Skip to main content

DevOps - Driving Mainframe Agility

Applying DevOps principles and practices will be needed to ensure the DevOps values for Culture, Automation, Measurement and Sharing (CAMS). As major industries consider how to optimize for 2016, busting out of silos should be at the top of their list. This is true in all areas of service management and includes mainframe systems and applications. 

Mainframe application and system development, like all areas of development, face many obstacles that include broken processes, obsolete tools and the common us vs. them mentality. Mainframe systems remain crucial for critical business knowledge and back-end support for customer engagement. What are service providers going to do when the mainframe developers retire or move to other positions? We have seen decades of progress on many platforms but in many cases mainframe code is still managed by siloed teams. Even so, things are moving in the right direction to increase and optimize the value stream for the development, deployment and ongoing support for mainframe solutions.

Compuware Corporation, a mainframe-dedicated software company, recently announced far-reaching partnerships, a major acquisition, and continued innovation within its own industry-leading software portfolio—all in support of a game-changing initiative that will empower customers to incorporate mainframe applications into their broader cross-platform Agile/DevOps processes. 

In the Jan 5, 2016 Eweek article Darry K. Taft quotes AppDynamics President and CEO David Wadhwani who said, “At AppDynamics, our goal is to provide enterprise IT with one platform for unified monitoring, DevOps collaboration, and application analytics. 

The approach for adopting a DevOps culture for mainframe software and system solutions is the same as any other industry and begins with getting a clear understanding of the business “Why”. Gleaning from John Kotter’s eight steps “Create a sense of urgency” broadcast it out and keep the momentum going by:

Getting the right people together – ensure core stakeholders are engaged; particularly early adopters who are committed to experimentation and learning.

Get everyone on the same page – seek to understand each other’s perspectives and concerns, determine what outcomes you want to achieve and set measurable goals – be realistic!

Build capabilities that lead to lasting change – use education to introduce a common vocabulary, provide ongoing, just in time training, leverage early adopters and informal networks of peer motivators, build trust through transparency, and generate and celebrate short-term wins.

Focus on critical behaviors - every culture has behaviors that help enable change.

Experiment and learn – prioritize improvement opportunities, take a holistic approach; learn and share vs. mandating.

Consolidate gains and produce more change – in the spirit of transparency, communicate successes, failures and lessons learned. Document and make available reusable artifacts and measurements. Continuously invest in needed education, training and technologies, and expand your cycles of improvement.

And last but not least be a change champion and TAKE ACTION. It’s time to mainstream the mainframe!

For further details and information regarding DevOps training and certification:


Popular posts from this blog

What is the difference between Process Owner, Process Manager and Process Practitioner?

I was recently asked to clarify the roles of the Process Owner, Process Manager and Process Practitioner and wanted to share this with you. Roles and Responsibilities: Process Owner – this individual is “Accountable” for the process. They are the goto person and represent this process across the entire organization. They will ensure that the process is clearly defined, designed and documented. They will ensure that the process has a set of Policies for governance. Example: The process owner for Incident management will ensure that all of the activities to Identify, Record, Categorize, Investigate, … all the way to closing the incident are defined and documented with clearly defined roles, responsibilities, handoffs, and deliverables.  An example of a policy in could be… “All Incidents must be logged”. Policies are rules that govern the process. Process Owner ensures that all Process activities, (what to do), Procedures (details on how to perform the activity) and the

Four Service Characteristics

Recently I came across several articles by researchers and experts that laid out definitions and characteristics of services. ITIL provides us with a definition that can help drive the creation of value-laden services: A means of delivering value to customers by facilitating outcomes customers want to achieve without the ownership of specific costs and risks. An area that ITIL is not so clear is in terms of service characteristics. Several researchers and experts put forth that services have four basic characteristics (IHIP): ·          Intangibility—Services are the results of actions not things. They have no physical presence and represent a logical set of elements. One way to think of service is “work done for others.” ·          Heterogeneity—Also known as “variability”; services are unique items because of the mechanisms used to deliver services-that is people. Because the people element adds variability, the service is variable. This holds true especially for th

How Does ITIL Help in the Management of the SDLC?

I was recently asked how ITIL helps in the management of the SDLC (Software Development Lifecycle).  Simply put... SDLC is a Lifecycle approach to produce the software or the "product".  ITIL is a Lifecycle approach that focuses on the "service". I’ll start by reviewing both SDLC and ITIL Lifecycles and then summarize: SDLC  -  The intent of an SDLC process is to help produce a product that is cost-efficient, effective and of high quality. Once an application is created, the SDLC maps the proper deployment of the software into the live environment. The SDLC methodology usually contains the following stages: Analysis (requirements and design), construction, testing, release and maintenance.  The focus here is on the Software.  Most organizations will use an Agile or Waterfall approach to implement the software through the Software Development Lifecycle. ITIL  -  is a best practice for IT service management (ITSM) that focuses on aligning IT services with