Role of Project Manager in DevOps

Role of Project Managers in DevOps

DevOps is all about making the business successful by delivering value to the customer faster and in a reliable way. Scrum and other Agile Methodologies have redefined the role of Project Managers. If a Self-Organizing team is a norm for innovation then how traditional Project Managers’ skill can be leveraged?

Understanding DevOps holistically will help to intercept the challenges it is trying to address and how it can map project management skills.

Challenge 1: Seeing Development and Operations Team as one entity

As Gene Kim describes in his novel, The Phoenix Project, “increasing the flow of work from Development to Operations helps to visualize the work done and get a deeper understanding of steps involved in bringing value to the customers”. As a traditional Project Manager’s Role is to plan, procure and execute the project, DevOps needs a skill of servant leader, who can help the team visualize the flow end to end. Project Manager’s planning skills using Gantt Charts should be converted in building Value Stream maps and Kanban Boards.

Challenge 2: Embracing Change effectively

Agile manifesto made clear that embracing change over following plan is critical. Managing change and releasing features in small chunks needs a tremendous amount of communication and collaboration. Unless Dev and Ops teams collaborate in a better way, efforts to adopt DevOps will be a failure. Project Manager’s core strength is communication. Organizations should leverage this skill.

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Challenge 3: Quality In / Shift Left

One of the major hurdles in DevOps adoption is sacrificing Quality for the speed of delivering the result to the end users. As Continuous Delivery and DevOps speed are needed, Continuous Quality and DevQualityOps are also indispensable for business to succeed. Quality Management Disciple is an integral part of Project management and it is a continuous process to be followed across all stage of Analysis, Design, Development, and Deployment.

To Summarize, DevOps is not a separate methodology. It is built upon some of the best technology and management practices like Agile, ITIL, lean, Safe Workplace. DevOps focus on delivering features faster and safer. Albeit DevOps does not explicitly define roles like Project Management, all the fundamental skills of a Project Manager is essential.

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