The ABC of Transformation

DASA Glossary

DASA glossary encapsulates key Agile and DevOps terms fundamental to digital transformation and adoption strategies. These terms are seeded in the DASA philosophy of successful transformation and are a cumulation of experts’ knowledge over the years.

1

Why DASA Glossary

DASA’s mission is to enable organizations in their transformation journey of High Performance Digital Organization. DASA believes that a successful transformation follows the sequential transformation of People and culture, Structure, Processes, Governance, Architecture and technology. Therefore, sharing core terms and definitions of this sequential transformation was important.

2

How to Use This Glossary

Use this glossary to build a common understanding of terms and practices in your teams and organizations. You and your teams are ready for DevOps and Agile terms. DASA’s glossary is focused on quality, not quantity.  Use these glossary keywords to communicate and collaborate as individuals and teammates who can successfully contribute to the organization’s transformation.

A
Agile

An approach that promotes collaboration, flexibility, and iterative development practices. It emphasizes continuous communication and adaptability between teams, enhances responsiveness to customer needs, and focuses on delivering value in small, frequent iterations.

Agile Manifesto

A foundational document created in 2001 emphasizing collaboration, adaptability, and customer focus in software development. It emphasizes individuals and interactions, working software, customer collaboration, and responding to change. Links / Resources for Further Reading: Manifesto for Agile Software Development (agilemanifesto.org)

Agile Methodologies

Flexible and iterative approaches (e.g., Scrum or Kanban) to implement an agile (iterative) way of working in an organization.

Antifragility

Concept by Nassim Nicholas Taleb describing systems that benefit from stress and change, thrive in uncertain environments, and leverage disruptions for growth and innovation.

Application Monitoring

The practice of continuously observing and analyzing the performance, behavior, health of software applications, and infrastructure in real time. It involves collecting and analyzing various metrics, logs, and other data to identify issues, bottlenecks, or anomalies.

Automate Everything You Can

A DASA DevOps principle that encourages the automation of repetitive manual tasks (ideally, everything you do more than twice) to improve productivity, accuracy, speed to market, and to minimize boredom.

Automation

Using technology and predefined scripts to replace manual, repetitive tasks in the software development and IT operations lifecycle. It aims to streamline processes, reduce human error, and accelerate delivery by automating tasks such as code deployment, infrastructure provisioning, testing, and monitoring.

Autonomy

Giving freedom to teams, individuals, or components to make decisions and manage their tasks and resources independently while working towards shared goals.

Autoscaling

A cloud computing feature that enables an application or system to dynamically adapt its computing resources in response to immediate demand fluctuations. It increases resources during high loads for performance and scales down during low loads to save costs.

B
Backlog

To work iteratively, you work with a backlog. For more details, see ‘Product Backlog’

Behavior-Driven Development (BDD)

An approach that defines and tests software behavior from a user’s perspective. It fosters collaboration between teams and their customers to create clear, automated tests, aligns development with business goals, and enhances software quality in the DevOps pipeline.

Benefits Tracking

A process used in project management and strategic planning to monitor and measure the achievement of anticipated benefits or outcomes that were identified as objectives when a project or initiative was initiated. It involves systematically assessing whether the expected benefits have been realized and to what extent. Benefits tracking is crucial for ensuring that resources are used effectively and that projects or initiatives deliver the intended value. It helps organizations stay accountable for achieving their goals and provides insights into where improvements may be needed.

Better Value, Sooner, Safer, Happier (BVSSH)

A set of guiding principles in the context of DevOps that encapsulates the core goals and objectives of DevOps practices. It emphasizes delivering better value to customers, stakeholders, and the organization.

Blame Game

When people or groups shift the blame onto others instead of accepting accountability and taking responsibility for errors, problems, deceitful actions, or disruptive behavior.

Bridge of Collaboration

A metaphorical bridge in DevOps signifying the removal of the ‘wall of confusion’ and fostering better communication, collaboration, and understanding between teams.

Build Quality in

The practice of integrating and checking for quality throughout the development and deployment process, from the initial stages of design and coding to testing and deployment. It is different than treating quality assurance as a separate phase.

Business Agility

An organization’s ability to swiftly adapt to market changes by aligning business goals with agile product development practices. It emphasizes collaboration, automation, and a customer-centric approach to deliver value and competitive advantage in a dynamic business environment.

C
CALMS

The acronym stands for Culture, Automation, Lean, Measurement, and Sharing. It is used to structure DevOps practices. Links / Resources for Further Reading: DevOps Culture (Part 1) – IT Revolution

Change Awareness

When each employee or team can explain in their own words the nature of the change, why it is needed, and the risks of not changing. Note that awareness is not the same as agreeing with or knowing how to change.

