It’s no secret that sustaining innovation is difficult for well-established organisations. By and large, they are not known as innovators. And traditional approaches to operations certainly don’t help them.
Which is why, over the years, many organisations have recognised the need to rethink how they operate their digital services. I know this because I have spent many years helping these large organisations to do this effectively.
I’m Bethan, the Managing Director of Equal Experts in Australia & New Zealand. My colleague, Steve Smith, and I have just finished a playbook on You Build It You Run It, because we want to help organisations to innovate and achieve success.
Before I tell you about the playbook, I’ll give you a little of our back story. Steve and I started in IT software development in the 1990s. At this point, there really was only one way for large organisations to operate software services. It involved multiple delivery teams building multiple services, and one operations team managing live services.
How things have changed. In recent years the emergence of Continuous Delivery, DevOps, and Site Reliability Engineering has led customers to ask us the same question.
“How do we manage the operations of our digital services now the way we build them has changed?”
They knew the traditional approach to operations was not helping them to sustain the innovation they needed. But it wasn’t clear what the alternative could be. Since 2006 there’s been talk of You Build It You Run It, but no real understanding of when, and when not, to use it – or how to implement it in large organisations. If our customers decided to adopt You Build It You Run It, we couldn’t find any references on principles to consider, practices to implement, and pitfalls to look out for.
So, Steve and I decided to combine our years of experience, the operational experiences of our customers, and the knowledge of the 2000+ people in the EE network, and publish this information as a playbook.
So why a playbook? Well, core to the values of Equal Experts is a passion for learning. We don’t pretend to know all the answers – but we are confident in our ability to find them. And when we do, we want to give our community a place to find them too.
At its core, Equal Experts is a haven where this sharing happens freely and happily between like-minded practitioners and our customers. We trade on our ability to learn and share knowledge rather than protecting or ‘guarding’ it. This is why we feel compelled to open-source our playbooks to share this knowledge as widely as possible.
We hope you enjoy reading this playbook as much as we have enjoyed creating it. We welcome your feedback and thoughts, in fact, we encourage them.