Here we were – in the middle of bushland on the side of a mountain with snow and sleet coming at us horizontally. That wasn’t the worst… we didn’t know how far we had to go still and my feet started to hurt.

It made me nervous. We were following a path so clearly we would end up somewhere, but we turned left somewhere – was that a smart choice? Perhaps we are going around in circles, making it difficult to get back to the car?

Lucky for me, my husband always has his trusty iPhone in his pocket and the maps app was working perfectly. A quick glance at the map showed that we were indeed on the right path and that we would end up crossing a road when we keep walking for  a few hundred meters through thick forrest. Crisis averted.

Unexpected winter weather during our hike in Tasmania

Have you ever gone for a hike in an unknown area without really knowing where to go? Perhaps you can rely on your old scouts knowledge and try to read the stars but that requires a lot of skill and is really difficult for most people. It also creates a lot of angst and anxiety, making the overall experience quite stressful.

In 2009 articles were published that people without a map naturally walk in circles (when they couldn’t rely on the sun or the starts for direction).

Scientists have confirmed the popular belief that without anything to guide them humans really do walk in circles. It suggests we shouldn’t trust our senses when lost.

Yet, I see this all the time in business. People trying to navigate through their week on instinct or gut feeling. The lucky ones may have old skills that they can redeploy to help them achieve their goals and objectives. But just like with the hiking example – it turns your career into a very stressful experience. And you may actually be going around in circles.

Process implementation projects are often done the hard way because nobody really knows where we’re going. There are no clear indicators of our direction and no metrics to show what we’ve achieved so far.

That’s why we created the Standard Requirements Self Assessment Toolkits. These toolkits really are your map to follow. It helps you to understand the landscape you’re dealing with (through the various questions in the 7 different phases of process maturity). In addition to the questionnaires, the toolkits also gives you a step by step implementation plan to follow for the most important items on the list. (the RACI diagram and the implementation resources guide you through this).

For example: The DevOps Toolkit.

DevOps Toolkit: best-practice templates, step-by-step work plans and maturity diagnostics

Featuring 942 new and updated case-based questions, organized into seven core areas of process design, this Self-Assessment will help you identify areas in which DevOps improvements can be made.

Examples; 10 of the 942 standard requirements:

  1. Continuous Integration, Continuous Deployment, Continuous Release, and Continuous Delivery are key DevOps enablers. Automated testing involves automated, CI-driven execution of whatever set of tests the team has accumulated. However, if one of these tests fails, what does that really mean: does it indicate a critical business risk, or just a violation of some naming standard that nobody is really committed to following anyway?
  2. You can start to create different test scenarios by bringing together all of the different types of testing that you require, and keeping a tight association with the application components to which these tests belong. This mapping is critical to understand which tests touch which code and more importantly understanding: when the code changes, which tests need to be re-run?
  3. With this new, “full-stack” approach to software delivery comes new opportunity for delay. DevOps was developed as a reaction to the long lead times required for infrastructure provisioning and integration with bureaucracy-laden ITIL processes. But what are these new sources of delay in the software development lifecycle?
  4. DevOps is not about product, it’s about what you know and how your company is structured, how your team works together. So, do your developers, does your development team know exactly what actual production looks like? Can they tell you what production looks like?
  5. A competitive edge, excellent. Focus on continuous delivery. Move on to continuous deployment because that’s going to provide your business value. But look at your individual business. Look at your environment and ask ‘is that what gives us the competitive edge’?
  6. Essentially, DevOps is an operational approach that changes how organizations think about developing and deploying applications. But, for many organizations, this can be a bit vague. How do you introduce this sort of change?
  7. To put your organization on the path to DevOps, you need a clear understanding of your current practices for development and operations. Do your development processes use agile or waterfall methodologies, or both?
  8. DevOps is fundamentally about culture and about the quality of your application. And by quality the specific software engineering term of quality is meant, of different quality attributes. What matters to you?
  9. Do you have performance measures in place from the customer point of view? For instance: How many minutes has the service not responded within its SLA the number of affected customers within a given week?
  10. DevOps needs both a strong definition and a set of standard success measures, but how does your organization measure “improved cooperation between development and operations” or “alignment”?

To provide you with a roadmap for your implementation project, the toolkit also has 62 step-by-step DevOps Project Management forms and templates.

With these toolkits, you can relax knowing that you won’t be going around in circles, but rather following a very clear path towards increased maturity of sustained DevOps in a business context.

If you’re interested in finding out more about the Standard Requirements Self Assessment Toolkits, check them out in our online store.

If you’re keen to talk to us and really want to get going – contact us now to start the conversation.