Change Failure Rate (CFR)

The percentage of software changes or deployments that go wrong and need fixing. It shows how reliable software releases are and how well deployment processes work. As one of the DORA metrics, it is relevant in measuring the progress of a DevOps transformation. Links / Resources for Further Reading: Use Four Keys metrics like change failure rate to measure your DevOps performance | Google Cloud Blog

Cloud Computing

A technology model that delivers computing services, including servers, storage, databases, networking, software, analytics, and more, over the internet. Instead of maintaining and managing physical hardware and software, large clouds often have functions distributed over multiple locations, each of which is a data center.

Collaboration

The act of working together to achieve a common goal. In a DevOps context, this often involves various business and IT roles closely working together.

Community of Practice

A group of people with common interests or skills gathered to learn, share knowledge, foster collaboration, and engage in cross-functional learning and innovation which enhances their work.

Complexity Awareness (of systems and services)

The understanding and acknowledgment of the complexity inherent in systems and services which informs decision-making and risk management. As the number of services in a system increases, the system’s complexity also increases, which can lead to a decrease in the overall quality of the system. It’s crucial to balance the number of services and the level of complexity to maintain the highest possible quality.

Compliance

Adherence to a set of processes that align with internal conduct rules and external regulations. Demonstrating compliance is vital for organizations across multiple contexts.

Component Decoupling

Process that involves partitioning the system into modular components that can be developed, deployed, and maintained independently by different teams.

Containers

Standalone and lightweight components that include everything needed to run an application, such as code, runtime, system tools, system libraries, and settings. Containers ensure application consistency across different environments.

Continuous Delivery (CD)

A software development practice that focuses on automating and streamlining the process of software delivery process to production or other target environments. It focuses on ensuring that the software is always release-ready with manual approval. The primary goal of CD is to ensure that software can be reliably and efficiently released to end-users at any time with a high level of quality and minimal manual intervention. Continuous Delivery is closely related to Continuous Integration (CI), where code changes are continuously integrated into a shared repository. Together, CI/CD practices form a foundation for agile software development, enabling teams to release software more frequently, reliably, and with reduced risk.

Continuous Deployment

Process that automates the release process, deploying changes to production automatically.

Continuous Feedback

An ongoing process of collecting, analyzing, and using feedback throughout the effort to flow value to the customer. It involves obtaining insights and information from various sources, including users, stakeholders, automated testing tools, monitoring systems, and team members to assess quality, performance, and functionality of the products and services provided to the customer.

Continuous Improvement

An ongoing process of identifying, analyzing, and making incremental improvements to systems, processes, products, or services. A DASA DevOps principle, its purpose is to drive efficiency, improve quality, and value delivery while minimizing waste, variation, and defects. Continuous improvement is driven by ongoing feedback, collaboration, and data.

Continuous Integration (CI)

The practice of automating the integration of code changes from multiple contributors into a single software project. Developers merge their changes into the main branch. The main benefits of CI are improved collaboration, reduced integration issues, and early detection of defects.

Continuous Monitoring

Practise of continuously and automatically watching over software and systems to ensure they work well, stay secure, and stay healthy by routinely checking the health, performance, and reliability of applications and infrastructure. It is a key in maintaining system integrity.

Conway’s Law

A theory proposed by Melvin Conway which states that the structure of an organization will be reflected in its software products. Complex organizations tend to produce complex systems.

Courage

The bravery to challenge norms, speak up for innovative solutions, and take calculated risks to drive positive organizational change, even in the face of uncertainty.

Create with the End in Mind

This DASA principle encourages teams to consider the functionality, usability, and maintainability of the end product and the value it delivers from the onset of the development process.

Cross-Functional Autonomous Teams

This DASA principle encourages building teams with diverse complementary skill sets (T-shaped profiles) who collaborate to achieve common goals, fostering a culture of shared responsibility and open communication.

Cultural Change

Process of reshaping an organization’s mindset and behaviors. In the context of a DevOps transformation, this means establishing a value and belief set that enables and sustains promoting teamwork, constant improvement, automation, and shared responsibility across different teams. Culture needs to be changed before tools and processes can succeed in your Agile/DevOps adoption or digital transformation.

Culture

The shared values, beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors of all individuals that characterize a group or organization. Culture influences how people behave, make decisions, and interact with each other in the workplace. Links / Resources for Further Reading: Richard D. Lewis’ book “When Cultures Collide: Leading Across Cultures”

Customer-Centric Action

This DASA principle places customers as the key to organizational success, with all product development processes revolving around their needs. It involves thoroughly analyzing the impact of its decisions on the customer and aims to ensure a positive customer experience at every stage of the customer journey.

