Enterprises are in constant search of ways to deliver faster, ideally in a continuous/frequent fashion, with full traceability and control, and of course with excellent business quality.

DevOps as an approach continues to get a lot of attention and support in achieving these goals.

As readers can find in other blogs and articles on DevOps, DevOps aims at bringing Development and Operations closer together, allowing better collaboration between them, and facilitating a smoother handover during the delivery process. Automation remains a critical component in the technical implementation.

What strikes me all the time is that, when I discuss the subject with customers, analysts, and other colleagues in the field, very quickly we seem to end up in a DevOps toolchain discussion that gets cluttered by numerous best of bread but point products that one way or another need to integrate or at least work together to get the delivery job “done”.

Why is that? Why does a majority end up with (too) many tools within the delivery toolchain?

We fail to search for simplicity

If you read about what analyst like Gartner or Forrester are writing about implementing DevOps, if you read closer about what Lean IT stands for, then a common theme that will surface is SIMPLICITY.

If you want to enhance collaboration between delivery stakeholders, if you want to make the handover of deliverables easier, if you want to automate the end-to-end delivery process, then you should look for ways to make your delivery toolchain simpler, not more complex.

As part of the analysis and continual improvement process of the delivery value stream, we look for better ways to do specific tasks. We should in addition carefully look at alternatives to avoid manual activities in processes when possible. This is just applying common Lean practices in the context of application delivery.

Many (bigger) enterprises remain overly siloed, and this often results in suboptimal improvement cycles. When developers face issues with the build process, they look on the web for better build support for their specific platform, ideally in open source, so they can “tweak” it for their needs if required (it is often a matter of retained “control”). If quality suffers, developers and testers can do their own quest to improve quality from their viewpoint, leading to the selection and usage of specific point products by each team, sometimes not even aware of their respective choice.

I can continue with more examples in the same trend, but the pattern is obvious: When teams continue to look for the best solution “within their silo”, then most of the time organizations will end up in an overly complex and tool rich delivery toolchain.

Look at delivery in a holistic way, from a business perspective

The above approach is not respecting some important Lean principles though: Look at the value stream from a customer’s perspective, in a holistic way, creating flow while eliminating waste.

These are some of the things you should look at while analysing and improving your delivery toolchain:

  • How does demand/change flow into the process? How is the selection/acceptance process handled? How is delivery progress tracked?

  • How automated are individual delivery steps (like build, provision, test, deploy)? How is the delivery process/chain automated itself? Any manual activities happening? Why? Does automation cover across ALL platforms, or only a subset?

In case you would like to learn around this subject, I can recommend reading the following ebook on the Clarive website: “Practical Assessment Guide for DevOps readiness within a hybrid enterprise

Clarive CLEAN stack

A C.L.E.A.N way to deliver quality

At Clarive we believe simplicity is vital for sustained DevOps and delivery success.
We designed the C.L.E.A.N stack exactly with this in mind:

Clarive Lean & Effective Automation requiring Nothing else for successful delivery.

Indeed, Clarive allows you to:

  • Implement Lean principles and accurate measurement and reporting with real-time and end-to-end insight

  • Implement effective and pragmatic automation of both delivery processes as well as delivery execution steps such as build, provision, test, and deploy.

  • Do all this from within the same product, so there is no need to use anything else to get the job done!! No real need to implement artefact repositories, workflow tools, or anything else, just Clarive will do!.

Of course, in case you have made investment in tooling already, Clarive will collaborate in a bi-directional way to get you started quickly. After all, DMAIC or other improvement cycles are cyclic and continual, so you can further refine or improve after you got started if you desire more simplicity…

This is an evolution I have seen many of our clients going through: they initially look at and start with Clarive because they have certain automation or orchestration needs. Then they find out they can do with Clarive what they did with Jenkins, and switch to Clarive, then they learn about Clarive’s CI repository and decide to eliminate Nexus. As Clarive has a powerful and integrated workflow automation capability, they realise they could also do without Jira and Bitbucket… and so on. It has saved companies effort and cost doing so.

In case you are interested in Clarive, start with the 30-day trial.

See also some sample screenshots of the tool below.

Clarive tool

Clarive tool_screenshot

Clarive tool_screenshot_deploy package

Visit our documentation to learn more about the features of Clarive.