Any company involved in transitioning to a DevOps culture has chosen to reap the rewards of faster software development life cycles and a rapid service delivery model. For some employees involved in the changeover, this is such a drastic shift in thinking that they struggle to find the rhythm or a comfortable fit, which can sometimes lead to a stressed, vulnerable IT team. As this emotional state does not generally increase productivity or allow the newly constructed “machine” to run smoothly, it’s extremely important that implementing organizations provide additional types of support to these team members.
Ensuring a Distributed Workload
From the moment a shift to DevOps begins, IT is constantly on-duty. Systems must remain speedy and stable at all times and the pressure will always be on to produce the next deliverable in as little time as possible. This may leave workers feeling like they are on call 24/7, never getting real downtime or a break from the grind. Establishing an intelligent on-call system that promotes quality rest and rewards late nights and extra hours will help prevent burnout of these employees.
Sharing the load by having a fair rotation and an organized coverage schedule makes the burden far more bearable and allows staff members to decompress in healthy ways. Additionally, providing adequate rest time rather than demanding someone who’s been putting out fires all night to be at work at 9 a.m. will go a long way towards fostering productivity, ensuring quality results, and avoiding mistakes. Compassionate scheduling also helps reduce absenteeism and turnover resulting from stress-related issues, saving the company time and money.
In many organizations, employees may be afraid to ask for help or approach management with issues, fearing repercussions. From the top levels down, the message must not only be stated but supported with the appropriate responses and reactions. If team members receive positive reinforcement and real results from voicing a need, they are far more likely to help troubleshoot problems and stay with the company rather than leaving because they feel they’ve been ignored.
Empathy Goes a Long Way
Every organization is overwhelmingly busy, but there must always be time to treat people like human beings. Monitor situations such as after-hours work activities (dealing with outages, tickets, and other on-call events) and be cognizant of excessive demands placed on workers. Show empathy and appreciation to them as they give up family time, sleep, and basic human needs to ensure things are under control. Personnel in IT are often highly driven and prone to putting excess strain on themselves. Being watchful and responsive to these situations will help protect and retain these team members.
A DevOps model is not easy, but it can certainly be rewarding when it is thoughtfully implemented and executed. Cleaner code, better results, and happier employees are valuable assets, both for morale and for company finances. Tired, overly stressed people make mistakes and are far less productive. When organizations nurture their contributors, the culture of operational output and service delivery will flourish. For more information on transitioning an organization to DevOps, contact Coda Global today.