Customer Experience (CX)

A collective sum of how customers feel from their interactions, use of the products or services, and how they were included in the end-to-end process of flowing value to them as customers.

Customer Feedback

Valuable input and opinions from customers, their satisfaction or dissatisfaction, and how they feel about their exposure and experiences with an organization, people, products, and services.

Customer Value

The value that a customer assigns to a product or service.

Cycle Time

The time taken to finish a task from start to finish. It’s a crucial metric for measuring and improving the efficiency of iterative or cyclic processes. A shorter cycle time means faster value delivery and more agility.

Cynefin Framework

A framework that categorizes problems into domains (simple, complicated, complex, chaotic) to guide the right problem-solving approach. It enhances decision-making and adaptability in dynamic DevOps environments, which helps organizations navigate the complexity and uncertainty of various business problems.

D
DASA Competence Quickscan

A self-assessment questionnaire targeted at everyone working in a DevOps and Agile environment. It measures an individual’s or a team’s DevOps capabilities based on the DASA Team Competence Model.

DASA Competency Framework

A framework that defines knowledge, skills, attitudes, and attributes needed by people within a particular situation, such as their job role. It includes several competencies that can be applied to multiple roles within a team or organization. It allows employees and the organization to have a common understanding of values and indicates, broadly, the definition of performance excellence within an organization.

DASA DevOps Principles

Fundamental guidelines by DASA that promote effective DevOps and Agile practices. It includes customer-centric action, end-to-end responsibility, continuous improvement, creation with the end in mind, cross-functional autonomous teams, and automating everything you can.

DASA Digital Readiness Assessment (DRA)

A DASA guidance product that evaluates an organization’s readiness for digital transformation by analyzing technology, workforce, processes, leadership, and culture. It identifies strengths and weaknesses, enabling informed decisions to leverage digital technology for business goals.

DASA Team Competence Model

A competence model that describes the essential skills needed in a DevOps team. DASA has identified four skill areas and eight knowledge areas. The model outlines what the expected behavior or knowledge is for each of these 12 capabilities.

Decoupling

Enhancing agility in an organization by removing dependencies and enabling teams to operate autonomously and control their products and services, data models, schemas, deployment pipelines, and environments.

Deployment Frequency

The frequency at which new software releases or updates are deployed into production or operational environment. It measures the rate at which changes to software are delivered and made available to users. It is one of the four DORA metrics. Links / Resources for Further Reading: Use Four Keys metrics like change failure rate to measure your DevOps performance | Google Cloud Blog

DevOps

A transformative cultural shift that encourages teamwork, innovation, and efficiency. It fosters a culture of collaboration, trust, and shared responsibility in the organization, for example, between IT Development and IT Operations. DevOps is the key to building high-performance digital organizations that thrive in today’s competitive landscape by enabling rapid adaptation, innovation, and customer satisfaction. Being a maturing discipline, in recent years, DevOps leaders and professionals have increasingly focused on new perspectives and practices from a people, culture, organizational transformation, and digital leadership perspective.

DevOps Agile Skills Association (DASA)

The largest DevOps and Agile industry body worldwide and ‘go-to-partner’ for enterprises that want to transform towards a high-performance digital organization. Its body of knowledge, talent and guidance solutions, and powerful global community facilitate organizations in their journey towards flow, business agility, and value maximization for both their customers and employees. With hundreds of active member and partner organizations in its global ecosystem, DASA helps define, inform, and advance the DevOps industry through networking, knowledge sharing, awards, continuous learning, and certifications.

DevOps Culture

A set of value and beliefs that results in the behaviors that empower autonomous teams to work iteratively in small batches focused on flowing value to the customer. Collaboration, communication, shared responsiblity, improving speed, quality, and reliability of products and servcies are some desired behaviors. Links / Resources for Further Reading: Richard D. Lewis’ book “When Cultures Collide: Leading Across Cultures”

DevOps Leadership

Leadership where leaders promote and facilitate DevOps principles and practices by driving adoption, fostering collaboration, supporting automation, and aligning organizational goals. A DevOps leader leads by empowering, serving, and setting up self-forming autonomous teams for success. The synergy of the leader and those they are supporting is focused on making the future state vision a reality, with an emphasis on flowing value to the customer.

DevOps Research and Assessment (DORA)

Conducts research and assessments on DevOps practices, aiming to improve software delivery performance through metrics and best practices. It assists organizations in optimizing DevOps processes, fostering team collaboration, and achieving faster, more reliable software development and delivery.

