Imagine this scenario. Your team built a continuous delivery pipeline. Team members deploy multiple times a day. Telemetry warns the team about production issues before they become outages. Automated tests ensure known regressions don’t enter production. Team velocity is consistent and fast. All-in-all things are looking up.
What’s next? Is this the top or just a plateau?
It’s the plateau of learning and experimentation. If you’ve read my previous posts on this blog, you’ll know that I frequently say that DevOps has no end state. The scenario describes successful implementations of the first and second ways of DevOps. The next step is implementing the third way: continuous learning and experimentation. The idea is to experiment with different ways of working to improve different aspects of the value stream. Improvements may be technical, people, or the processes themselves.
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A new definition of “done”
Let’s step back to a point in the software development life cycle (SDLC) before the backlog where product ideas happen. The product owner has an idea that may help users or differentiate the product from the competition. The product owner is happy because the development team (equipped with the new DevOps shine) can ship to production faster than ever. The product owner throws an item into the backlog. Soon afterward, the new functionality is available in production. Everyone celebrates. A week later other stakeholders follow up with the product owner by asking “how many users are using the new feature?” Unfortunately, the product owner

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