IBM has brought together ideas from agile, DevOps, lean start-up, design thinking, and more, and produced an enterprise-ready process called IBM Bluemix Garage Method. It is primarily designed as a center of knowledge on good practices for start-up culture to exist within large enterprises, but open to everyone who wishes to get up to speed on the latest thinking in the open communities. The resource will be useful for business champions of start-up initiatives as well as developers at all levels of skills. Users can find the level of knowledge they need to implement these ideas, and links will provide information about tools to support the process steps.
The Garage Method ties a design and development continuous (iterative) lifecycle around the latest ideas to emerge from open communities:
Think: pulls in design thinking, lean start-up, brainstorming, and the concept of minimum viable product, the no-frills release pattern that allows a product to be released into the market rapidly, with immediate feedback before the next iteration.
Code: agile and DevOps patterns of work, with continuous integration and testing.
Deliver: covers DevOps release management and automation, continuous delivery pipelines, automated testing, and testing in production with dark deploys.
Run: exploiting cloud for IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS, as well as integrating with on-premise, for maximizing flexibility for scale and speed.
Manage: enhanced monitoring and analytics, with good governance and security.
Learn: continuously learn and adjust based on scientific-based experiments such as A/B testing to guide progress.
Culture: at the root of the steps is a culture of collaborative team work, co-locating small teams that are empowered to take initiatives.
The Bluemix Garage Method is a valuable open resource for anyone that wishes to improve their skills. Enterprises will benefit from the management and monitoring built into the method that will comply with their governance requirements.
IBM has taken its own developers through an agile and most recently through a DevOps transformation initiative. The developers found that transitioning to DevOps allowed them to refresh their agile practices and remotivate the workforce, as well as learn new DevOps skills. There is a shared culture between agile and DevOps, and by breaking down the barriers between development and IT operations, DevOps can use the agility gained in development to deliver better value for the business. These experiences fed into the development of Bluemix Garage Method, allowing large enterprises to create pools for innovation while sand-boxed from normal enterprise rules: essentially incubators for start-up thinking, and recognizing how vital it is for large enterprises to reinvent themselves.
Michael Azoff, Principal Analyst, Ovum Infrastructure Solutions Group
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