DevOps Team

A cross-functional group responsible for implementing and managing DevOps practices in accordance with the DevOps Principles. Comprising professionals with diverse skills, they automate processes, integrate workflows, and aim for efficient and reliable software delivery, emphasizing collaboration and fostering development and deployment.

DevOps Tools

The assortment of technologies, methods, and services used to create the development and deployment practices for product or service lines.

DevOps Transformation

A strategic shift towards adopting DevOps principles and practices which requires an evolution to an integrated organizational structure and high-performance culture within an organization. It breaks down silos, automates processes, fosters shared responsibility for faster, more efficient software delivery, and involves changes in workflows, tools, and structures to align with DevOps values, improving software development and operations outcomes.

DevSecOps

Integrating security practices into DevOps explicitly. Security needs to be included as part of the quality mindset advocated by the fundamental DevOps principles. People and their organizations should always think, plan, and operate from a DevSecOps perspective.

Digital Transformation

An organization’s effort to integrate digital technology, building upon or from technology disruption, to enhance operations, products, and services, fostering innovation and improving customer experiences by establishing a process or model that considers and addresses today’s user needs regardless of the specific technology. It enables organizations to adapt to market changes and gain a competitive edge. Links / Resources for Further Reading: Book: Why Digital Transformations Fail: The Surprising Disciplines of How to Take Off and Stay Ahead – Saldanha, Tony, McDonald, Robert A.

DORA Metrics

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) that measure the speed and quality of software development and delivery. DORA metrics consist of deployment frequency, lead time for changes, time to restore service, and change failure rate. These metrics help organizations assess and improve their DevOps practices for better software delivery. Links / Resources for Further Reading: Use Four Keys metrics like change failure rate to measure your DevOps performance | Google Cloud Blog

E
Employee Experience (EX)

Ability of an organization to set up its employees for success. It includes work environment, teamwork, tools, and opportunities to learn and grow.

End-to-End Responsibility

A DASA DevOps principle which requires taking ownership of the entire product or service lifecycle, from inception to delivery and beyond. It means that the same team or individuals who create software are also responsible for its performance, security, and maintenance throughout its life. This approach promotes teamwork and accountability, leading to more reliable and efficient software processes.

Engineering Mindset

Approaching tasks with a problem-solving attitude, using systematic, scientific (hypothesis and testing), iterative processes, data, and automation. It’s about teamwork, learning, and innovation to improve operations while flowing value to the customer.

Everything as Code

Managing everything in software development, IT operations, security, and compliance using the principles and tools of coding to make the whole process more efficient and consistent.

Evolutionary Architecture

An approach to building software that can adapt, change, and evolve throughout its life cycle to meet continually changing business and customer requirements as the organization flows value to the customer.

Experience Management

Collecting, analyzing, and acting on the feedback received to improve customer, employee, and stakeholder experiences with an organization and its products and services. It includes surveys, data analysis, and implementing changes based on insights to enhance satisfaction, engagement, usability, and overall performance.

Experimentation

Trying new ideas, concepts, configurations, and making changes by defining hypotheses, executing small changes, and evaluating real-world effects in a controlled manner. Experimentation is a key driver for innovation and figuring out how to best move forward regarding a particular situation.

F
Fail Fast

The action of failing as early in the process as possible to learn and correct problems in the early phases. The objective is to reduce risk and costs by failing during the earliest efforts or initial stages of an action when the investment is minor, or the least amount of resources are involved.

Federated IT Service Managment (FitSM)

Lightweight standards for enabling IT services to meet their business needs. It’s flexible and more straightforward than other frameworks like ITIL, making it suitable for various organizations. Links / Resources for Further Reading: FitSM – A free standard for lightweight ITSM (https://www.fitsm.eu/)

Flow Framework

A set of practices for measuring and improving the flow in product development and service organizations. It has been adopted by leaders worldwide and integrated into other frameworks to bridge the gap between technologists and business stakeholders. Links / Resources for Further Reading: Flow Framework (https://flowframework.org/)

Flow Metrics

Metrics that measure the value flow through the software delivery process. The basic metrics of the flow framework are Flow Velocity, Flow Time, Flow Load, and Flow Efficiency. Links / Resources for Further Reading: Flow-Framework-8.5×11.pdf (planview.com)

Functional Requirements

A key component of software and system development that describes specific functions and capabilities a system, application, or product must have to meet the needs of its users or stakeholders. Functional requirements outline the desired behaviors and interactions of the system and play a crucial role in guiding the design, development, and testing phases of a project.

G
Gemba Walk

Walking through the workplace where work is being done to experience, gain first-hand insights, directly observe work processes, engage with employees, identify opportunities for improvement, and research root causes for issues.

