DevOps and Groupthink: An Oxymoron?

DevOps teams bring together specialists from disciplines with different views on what is most important which forms the basis for preventing groupthink. However, all closely-knit teams are susceptible to groupthink, a cultural attitude that implicitly rewards members whose striving for unanimity override their motivation to realistically appraise alternative courses of action. DevOps team members from different functional specialties may often defer to the expert in a particular realm to solve individual problems. Teams also recognize that they have to solve issues quickly and decisively, and may defer to the team member with the most authoritative voice. This presentation examines the development of groupthink within devops teams. It draws upon the research of Irving Janus, Daniel Kaheman and Carol Dweck to look at how biases and mindsets contribute to groupthink, and why groupthink invariably leads to poor decision-making. I’ll how groupthink can be managed using these theories. Then using Gloria Eoyang’s CDE theory, I’ll show what managers can do to positively influence groupthink behaviors. From this presentation you will learn how sustained groupthink can prevent the DevOps team from achieving its operational goals of agility and quick corrective action and you will learn to use a combination of defined process and prescriptive actions, as individuals and as a team both internally and externally.



Gerie Owen

Gerie Owen is a Test Architect, Certified Scrum Master, Conference Presenter and Author on Testing and Test management topics. She is currently a Software Test Manager and Content Manager for DevOps ...