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Starting a large-scale IT project with DevOps? Read this first.

Avoid expensive DevOps implementation failures by handling the most typical issues already from the start.

Tapani Tirkkonen / October 18, 2022

There is a reason why DevOps has become one of the most prominent frameworks in IT. When DevOps is well understood and fully utilized, strong evidence exists that business agility and IT productivity can increase remarkably.

But, as you probably well know, many have failed in implementing DevOps and backed off from it. Based on our experience with over a hundred successful large-scale IT projects, dozens of which ran with DevOps, we dare to say that many expensive DevOps failures can be prevented just by taking care of some issues right from the start.

Before even considering implementing DevOps into large-scale IT projects, you need to understand what DevOps requires and what it can give at its best. Our recent blog post explains this in more detail. Shortly put: DevOps is neither a silver bullet for fixing traditional ways of working, nor a simple renaming of work titles or processes. It requires fundamental changes in how tens or hundreds of independent and autonomous teams work together towards the same goals.


Four issues you cannot bypass

Running a large-scale project is complex, no matter what framework you choose. To figure out if DevOps would be the appropriate way for you, take at least the following cornerstones into account.

  1. Are you ready for DevOps?

    Typically, DevOps provides the most impressive results in the long term. Therefore, you need a shared understanding of goals, timeframe, level of ambition, and how much you are ready to invest before starting. You also should not forget your current competencies: to run DevOps full steam, cross-functional teams and automated platforms are required.


  1. Do you have the competencies to implement DevOps?

    After the decision to implement DevOps, you need cross-functional teams with enough DevOps competence. Analyse your resources and the resources of your vendors. Evaluate and compare existing competencies to those desired. You may need to assign several team members to sufficiently cover such competence needs where experts are scarce. And at the end of the day, it is likely that you won’t find enough needed competency. But this does not mean you can’t proceed – read on to see why.


  1. Does your management model drive continuous competence development?

    Instead of continuing to desperately seek people to fill your competency gaps, find people who can train and support others to fill the gaps. No matter how great a team you have, people will often need support in adopting the DevOps way of working in their daily work. In large-scale IT projects, the most efficient way to improve DevOps maturity has proven to be continuous competence development. Your management model needs to support this actively.


  1. Are you progressing towards a true partnership?

    DevOps requires common goals, which all the parties involved are committed to. A culture of trust and collaboration is a must. Contracts should enhance partnership over confrontation. As we see, partnership-based, multi-vendor ecosystems will become more and more popular in the future. A new way to manage this kind of cooperation gently, yet firmly enough, is through collaborative governance.

DevOps is a model that requires us to renew in many ways. Learn more about our DevOps solutions and services.


Writers: Tomi Oinonen and Tapani Tirkkonen, experienced DevOps consultants and coaches, decided to sum up their experience from over a hundred large-scale IT projects to help business leaders get the most out of DevOps.


Tomi Oinonen
DevOps Transformation Lead, Tietoevry Transform

Tomi started his IT career over 25 years ago. He has held roles ranging from software development and management to entrepreneurship and consulting. Currently, he works as DevOps Transformation Lead, helping customers and delivery teams to modernize their working models, practices, and technologies.

Tapani Tirkkonen
Lead Solution Consultant, Tietoevry Transform

Tapani has over 30 years of experience in the IT sector, from software development to consulting, working both in development and management positions. Currently, he works as DevOps Lead Solution Consultant, helping customers to adopt DevOps practices. Tapani is a certified Scrum Master and TOGAF 9.1 Enterprise Architect.


Tapani Tirkkonen

Lead Solution Consultant, Tietoevry Transform

Tomi Oinonen

DevOps Transformation Lead, Tietoevry Transform

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