The Best of the Professor: The Second Way

The “Best of the Professor” blogs will focus on one unique individual topic and will be followed by links to papers with more in depth information. 

DevOps initiatives are supported by three basic principles. In his book “The Phoenix Project“, Gene Kim leverages the Theory of Constraints and the knowledge learned in production environments to describe the underlying principles of the DevOps movement in three ways. These principals are referred to as The First Way, The Second Way and The Third Way.   This segment of “Best of the Professor” will focus on “The Second Way”. 

The Second Way               
In an earlier “Best of the Professor” paper we discussed “The First Way” and how this DevOps principle was all about the flow of work from left to right.  “The Second Way in contrast is all about the flow of work from right to left.  It is reciprocal.

How do we take all of the knowledge and learnings acquired and create feedback loops to the previous stage and ultimately back to development?  If we think of this from a “Lean” perspective, we know that understanding and responding to users is important.  As important is the communication and amplification of feedback to the next stage in the delivery stream.  We have to respond to the needs of both internal and external customers via feedback. Ensuring the communication loops back to the starting point is critical to meeting dynamic needs.  We must create and embed knowledge where needed. 

The premise of a feedback loop is simple: Provide people with information about their actions in real time, then give them a chance to change those actions, pushing them toward better behaviors. The goal in “The Second Way” is to shorten and amplify feedback loops.

Be sure to search for other “Best of the Professor” topics for DevOps principles including “The First Way” and “The Third Way.   Below are resources for practices that support “The Second Way”; feedback loops and the flow of work from right to left.

For information regarding training and certification: 

DevOps Courses:
Agile ITSM Courses:


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