The Importance of Great Leadership for DevOps Transformation

The Importance of Great Leadership for DevOps Transformation

DevOps is more than just a framework. It’s a culture and a mindset that breaks down rigid siloes between development, testing, quality, operations, and security teams to create smoother processes that are more transparent and efficient. 

Implementing such a wide-scale change within a business can only ever be possible when there are capable, effective, and agile leaders at the forefront, driving that change. It’s these leaders that will be responsible for integrating teams, creating psychologically safe spaces for collaboration and trust, changing existing structures, and promoting the case for change throughout. This can be particularly challenging when so many business leaders are still tied into traditional working models.

Eight Steps to Successful Business Change

DevOps transformations are huge, and it’s fundamental to complete these successfully and sustainably. John P Kotter details eight steps to successful organisational change in his book Leading Change. They include:

  • Establish a sense of urgency to create excitement and need
  • Create the guiding coalition
  • Establish a robust vision and strategy to inspire employees across the business
  • Communicate the change vision effectively and in a way that everyone understands
  • Empower action across the full business
  • Generate and celebrate short term wins to boost morale and positivity
  • Consolidate gains to produce more change
  • Anchor new approaches in the culture with documentation and frequent communication

Biggest Challenges to Change

Organisational change initiatives have a high failure rate, with many explanations to this citing poor planning, institutional inertia, and unrealistic expectations, however, the top three reasons in a recent study where: 

  • Resistance to change
  • Low readiness for change
  • Poor employee engagement

With this in mind, it becomes clearer why great leadership is critical to a successful DevOps transformation.


The Importance of Great Leadership


Whilst DevOps and IT leaders can’t control everything that happens within a change initiative, they can change their route or make decisions according to the current situation in order to engage their team members and drive widespread and sustainable change. 

DevOps leaders should embody four key responsibilities and steps to take to ensure success in change. These four responsibilities are summarised below:

  1. Set a clear, understandable, and relatable mission statement that explains to all employees why the business is transitioning to a DevOps model and use this reasoning to build a picture of a thriving future with DevOps to motivate them and get them on board.
  2. Act as a safety guard and create a psychologically safe space for experimentation and learning through failure. This might involve driving a mindset shift and changing people’s attitudes towards failure.
  3. Build a core DevOps team who can accelerate the culture transformation and support other teams with the adoption. Leaders need to recruit for a diverse team, who together can drive transformation and ensure a smooth transition.
  4. Enable seamless, smooth, and understandable communication across the business. It’s a leaders role to establish, promote, and maintain communication channels company wide, to ensure all teams are aligned and working towards a common goal.


Hiring Great DevOps Leaders in 2022


Top talent is hard to find. Particularly when competition for that talent is becoming more intense. As the number of businesses who are transitioning to DevOps increases, so does the fight for talent. 

If you’re looking to begin or accelerate your DevOps transformation in 2022 and need exceptional leaders to pave the way, get in touch for more information on how I can support you in identifying, attracting, and hiring the top talent on the market.


Your Cloud & DevOps Recruitment Partner, Manchester


Maxwell Bond are the award winning recruitment partner of choice for Cloud & DevOps hiring across Manchester, and the wider North West, with proven results in reducing hiring time, cutting recruitment costs, improving retention, and finding great candidates who are not on the active market. 

For a confidential chat, please reach out today.

Alternatively, if you’re on the market for a new Cloud & DevOps role in Manchester or the North-West, browse our current vacancies online.