The American Council for Technology-Industry Advisory Council (ACT-IAC) organization released a DevOps Primer today to guide Federal government in utilizing DevOps to support its mission.

“This primer can give you an opportunity to level set everybody in your organization; to understand what’s going on and what needs to happen,” Millennium Challenge Corporation and Government Chair of the ACT-IAC Emerging Technology Community of Interest Jeremy Wood said at today’s ACT-IAC DevOps forum. “There’s not one right answer, there is a multitude of ways to do this and we’re just trying to come up with a way to educate Federal leaders and staff alike.”

The primer includes case studies detailing where agencies are in adopting DevOps, a Maturity Model for organizations that will help move towards continuous improvement, and recommendations to advance DevOps.

The Maturity Model will help agencies determine their current level of maturity, show an evolutionary path forward, and help agencies find their “own unique path” in implementing DevOps.

The DevOps Primer makes seven recommendations for agencies to advance DevOps, including:

  • Say “yes” to failure;
  • Start small and build momentum;
  • Tell everyone you are doing an experiment;
  • Show your work;
  • Invite executives to see your teams in action;
  • Celebrate big and small wins; and
  • Be patient and persevere.

“This is intended to be a guide and not a definitive step-by-step playbook. With DevOps, there is not one right answer,” the primer states. “Instead, it requires an essential shift in the attitudes and approach of Federal leaders and staff alike.”

Further, the primer is a product developed by a DevOps Working Group established by ACT-IAC to “identify and explore the culture, practice, and tools needed to increase the government’s ability to deliver applications and services at a faster pace than using traditional software development and infrastructure management processes.”

“There’s no way that we can continue to operate the way we did 30 years ago … we have to make a change,” Internal Revenue Service DevOps Federal Interagency Council Lead Annette Mitchell said.

The speakers today also said that they were unsure if a DevOps playbook was to be released following the primer and that the Working Group was still in the process of determining how frequently the primer would be updated and where to take it next.

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Jordan Smith
Jordan Smith
Jordan Smith is a MeriTalk Senior Technology Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.