The third principles of DevOps (Handbook) - Principles of Continual Learning - prescribe a culture that rewards and integrates learning in day-to-day. Continuous improvement is the goal.
Underlying assumption: In absence of improvements, processes don’t stay the same. Entropy leads them towards degradation. Or shorter: Keep learn - or die slowly. You know Technical Debt…
A learning organization is the antithesis of a punishing organization (Pathological vs Bureaucratic vs Generative).
Individuals need to
- feel safe to express concerns, or problems will be ignored, disaster follows
- feel safe to concede mistakes, or they will be repeated, by everyone
- feel valued for offering ideas, or none will be offered, nothing improves
- incentivized to learn, or no ideas can emerge, entropy wins
Organizations need to
- institutionalize improvement, so that Technical Debt is payed down, so that entropy does not gain the upper hands but subsides
- distribute knowledge and promote discoveries, so that learning (of individuals / teams) have the maximum impact, so that improvements are leveraged maximal
- champion learning culture, so that individuals are motivated, so that conditions for growth are met
It further follows:
- When problems occur: Understand then problem then re-design system accordingly (instead of blaming the individual and leaving as-is)
- Removing blame -> removes fear. Removing fear -> enable honesty. Enabled honesty -> Enabled prevention.
- Even more important than daily work is the improvement of daily work (Lean IT, Mike Orzen)