Episode 48: Chris Condo of Forrester Says Value Stream Mapping the DevOps Journey is Key

devops radioChris Condo, senior analyst at Forrester Research, joins DevOps Radio for some rapid-fire questions with host Andre Pino, vice president of marketing at CloudBees. With 34 years as a developer under his belt (including time at Microsoft) and a brief stint as a software consultant, Chris is an expert on all things software delivery. He most recently focused on value stream mapping, which provides a complete picture of a DevOps pipeline.

Andre kicks the conversation off by asking what stage organizations are typically at in their DevOps journey. Chris, having spoken to a variety of clients, says people are all in different places within the journey, and that a key way to know where you are along the DevOps path is to map out your value stream. Value stream mapping allows companies to measure their progress by providing visibility into the software delivery pipeline. Organizations can use this process to understand where they are duplicating efforts or delivering features customers aren’t asking for. To see the big picture, the goals of the business team and the goals of the development team should be aligned to provide customers with value sooner.

The second big question Chris covers is whether the emerging technologies popping up like Kubernetes and serverless computing are mandates or necessities. With so many options for tools, vendors are having trouble keeping up. Chris’ advice for organizations is to take advantage of these technologies and try them out, but eventually put a stake in the ground on technologies that deliver the best value to the customer. However, Chris does recommend the use of microservices since they allow teams to build in small pieces or break code apart with more flexibility.

Returning to the value stream mapping discussion, Andre asks Chris what metrics companies should pay attention to when measuring performance and how they can gain insight into where to improve. Chris says DORA’s State of DevOps Report emphasizes cycle time and meantime to repair, but what most organizations really need to look at is whether they are able to release code when the business wants to. At the end of the day, every organization should be focused on delivering value to customers.

Follow Chris to read his latest research on experimental platforms, feature flags and value stream management. For more on what’s up-and-coming in DevOps be sure to subscribe to DevOps Radio on iTunes or follow us on Spotify.

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