Growth Mindset

Believing that you can improve through effort and learning. It means seeing failure as learning, challenges as chances to get better, being persistent, seeking new skills, embracing change, acceptance of risk-taking, and valuing teamwork.

H
High-Performance Digital Organization

An organization that excels in leveraging digital technologies and practices to achieve outstanding results in software development, delivery, and overall business performance. Such organizations are known for their ability to innovate, adapt to change, and respond rapidly to customer needs and market dynamics.

I
Immutable Infrastructure

Never modifying deployed servers or containers; instead, new instances are created from predefined templates for consistency, replacing the old models, simplifying maintenance, and improving reliability to reduce problems like configuration drift.

Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL)

Framework for agile IT service management that promotes collaboration and customer-centricity, making it valuable for DevOps and Agile skills. Links / Resources for Further Reading: ITIL | IT Service Management | Axelos

Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)

A cloud computing model that provides on-demand virtualized computing resources like servers, storage, and networking, facilitating rapid provisioning through virtualization. Most models are supplied on a pay-as-you-go basis.

Infrastructure Monitoring

Constant tracking and analysis of IT infrastructure to maintain reliability, health, improve business outcomes, and drive value across the organization. It ensures real-time issue detection and swift resolution resulting in seamless operations.

Intrinsic Motivation

Intrinsic Motivation is an individual’s internal desire and passion to excel, continuously learn and embrace DevOps principles and practices. It emphasizes genuine enthusiasm and self-motivation rather than external incentives, fostering a collaborative and adaptable team culture.

IT Operations Management (ITOM)

Activities, processes, and tools used to manage and maintain an organization’s IT infrastructure and services to ensure their reliability, availability, and performance.

IT Service Management (ITSM)

The requirements for developing and implementing a proper IT management system along with best practices and processes to be applied for service management concerning the business. They are also known or referenced as ISO/IEC 2000. Links / Resources for Further Reading: ISO/IEC 20000-1:2018 – Information technology — Service management

Iterations

Fixed timeframes (usually 1-4 weeks) during which teams plan, develop, test, and deliver a potentially shippable product increment. Working in iterations is essential for teams and organizations because it involves the art of learning iteratively by failing fast.

J
Jidoka

A concept from Lean Manufacturing and Toyota Production System that refers to the separation of automation processes and stopping the process when an abnormality or defect is detected, enabling immediate review by humans and following corrective action. In DevOps, it relates to keeping the Continuous Delivery Pipeline operational at all times, especially when an issue breaking it gets noted.

K
Kaizen

A Japanese term used for continuous improvement, emphasizing small, incremental changes to enhance processes, products, and services over time. Together with Jidoka, it builds the two pillars of the Toyota production system known as lean in the Western world.

Kanban

A visual management methodology related to lean concepts that focus on visualizing work, limiting work in progress (WIP), and continuously improving processes. It promotes efficient and effective continuous delivery.

Kanban Board

A visual tool used to manage work items. Often uses columns representing stages of work and cards representing tasks or items, allowing teams to signal handovers and thus track progress and control the work flow.

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)

Quantifiable metrics are usually lagging indicators used to assess the performance of a process, team, or organization. They are used to provide valuable insights into efficiency and sometimes effectiveness and areas for improvement.

Key Value Indicators (KVIs)

Future-focused metrics that precisely quantify the value generated by an organization’s products or services for its stakeholders, helping to align efforts with customer needs.

L
Lagging Indicators

Lagging indicators are retrospective metrics that reflect past performance and outcomes, often used for performance evaluation and reporting.

Lead Time for Changes

Time taken from identifying a need for a change (e.g., a new feature) to its successful deployment into a production environment. Lead Time for Changes is one of the four DORA metrics. Links / Resources for Further Reading: Use Four Keys metrics like change failure rate to measure your DevOps performance | Google Cloud Blog

Leading indicators

Proactive metrics that provide early insights into trends and potential future performance, helping with decision-making and course correction.

Lean

A philosophy of “Making good things to make a good living.” It builds on Kaizen and Jidoka and contains a set of principles aimed at eliminating waste by finding new approaches and improving towards better results, increasing efficiency, and optimizing processes in various domains, including software development and manufacturing. Links / Resources for Further Reading: Ohno, Taiichi (1988), Toyota Production System: Beyond Large-Scale Production, Cambridge, MA: Productivity Press, ISBN 0915299143

Lean Principles

Foundational concepts that guide lean methodologies, focusing on delivering value, reducing waste, and continuous improvement.

