Introducing DevOps for Developers

Three W's of Strategy

Erik Reinert

Erik Reinert

Introducing DevOps for Developers

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The "Three W's of Strategy" Lesson is part of the full, Introducing DevOps for Developers course featured in this preview video. Here's what you'd learn in this lesson:

Erik demonstrates identifying the why, what, and who of a problem. Identifying these helps provide the end goal and a clear understanding of the strategy to achieve that goal.


Transcript from the "Three W's of Strategy" Lesson

>> So I wanna introduce something else with defining DevOps, and this is where we're gonna kind of start working with some more of theory and things like that. How many of you here have heard the three W's of strategy? Okay, yeah, yeah. [LAUGH] No, it's okay, to be honest with you, I didn't know it either until about a year and a half ago.

And so it's actually a really, really, really powerful tool that DevOps uses more than programming. And it's mostly used to really figure out if we even want to solve this problem, right? I'm sure we've all been in discussions or meetings where somebody has said, hey, let's do this.

And you're like, cool, why? [LAUGH] Who's this helping, why? This solves that problem, or it can solve that problem for you. And the three W's of strategy are basically why, what, and who? Why, reasons and motivations behind the strategy, right? What, goals and objectives that the strategy is intended to achieve.

And then who, basically the people who are benefiting from this. And so if you start thinking about some of these even to things that you have at your company, you might be able to start to see what is a little bit more important, potentially, and what is, potentially, a little less important.

But together, these three Ws basically help you to provide a clear understanding of strategy and what it aims to accomplish. And as a matter of fact, you can even use these three W's of strategy to throw out whole projects [LAUGH] if you want to. Not the first time I've done it, I've definitely had to basically look somebody in the eyes and say, this is really cool, who does this help?

And then they've said, nobody, and then I said, okay, we'll visit it later. [LAUGH] And again, that's also another very serious part about DevOps, is focusing on not spending the company's money or resources on something that doesn't need to be. You're at that level in DevOps where people are looking to you to solving these problems.

And so the three W's of strategy is actually a really good, helpful tool that can help you with that confidently. So if we take the why, the what, and the who, and then we apply that to DevOps, right? And what we're actually gonna do is, we're gonna try applying it to, say, our own company, right?

So we'll do a little bit of a thought experiment here. So, why does our company need DevOps, right? To give a few examples, say you don't have DevOps at all. [LAUGH] That's a good place to start. Or, say, you have very outdated deployment strategies, maybe you don't even have CI/CD, maybe you don't have a lot of these things that we've talked about before.

That's a good reason to use to utilize DevOps, is just the simple, we don't have it, or it's not being done well. The next thing, what do we accomplish with it? Well, if we've said we don't have a lot of automation around things or a lot of things in place that are helping us be agile at our company, then we accomplish that, right?

We accomplish being able to be more agile by creating automation or doing other things that'll help us get there. And then the final one is, who do we help with DevOps? Well, in this regard, it would probably be most of the company. If you've never had a CI/CD platform before, or it's ever been implemented, then that's something that's never saved you guys time before, right?

That's something that a company's never been able to, or that company has potentially never been able to utilize. So good, again, just as a very simple why, what and who thought experiment there. Hopefully, that can at least kinda give you an idea. And just to do one more, say, why do we need Kubernetes?

Good old, why do we need Kubernetes, right? Sure, well, what do we accomplish with Kubernetes? I'm not gonna answer that. [LAUGH] I'll let you answer that. But what do we accomplish with Kubernetes? And then who does Kubernetes help, right? Taking those three things and taking them to a company might get you into some interesting arguments.

But it can definitely help you with, do we care about using Kubernetes, really? I can guarantee you most companies have not even thought about this, and they're already painstakingly dealing with Kubernetes and things like that, just simply because they didn't ask. Well, do we actually need it? And again, I basically just kinda went through what are in the slides here, again, to hopefully help with that rapid and reliable build of software and deployment of it, right?

And it's not even that, it's also monitoring it as well. So, if you don't have monitoring at your company, cool, that's probably something that you could utilize DevOps with. Again, what do we accomplish with it? We are able to implement and automate these processes, so that we have the ability of empowering our teams to release and iterate on their products quickly and effectively.

A big one on this which is something that probably a lot of people might not think of is empowering QA. QA, unfortunately, gets thought about not as much as it really should be. And when you think about what we can accomplish with it, there's a lot of really cool things that's just helping out the QA team.

I implemented a feature the other day, where it just allows the QA team to go into a channel and ask what the deployment statuses are. That's it, something very simple, but we realized that they were constantly hitting us up. So it was either we constantly let them continue to do that, or we try and solve a problem for that.

And again, that's with the same example where QA can be helpful, that's who we're helping, right? We're helping a specific part of the organization or something like that, to essentially solve a problem within the organization.

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