DevOps, by design, works faster and completes deadline-oriented projects rapidly. Considering this high volume of project revenue, visibility into essential operational data is simple to mismanage and can tend to simple mistakes, absence of optimization, and organizational misalignment.
To inspect the impact of DevOps Visibility, SmartDraw commissioned; the 2019 DevOps Visibility Report. The outcomes were crucial: each organization surveyed is seeking ways to better DevOps visibility, and 84% of respondents list it as somewhat to extremely important to their organization. But achieving DevOps visibility is not always simple.
Roadblocks to Achieving DevOps Visibility
Respondents identified that visibility reports take skilled workers away from their other priorities. In a small, fast-moving, lean team, removing a skilled worker from a key deadline-driven task can cause performance and timeliness to suffer. Further, the reports are frequently visually critical and not useful.
If the team individual creating the visualization is not able to design it in a simple manner, the report is often wasted effort as it offers no actionable insights. Finally, and potentially the most harmful, the reports are static and do not accurately represent the current state of information. DevOps teams are meant to be Agile, and poor report updating practices can lead to stale data. When that stale data is then used to make decisions, organizations lose productivity and quality.
So, what can DevOps Managers do to enhance this process?
Key DevOps Visualization Recommendations
The 2019 DevOps Visibility Report uncovered four insights to improve operational visibility and efficiency with expanded real-time DevOps data visualization:
First, Avoid Building Static Reports in Spreadsheets
Spreadsheets, which are effective at data analysis, are not the right medium for visibility reports. The static data rapidly becomes out of date and useless. In today’s modern business landscape of rapid change and competition, any manual work becomes a risk to an organization’s decision-making ability.
Second, Present Shared DevOps Information in an Easily Comprehendible Manner
Respondents reported challenges in reporting data in a way that a variety of audiences could comprehend. These reports are designed to be consumed by multiple levels of the organization, with varying degrees of technical knowledge. The most successful respondents focused on visualizing data in an easy-to-understand way.
Third, Adopt Low or No-Code Solution for Visualizing Unique Relational Data
By utilizing a solution that is fully automated, or even mostly automated, organizations allow their skilled team members to prioritize deadline-driven work. Further, this automation allows for improving real-time information and lessens the likelihood of stakeholders making decisions based on old, outdated data.
Finally, Create Self-Service Reports that Enable Non-Engineers to Visual DevOps Data Without Submitting Change Requests to Engineering
It is crucial that DevOps team members can be removed from the update process. Key stakeholders should have the ability to generate a report easily and without input from DevOps. Additionally, this report should be based on existing source data and should allow anyone to drill further in to see the raw numbers that the visualization is drawn from.
A good DevOps process improves quality, lowers cost, and saves time. Yet low visibility can limit DevOps accomplishment and lead to misalignment. Organizations should adopt an automated real-time DevOps visibility solution in order to allow team members to focus on the crucial pieces of their role, provide relevant information to managers, and create digestible visualizations.