Lean Startup

An approach to product development that emphasizes rapid iteration, customer feedback, and the creation of a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) to validate ideas and reduce risk. Links / Resources for Further Reading: Book: The Lean Startup‎, 2011 by Eric Ries

M
Mean Time to Recover (MTTR)

A metric that measures the average time it takes to restore a service or system to normal operation after an incident or failure. It is one of the four DORA metrics. Links / Resources for Further Reading: Use Four Keys metrics like change failure rate to measure your DevOps performance | Google Cloud Blog

Measurement

The collection and analysis of data and metrics to gain insights into processes and performance, enabling informed decision-making and improvement.

Microservice Architecture (MSA)

A software architectural style that structures an application as a collection of small, independent services that can be developed and deployed separately.

Minimum Viable Product (MVP)

The simplest version of a product with just enough features to meet customer needs and collect feedback for further development.

Mission Command

A leadership philosophy that empowers teams to make autonomous decisions and take ownership of tasks, emphasizing shared understanding and trust.

N
Non-functional Requirements

The requirements specifying the characteristics or quality attributes of a system or service, such as performance, security, and scalability, rather than its functional behavior.

Non-Value Added (NVA) Activities

Tasks or processes that do not contribute value to the end product or service and are considered wasteful in Lean thinking.

O
Obeya Room

A dedicated physical or virtual space where cross-functional teams collaborate, plan, and visualize work using visual management techniques. Links / Resources for Further Reading: What is an Obeya? – Obeya Association (obeya-association.com)

Objectives & Key Results (OKRs)

A goal-setting framework that defines objectives and measurable key results, aligning teams and individuals with organizational goals.

OGSM

A strategic planning and management framework that helps organizations define their objectives, set specific goals, outline strategies for achieving those goals, and establish performance measures to track progress and success. Links / Resources for Further Reading: What really matters : service, leadership, people, and values by Pepper, John (2007)

Operations Monitoring

Monitoring that provides business and operations insights early on to facilitate prompt corrective actions.

Organizational Culture

Organizational culture represents the values, beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors shared by members of an organization, influencing how work is done and decisions are made.

Organizational Silos

Barriers that exist within an organization, separating different teams, departments, or functional areas. These barriers can be both structural and cultural and can hinder communication, collaboration, and the flow of information and work between different parts of the organization.

P
PDCA Cycle

Framework for continuous improvement involving planning, execution, monitoring, and adjustment to enhance processes and achieve better results. Links / Resources for Further Reading: PDCA – Wikipedia

Periodic Table of DevOps Tools

A conceptual model that organizes and categorizes various tools used in the DevOps ecosystem, making it easier to understand their functions and purposes. Links / Resources for Further Reading: Periodic Table of DevSecOps Tools | Digital.ai

Platform as a Service (PaaS)

A cloud computing model that provides a platform for developing, running, and managing applications, abstracting infrastructure management.

Platform Monitoring

Tracking the health and performance of the underlying platform, such as cloud infrastructure or server clusters, to ensure reliability.

Platform Teams

Cross-functional teams responsible for the development and maintenance of shared platform services within an organization. It’s mentioned in Team Topologies.

Portfolio Management

The management and prioritization of the collection of projects, products, or services within an organization to align with strategic goals. It takes a more adaptive and value-driven approach to ensure that resources are invested in the most valuable work.

Predictive Monitoring

Monitoring that uses data analysis and modeling to forecast potential issues or incidents before they occur, allowing proactive mitigation.

Prioritization

The process of ranking tasks, features, or projects based on their importance, urgency, or value, guiding resource allocation and decision-making.

Product

A tangible or intangible item, system, or deliverable created, designed, or developed to address specific needs, provide value to users or customers, and achieve particular objectives. It can encompass a wide range of offerings, including software applications, hardware devices, services, and more.

Product Backlog

A dynamic, ordered list of all the features, user stories, enhancements, bug fixes, and other work items that must be addressed in a product or project to achieve a specific outcome.

Product Management

The discipline of planning, developing, and managing a product throughout its lifecycle, including defining its features, ensuring its quality, and meeting customer needs. Product managers are responsible for defining the product vision, strategy, and roadmap, as well as overseeing the development and lifecycle of the product.

Product Owner

A leader who serves as the primary point of contact between the development team and stakeholders, including customers and business representatives. The product owner acts as the voice of the customer and business and plays a critical role in defining, prioritizing, and guiding the development of the product or project.

Product Teams

Cross-functional groups of individuals responsible for designing, developing, delivering, and maintaining a specific (software) product or service. The primary objective of a product team is to work collaboratively to create and improve a product, ensuring that it meets the needs of its users and aligns with the organization’s goals.

