30 Jun Managed Services DevOps Series Part 5 — Case studies
by Stu Jones
If you’ve learned anything from this series so far, I hope it’s this: you can’t run innovative changes the same way you run regular operations in your business. However, that’s exactly what most companies do (82 percent) and to their own detriment.
Seventy-two percent of respondents to a 2015 innovation survey admitted to missing critical growth opportunities because of how they run their innovation strategy. And 60 percent felt their innovation approach was struggling to learn from past mistakes. If you find any of that is true for your organization, then the truth is that DevOps culture hasn’t taken hold as well as it ought to.
While DevOps should be an ongoing, continuous integration process that is always improving on itself, there is great value in distilling specific initiatives into case studies to generate that momentum for future DevOps success.
Preparing outward-facing case studies that document your DevOps initiatives can be a great way to not only improve the effectiveness of your internal team but to also display your organization on the frontlines of innovation and modernization within the industry. Let’s take a look at how to review a DevOps project once completed—from the initial problems identified to their final resolutions—and how to leverage that internal reflection to become an external piece of marketing collateral.
Reflect on where you were
The first step at the end of any DevOps initiative is to step back and remember what the system used to be—what were the pain points, where were there repeating issues, how did end users feel, and more. Take some time to pause and be honest with your organization; admit the shortcomings and weaknesses that used to exist. Deficiencies and pain points exist in even the best systems for the biggest brands. But, learning from them is the first step.
Identifying what your Salesforce instance looked like at the start of a DevOps initiative—before all the coding, the testing, and training and adoption—is hugely important to the overall review and case study process because it lays the foundation for contrast. You can’t truly measure or show off the extent of your improvement and why it is so transformative if you don’t have a clear, descriptive understanding of the problems you were experiencing at the start.
Take a look at where you are now and what’s next
Next, you can celebrate how far you’ve come! Congratulations—your DevOps project has been completed and (hopefully) transformed at least one or two pain points your end users were experiencing or created new automations they didn’t even know they needed.
Now, once you’ve put away the party hats and kazoos, you will need to get down to business. Part of reviewing how far you’ve come and the successes of your DevOps project is analyzing reports and gathering metrics. You want to be thorough and leave nothing unturned as you review the documentation of what’s been accomplished: who is using the new innovations? What’s the adoption rate? How much time or money is this saving x, y, and z departments? Is there a decrease in IT requests? How much?
All these questions and more can be answered with hard numbers if you have the right documentation and metrics built into your resolution and review process. This is crucial to not only selling your team on the value of one DevOps project, but also to iterating every year for further improvements. Take a look at Netflix, which provides annual case studies to showcase their successes and kickstart new cycles of innovation in its organization. That’s one big-name example, but it’s true in any industry and any size company: continuous innovation builds continuous success.
Consider using your DevOps successes as a way to become an industry leader
Reviewing where you’ve been and where you are now with DevOps success lays the foundation for an incredible tool: case study marketing. You can set yourself up to be recognized as the innovative industry leader by showcasing your constant improvement through dynamic case study collateral.
Developing case studies from your DevOps initiatives is a way not only to measure and prove your organization’s success, but it also allows you to tell a story. It’s easy to cover the basics (problems, solutions, statistical results), but connecting those ideas with an engaging narrative allows your organization to share its story in a more personal, emotional way. The case study becomes a vehicle for explaining and showcasing your business culture, model, and mission. Ultimately, a reader should walk away from reading your DevOps case studies with a lasting impression about you—and eager to learn more. It’s a way to make a name for your organization and prove your commitment to continual innovation.
Ultimately, while the internal review and case study process may appear to be formulaic, each DevOps initiative is unique. Every business has its own circumstances, problems, and desired results. Owning the story of your company’s technology innovation allows both your internal team and your external customers to understand your business’ commitment to constant growth and build trust in the technology.
Thank you for following along with this Managed Services DevOps blog series. We hope you’ve learned more about the value, process, and long-lasting business benefits of incorporating a mature DevOps provider into your Salesforce maintenance. To learn more about Simplus’ methodology and the clients we’ve helped through DevOps, reach out to our team today!
Catch up on the complete Managed Services DevOps series:
- Part 1—The what, how, and why
- Part 2—Planning and Code Build
- Part 3—Testing and Release
- Part 4—Deploy and Monitor
Stu is the Regional Service Delivery Manager at Simplus. With lifelong experience in IT and computer sciences, Stu moved into the CRM space in 2011 and quickly began supporting numerous users and client admins in CRM configuration, implementation, and process solutions. Joining Simplus in 2015, Stu transitioned his prior IT knowledge into robust project management methodology and took the opportunity to improve organizational methods and process, leading one of the most successful project management teams in the industry. Stu has over eight years of experience with Salesforce and is 5x Salesforce certified.