Devops' Seven Deadly Diseases

Devops is now officially 10 years old. What have we learned? Although prescriptive practices like Lean, Agile, SAFE and even DevOps may be necessary for IT acceleration they are in most cases are not sufficient for long-term systemic improvement. In other words, you can’t Lean, Agile, SAFE or Devops your way around institutionalized organizational habits. Therefore, the key to long-term improvement lies in an understanding where human capital interconnects with technology. The following is a list of the “Seven Deadly Diseases”:

  • Invisible Work
  • Management System Toil
  • Tribal Knowledge
  • Misalignment of Incentives
  • Incongruent Organizational Design
  • Misunderstanding Complexity
  • Security and Compliance Theater

These seven diseases of organizational behavior must be uncovered with absence of prescriptive practice through a process of organizational fact-finding. In this presentation, we will look at the “Seven Deadly Diseases” of IT organization work and show examples of how to uncover these diseases through a process of organizational forensics (i.e., fact-finding).



John Willis

John Willis has worked in the IT management industry for more than 35 years. Currently he is Vice President of DevOps and Digital Practices at SJ Technologies. He was formerly Director of Ecosystem ...