Product Thinking

An approach that encourages teams to think holistically about the product, focusing on value delivery and customer satisfaction. It involves thinking beyond just building features or delivering solutions and instead focuses on understanding and addressing the actual needs and problems of users. With product thinking the resulting product or service is the key focus, in contrast to a project-centric approach where the focus is on completing specific tasks within a fixed timeline.

Psychological Safety

A workplace culture where team members feel safe to take risks, share ideas, and be vulnerable without fear of retribution or embarrassment. Links / Resources for Further Reading: Book: The fearless Organization

Q
Quality Mindset

An approach and philosophy that emphasizes the importance of delivering high-quality products and services consistently. It involves a set of attitudes, values, and behaviors that prioritize quality at every stage of development, from planning and design to testing and delivery.

R
Release Management

Management involving planning, coordinating, and executing the deployment of software or system updates into production environments, ensuring reliability and minimizing disruption.

Resilience Engineering

An approach to system design and management that focuses on ensuring the continued functioning of complex systems, particularly in the face of unexpected and potentially disruptive events. Resilience engineering, in the context of software and system design, is closely related to chaos engineering, a specific discipline within this field. Chaos engineering is a practice that involves intentionally introducing controlled, disruptive events or failures into a system to test its resilience and the ability to maintain functionality in the face of unexpected issues.

S
Scalability

The ability of a system or service to handle increased workload by adding resources and adapting to growing demands without a significant drop in performance.

Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe)

A comprehensive and widely adopted framework for scaling agile principles and methods to large organizations, promoting alignment, collaboration, and delivery at scale. Links / Resources for Further Reading: SAFe 6.0 (scaledagileframework.com)

Scaling Frameworks

Structured approaches and methodologies designed to facilitate the application of Agile principles and practices at scale within large organizations. Some well-known scaling frameworks include Large Scale Scrum (LeSS), Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe), NEXUS, Spotify model, and unFIX. Links / Resources for Further Reading: Scaling DevOps [English] – vempio

Scrum

An agile framework for software development and project management that provides a structured and iterative approach to delivering high-quality products. It operates on a series of time-boxed iterations called Sprints and involves roles such as the Scrum Team, Scrum Master, and Product Owner, along with artifacts like the product backlog, sprint backlog, and potentially shippable product increment. Links / Resources for Further Reading: What is Scrum? | Scrum.org

Service

A discrete and self-contained unit of functionality or value that an organization delivers to its customers or users. Service thinking focuses on outcomes that customers want to achieve without these customers having to manage specific costs and risks.

Sharing

Communicating information and knowledge transparently across teams and the organization. It promotes learning from successes and failures and ensures that insights are shared to drive continuous improvement.

Shifting Left

The practice of moving tasks, such as testing and security, earlier in the process to catch and address issues sooner. Shifting left is a well-known concept in product development that aligns with principles of collaboration, early feedback, and continuous improvement. It can also be applied to enterprise transformations because it focuses on doing things ‘as early as possible’.

Site Reliability Engineering (SRE)

A discipline or approach to managing large-scale, complex, and highly available software systems. It was developed by Google and is focused on creating a balance between reliability and system performance, often in the context of web-based services and applications. SRE aims to apply engineering principles to operations work and improve the reliability and resilience of systems. Links / Resources for Further Reading: Google – Site Reliability Engineering (sre.google)

Skin in the Game

A concept where individuals or teams have a personal stake or accountability for the outcomes of their decisions and actions. Having “skin in the game” means that the person or organization is directly affected by the success or failure of the endeavor.

Software as a Service (SaaS)

A cloud computing model that delivers software applications over the internet as a service on a subscription basis. Instead of installing and maintaining software on individual computers or local servers, users can access and use the software via a web browser.

Spotify Model

A popular framework for organizing agile teams, characterized by squads, tribes, chapters, and guilds, with an emphasis on autonomy and alignment. Links / Resources for Further Reading: Videos Kniberg

Stakeholder Management

Identifying and engaging with stakeholders to understand their needs and ensure their interests are considered in the development process. Stakeholder management is vital because it promotes transparency, collaboration, and adaptability.

Strategic Governance & Management

The set of principles, processes, and practices such as strategic planning, portfolio management and risk management that ensure the organization’s strategic objectives are defined, communicated, and executed effectively.

Stream-aligned Teams

Teams aligned with specific value streams or customer segments focused on delivering value in those areas. It stems from the framework approach of Team Topologies and has been adopted in other scaling frameworks since.

Systems Thinking

A holistic approach to understanding and managing complex systems, considering the interactions and dependencies between components. It is used to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of software development and delivery processes by systemically addressing complex issues.

