In the early days of project management, there were a handful of principles and project management methodologies. The waterfall model used to be a preferred choice, but as time went on and project complexity increased, the waterfall model became obsolete. New project management methodologies were developed to overcome its shortcomings. Fast forward to today and we now have dozens of project management methodologies catering to different types of projects.
The biggest problem with the waterfall model is that it follows a linear approach, which means that you will have to complete the current phase before moving on to the next one. The waterfall model might be a good option for linear projects where each task and phase need to be executed sequentially. This lack of flexibility can hurt your projects especially when you have to delegate project tasks to different departments and other project members.
Thankfully, DevOps offers a perfect alternative. It enhances collaboration and teamwork without compromising on traditional project handoff. More importantly, you can get the best of both worlds with DevOps by combining the best elements of IT project management with DevOps. In this article, you will learn how you can implement hybrid DevOps in project management.
1. Start With Small Projects
When implementing hybrid DevOps in projects, it is a good idea to start with small projects. Give your team some time to get the hang of things and allow enough time to understand how the hybrid DevOps approach will work in real-world projects. Instead of asking your team members to take up courses or read books, it is a good idea to give them some hands-on experience by implementing DevOps on smaller projects. This approach works best when your teamwork cohesively towards a common goal.
2. Collaboration Is Key
DevOps requires a strong user and IT working relationships in order to succeed. Start your DevOps journey by making your IT department and your most tech-savvy users on a single table. You can use collaboration and communication tools to ensure that everyone is on the same page. Focus on eliminating silos and enhance team collaboration. The best way to do that is to create a unified vision. This will unite all teams and departments under one umbrella and help you achieve your target.
3. Define Roles and Hierarchy
It is critical to assign roles and define the hierarchy so that the project team members are clear about who they will be reporting to and what is expected of them. Once they know what their roles and responsibilities are, they are in a better position to complete the task efficiently. Make sure you assign one project manager to each DevOps project. This will clear all types of confusion and minimize the probability of project management mistakes.
4. Focus On Minimum Viable Product
If you are working on a critical project that offers you high returns, then you should create a minimum viable product first and show it to the client. Once you get the green signal from clients, you can proceed instead of delivering the final product at the end. This also allows you to take feedback and improve the product in the next cycle. Meanwhile, clients can visualize what the final product would be like and if they found some discrepancies in the prototype, they can tell you there and then which would save you from costly rework.
When you create a product that is based on client feedback, it will solve their problems and fulfill their needs. As a result, it will increase customer satisfaction, which forces your client to come back for more in the future. This way, you build long-term relationships with your clients and they become your loyal customers.
5. Track Progress
Success in DevOps is heavily dependent on the tools you use. That is why it is important to choose the right tools. Use the best task management software to monitor progress. This will give you a clear picture of which project team member is working on which task.
With real-time updates, you can stay in sync with the current progress of tasks and projects. It also allows you room to make necessary changes if you are falling behind the deadline and minimize the risk of project failure. More importantly, you can hold your project team members accountable for their actions.
6. Build Cross-Functional Teams
As mentioned before, DevOps eliminates silos and encourages teamwork. This means that you will have to create cross-functional teams and ensure they collaborate throughout the project lifecycle, from requirements gathering to deployment. DevOps projects continue to evolve over time so your understanding will also continuously change throughout different phases. Keep an eye on task handoff and try to minimize it as much as possible to ensure smooth sailing for your project.
How do you implement DevOps in project management? Let us know in the comments section below.