DevOps is a project management process and philosophy that is meant to boost an organization’s productivity when delivering applications. However, even with the best practices in place, you need to be able to ensure that all team members stay on task to make it work.
Managing productivity is challenging in a traditional workplace environment; it becomes even more challenging when using remote workspaces and having your team divided. Here is how you can increase your DevOps remote workplace productivity.
Nothing identifies where someone is falling short with their tasks like testing performance. From a DevOps perspective, that means looking at the overall performance of the code and identify any potential issues. This could include load testing (see https://stackify.com/ for more information) and regular peer code reviews to keep everyone on the same page.
In addition to testing the performance of your applications, it’s essential to set performance metrics for your team. This plays into the feedback loop for DevOps. Identify key performance metrics for the people working on your project. While it’s human to make an error here and there, there should be a threshold to what’s considered acceptable. Having performance metrics for your remote team will keep them on task, even when they aren’t being supervised in person.
To keep your team on task, set SMART goals– goals that are specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time bound. To translate SMART goals into deliverables, it means breaking down what needs to be completed into daily, weekly, and monthly tasks.
Consider adding a daily conference call each morning to discuss what will be done over the day, what challenges were faced with the previous day’s work, why any deadlines have been missed, and how everyone will get back on track. The assigned project manager should be in charge of running this meeting and keeping track of the progress made each day.
Communication is one of the most significant parts of the DevOps philosophy. Continuous feedback, honesty, transparency, and collaboration all fall under the umbrella of communication. By keeping communication open and clear, you encourage productivity across the board.
Technology has made it easier to keep lines of communication open when teams work remotely. Applications like Slack has reduced the confusion and ambiguity of email conversations, creating an integrated approach to communicating from various parts of the globe. By implementing the tools and policies that promote open communication, you will have more success keeping a team on track.
Make communication expectations clear for your team. If someone must take time away from their project or runs into a problem, they have a responsibility to communicate the delay to the team. Don’t just cover when people are expected to communicate, but the manner in which they are expected to communicate. Tone often gets lost over remote connections and can create unintentional conflicts with a team.
One of the benefits of working with a remote team is that you can pull talent from anywhere in the world. For your team members, they get the benefit of being able to find a balance between their career and goals outside of your business. However, this does present challenges with scheduling.
Flexible scheduling may work for some DevOps projects, but there should still be some guidelines put in place. You may choose to have a team that must work within certain hours that makes sense for your organization. It may mean creating a small overlap for your team working in the Eastern hemisphere with those working in the Western hemisphere. Creating an overlap means that there is a time for communication that makes sense, rather than having days go by with emails sitting untouched.
Another way to manage productivity with your remote DevOps team is to have them identify a set schedule each week during which they’ll be available. As a business, you can set a minimum amount of required hours to ensure that you’re getting the dedication you require. Having this added structure to the DevOps process can be extremely beneficial for a remote team.
Setting minimum expectations for remote workspace conditions will help reduce downtime among your team. For example, requiring that the remote space has strong wifi capabilities is essential to keeping your people productive. Security is another feature that has a lot of merit when using cloud capabilities to share information. This might mean having the ability to log into a secure network or choosing a place where people can’t view your screen (i.e., a home office rather than a coffee shop).
When setting minimum requirements for remote workspaces, be sure to make the expectations clear across the board. If any problems arise with the availability of these spaces, circle back to your open communication policy and have your workers let your project manager know as soon as possible.
By ensuring that everyone has a clear understanding of the DevOps philosophy and applies that to their daily work, you’ll be able to keep your team productive no matter where they are in the world.