T
T-shaped Profiles

Individuals with a broad range of skills and expertise (the horizontal bar of the “T”) and deep knowledge in a specific area (the vertical bar of the “T”). T-shaped professionals are versatile and can contribute effectively across multiple disciplines while excelling in one particular domain.

Team Topologies

A framework for organizing teams and their interactions within an organization to improve delivery and collaboration, based on principles like Conway’s Law and the Theory of Constraints. Links / Resources for Further Reading: Book: Team Topologies, https://web.devopstopologies.com/

Technical Debt

Work required to fix past shortcuts or subpar solutions, like incomplete features or wrong code, that can slow down the development process. DevOps teams address technical debt to ensure smoother and more efficient software delivery by improving code, automation, and processes.

Test-Driven Development (TDD)

A software development practice where developers write tests for a feature before writing the actual code. The tests guide the development process and ensure that code meets specified requirements.

The Five Dysfunctions of a Team

A model introduced by Patrick Lencioni that identifies common dysfunctions in teams: absence of trust, fear of conflict, lack of commitment, avoidance of accountability, and inattention to results. Addressing these dysfunctions is critical to building high-performing teams. Links / Resources for Further Reading: Book with the same title

The Theory of Constraints (ToC)

A management philosophy and methodology that focuses on identifying and addressing the most critical constraints or bottlenecks in a process to improve overall efficiency. Links / Resources for Further Reading: Book: the goal by Goldratt

Three Ways

The “Three Ways” of DevOps, popularized by the DevOps Handbook and The Phoenix Project, are a set of principles that form the foundation of the DevOps methodology. The principles are Flow, Feedback, Continuous Learning, and Experimentation. Links / Resources for Further Reading: Books: DevOps Handbook, Phoenix Project

Transactional Leader

Leaders that lead based on the exchange or transaction between people, teams, and steps in the processes. They rely on structured systems and exchange of rewards (incentives) and punishments to motivate their team. Some may refer to this leadership as managerial leadership.

Transformational Leader

A type of leader who inspires and empowers their team members to achieve extraordinary results and to surpass their expectations using vision. In the context of DevOps and Agile, transformational leaders are also considered the lead “change agents” and can play a vital role in driving organizational change to achieve success. They work with a continous improvement mindset and use intuition to lead the adaptation to changing environments, and continuously evolve people, processes, and products based on how the organization can best flow value to the customer.

Tuckman Model

The Model, also known as Forming-Storming-Norming-Performing-Adjourning, describes the stages of team development, from initial formation to becoming a high-performing team. Links / Resources for Further Reading: Bruce W. Tuckman: Developmental sequence in small groups. In: Psychological Bulletin. 63, 1965, S. 384–399.

U
User Experience (UX)

It encompasses all aspects of an end-user’s interaction with a product or service, including usability, accessibility, and the overall satisfaction and impression of the user.

V
Value

A fundamental concept that represents the benefit or worth or usefulness delivered, derived from the work, products, or services delivered as part of a project, initiative, or process. Understanding and measuring value, especially as perceived by customers, is crucial for aligning business operations with customer needs and expectations. Links / Resources for Further Reading: Book: Better Value, sooner, safer, happier (BVSSH)

Value Stream

The end-to-end sequence of activities and steps required to deliver a product or service to the customer, including the flow of information and materials. Links / Resources for Further Reading: Mike Rother, John Shook: Learning to See – Value-stream mapping to create value and eliminate muda. Lean Enterprise Institute

Value Stream Management

Continuous improvement of value streams by identifying bottlenecks, optimizing workflows, and enhancing value delivery. Links / Resources for Further Reading: Mike Rother, John Shook: Learning to See – Value-stream mapping to create value and eliminate muda. Lean Enterprise Institute

Value Stream Mapping

A tool and technique to visualize a value stream, highlighting areas of inefficiency, waste, and opportunities for improvement. It encourages cross-functional collaboration, helps teams focus on customer-centric processes, and enables continuous improvement efforts. Links / Resources for Further Reading: Mike Rother, John Shook: Learning to See – Value-stream mapping to create value and eliminate muda. Lean Enterprise Institute

Visual Management

The practice of using visual cues and tools to communicate information, progress, and status within a team or organization. Links / Resources for Further Reading: Book: Making work visible

W
Wall of Confusion

A term used in DevOps to describe the disconnect or miscommunication between development and operations teams within an organization, often due to conflicting goals or objectives. This wall can lead to inefficiencies and other problems within the organization. Multiple walls of confusion might exist in other parts of the organization. A goal during DevOps transformation is to dismantle the walls of confusion.

Back to top arrow