The rise of trends like DevOps are forcing tech and IT teams in any business to re-evaluate how they work together. Often described as a ‘culture’ and a ‘relationship’ before anything else, a lot of the conversations around DevOps have been focused on the ability to build on each other’s learning in order to bring those two departments closer together.
As a cloud consultancy, we work a bit differently to your typical in-house DevOps team; performing that function for a lot of different companies as well as working alongside a business’ in-house team to offer support and expertise. Because of this, it’s really important that we can communicate with clients quickly and effectively. For each of our customers, we run dedicated slack channels that we use to chat through projects internally as well as with the technical teams at each company. It’s also used as an activity stream so that clients can see where we’re up to on a project, as well as any action points – this includes GitHub commits, monitoring alerts, remediation of incidents and so on, all made visible to the customer as they happen.
Simple processes like this are filtering down to create a more collaborative working environment across the board – people now actually get up and walk across the room to ask someone a question, pulling up a chair to peer over their screen and learn something.
The whole ethos of sharing has started to have an effect on how we knowledge share outside of the office too. IT teams have moved away from information silos, working far more openly and cross-skilling; they’re willing to talk, to share ideas and to learn from each other. Blowing our own trumpet again, but Manchester’s particularly good at this – you only to have to look at the number of meetups and networking dos taking place each week, like Creative Kitchen or Northern Quarter Tuesday Talks.
Being more collaborative requires a shift in mind-set. Culture is not something that you can teach or implement in a day, it requires long-term change. Whether it’s implementing collaborative values across specific departments like development and IT, or getting that culture to permeate across the board, it seems like a pretty quick win when it comes to doing business better and something that we should all be focusing on getting right.