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Agile Coaches' Corner shares practical concepts in an approachable way. It is for agile practitioners and business leaders seeking expert advice on improving the way they work to achieve their desired outcomes. If you have a topic you'd like discussed, email it to, or tweet it with #agilethoughtpodcast.

Sep 18, 2020

We have a special repeat guest on this week’s episode! It’s Barry Matheney. He is a Senior DevOps Consultant and one of Dan’s colleagues at AgileThought.

Get our Download Would you benefit from a DevOps Coach? 

So often, teams operate on a “get it done” model and try to push their code out the door as quickly as possible, but that is not sustainable and not the markings of a high-class professional team. Barry understands the Scrum Teams’ main mission and purpose is often very wrong; it’s to appease the product owner, not create purposeful and meaningful end-results.

In this week’s episode, Barry shares his thoughts on when it’s time to hire a DevOps coach for an organization, some of the troubles organizations run into (problems with easy fixes!) when it comes to their Scrum Teams, and when you know when your team is on the right track in their DevOps journey.

Key Takeaways

What’s the working definition of DevOps?

  • It’s about delivering better value, sooner, safer, and happier.
  • The difference between Agile and DevOps’s motto is the definition of what “done” truly means.
  • True North for DevOps means there are a continuous delivery and a continuous deployment.
  • If you have some DevOps influence in what you’re doing, you’re on the right track.

What are the best ways a Scrum Team can get started?

  • Typically, when a Scrum Team gets started, the sole focus tends to be delivery of stories. AKA, making the product owner happy.
  • Most product owners don’t care about dashboards or reliability. However, they should. The scope of a product owner should include the production world, as well.

When do you need a DevOps coach?

  • It’s a tough answer. It depends on the team composition.
  • If you have a junior team, they won’t have the experience to know the consequences of bad code.
  • The journey begins as soon as you begin production.
  • You build resiliency by delivering something that cannot fail, something that was built to last. That takes planning and continuous development. Junior teams might not be thinking in these terms just yet.

How do you know when you should be leveraging DevOps?

  • What times do your deployments occur? If you deploy them during off-hours, then something is wrong.
  • Deployments should be normal working events and not interruptions to your life.
  • Do your organization’s security teams always seem to be diving into your business?
  • You can provide compliance and proof to your security teams you’re on the right track and have thought about all the possible security risks.
  • Anything that happens should be logged.
  • You don’t need to manually tinker in production.
  • Software teams want to get things out the door, but that’s not operating at a professional level.
  • The transformation is not about your scrum team. It is an organizational transformation.

What’s the distinction between an Agile coach vs. a DevOps coach?

  • Agile coaches plant the ideas.
  • DevOps coaches can help build the prototypes together and experiment with different theories.
  • DevOps coaches give a continuous approach and re-examine practices that were put into place 10 years ago that may not be relevant now.
  • DevOps is an organizational challenge, not necessarily a team challenge.
  • Waste is bad, so you need to either scrap the project or get it into production. 
  • Remember, DevOps is a journey.

Mentioned in this Episode:

Would you benefit from a DevOps Coach? free download

AgileThought Event: “Virtual Community: Building an Agile Mindset During COVID-19”

Barry Matheney (LinkedIn)

Podcast Ep. 17: “Embedding DevOps in Large Organizations, with Barry Matheney”

Podcast Ep. 12: “The Importance of Embedding a DevOps Skill Set into Your Team”

Greenfield Project

Podcast Ep. 4: “Setting Up Working Agreements with Christy Erbeck”
Strangler Pattern

Podcast Ep. 2: “What is a Full-Cycle Developer?”


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