Thesis on Adopting DevOps

Challenges in Adopting DevOps: A case study in the software organization ZES, by Xuebin Huang

Context: ZES, a small software organization, discusses challenges in their DevOps adoption. DevOps is an approach to make software development team and other operations teams work collaboratively and to streamline software delivery process by streaming feedback from development to operations and improving cycle times, in order to provide higher-quality software. Challenges arise when they are adopting DevOps. A number of challenges in the five key concerns of DevOps have been observed from the organization.

Objective: The objective of this thesis is to investigate the various challenges that a software organization may have when they start adopting DevOps.
Methods: This was a case study using several data sources. Qualitative data were gathered through interviews. Other sources included company policies and quantitative data such as system changes that were collected from observation and documents. The qualitative data collected through interviews were analyzed in four rounds and organized in culture, organization structure, automation, software service and quality assurance, which are the five key concerns of DevOps. All data were integrated in each key concern to identify what challenges were ZES facing in adopting DevOps.

Results: The results of this thesis show that ZES is facing several challenges in the five key concerns when they are adopting DevOps. Sharing among teams is a weaker part that they should try to solve it by building understanding. Members in the organization should learn more about DevOps by sharing. Moreover, the responsibilities in teams should be clarified. The intermediate Scrum that relies on the heavy process and the traditional thinking have limited them to make changes to their software. In order to solve this challenge, a lighter process Scrum process should be adopted to facilitate their process and update their mind to accept fast changes. Automation is the weakest part in the organization, which they are attempting hard to solve this challenge. Quality assurance may be affected by lacking of automation.

Conclusion: ZES is facing challenges in DevOps adoption and they are attempting to solve them. The case may not cover the same aspects as other organizations may meet in their DevOps adoption. It helps to develop a deeper understanding of the challenges that organizations face when adopting DevOps.