in the plugin
Note: This plugin additionally supports integration with the reporting framework in NodeJS – Protractor and WebdriverIO and Java – TestNG and JUnit. Take a glance to integrate Jenkins with reporting frameworks section to study the integration phases.
Change Management with DevOps — a Perfect Union?
DevOps is more than simply practices and tools for operations and development teams. It’s a culture of continuing collaboration, cross-function, and constant improvements — key facets of successful change management.
GitLab’s 2021 DevSecOps Survey reflects how DevOps drives organizational efficiency and change.
- Over 62 % of responders say it allowed them to transform organizational roles. For instance, operations groups started instrumenting and refining the code for the infrastructure they should maintain.
- Roughly 84 % of software developers in the survey stated that DevOps assisted them in releasing code faster.
- In 19% of cases, 10 x faster.
Enhancing DevOps Change Management with Automation Practices
- Source Code management: Integrate version control systems and collaboration tools to assist the employees in reviewing changes you make in source code & databases. Particularly, elite teams that implement change management have 3.4 times more steady systems than those that do not.
- Continuous integration & deployment (CI/CD): Such DevOps change management tools check for dependency issues and bugs in code releases, confirming that just validated changes are employed in production. It also minimizes friction between team handoffs, therefore declining change lead times.
- Change Tracking: You should document all changes in the test cases, technical documentation, & project plans. Advanced logging software could track minor changes to relieve some of that work for the team.
- Information-sharing platforms: Data sharing is vital to breaking silos, as we stated before. Ensure your teams have a safe platform to communicate and access documents.
Concentrate on those that allow you to employ changes on demand, get quality feedback instantly & act on it to progress.
Must-Read: How to improve DevOps Feedback Loop
Whatever the size of your DevOps organization or team, embracing automation and keeping your personnel in the loop is the key to the success of change management. Change management can increase projects and organizational success by implementing several methods, applying structured tools, and designing clear processes.
One key point in CM is including people in the change process. Change in any company can’t be attained without the support of management and employees. The correct plan for CM assists in ensuring that the change process is in progress and managed at the right time by the right people.
Also Read: Why DevOps Teams Need Cloud-Based Solutions