DevOps Training: Flux7 Knowledge Transfer Solutions

By Flux7 Labs
March 14, 2019

In our last blog, we discussed the role of knowledge transfer (KT) in ensuring ongoing DevOps success. As promised, today we’re going to take a closer look at the specific KT offerings the Flux7 DevOps consulting team brings to bear to help customers achieve their DevOps adoption goals.

DevOps Training and KT

To quickly recap, KT plays a critical role in ongoing success as it teaches future users how to effectively manage and extend their enterprise DevOps framework. Moreover, it helps to provide best practice problem-solving techniques and addresses common business problems, such as loss of knowledge associated with turnover. When you put it all together, KT grows team productivity, efficiency, and innovation.

KT to customers is not a one-size-fits-all exercise, each organization has a unique skill set, unique team size and organization, and unique goals. As a result, we provide a portfolio of KT solutions. As you can see in the graphic below, depending on your stage of DevOps adoption, we offer tailored deliverables to help further DevOps success.

Live Knowledge Transfer Sessions

Live KT sessions are planned with consideration to the duration, mode of delivery and roles requiring these sessions. These KT sessions are normally designed to be short, instead of day-long sessions that can be overwhelming and disruptive to customer schedules. We supplement live KT sessions with slide decks that give more clarity through architecture/flow diagrams, pipelines etc. We collaborate and interact with customers through live demos and/or walkthroughs of the environment and also explain in detail the steps of how to deploy a service. This ensures the long-term success of the DevOps implementation because stakeholders are thoroughly trained in how to manage and extend the implementation moving forward.

Documented Best Practices

One of the most important KT deliverables is the documentation that we share with our customers. This documentation includes code repositories, runbooks etc. We strictly adhere to a focus on best practices in all our documentation. We share well-organized code repositories in version control tools like GIT, AWS CodeCommit, BitBucket, Visual Studio or any other customer preferred tool. Each code file is well documented with supporting information in readmes.

Customers also gain a comprehensive, project-specific runbook that is a compilation of routine procedures and best practices for managing the infrastructure. We share the Google Docs version of the runbook with customers so that they can collaboratively ask questions, provide comments or seek additional clarification. Flux7 DevOps consulting engineers are at the ready to answer any questions. PDF versions of the runbook are shared with the customer at agreed upon project milestones.

Delivering Collaboration & Visibility of Value

Each Friday we conduct a weekly Sprint Review where we provide an opportunity to engage with our customers on the progress of our work as provide an opportunity for feedback on what should be our focus for the next Sprint.  We review our working solution as well as other deliverables like the Runbook and Readmes. Customers can have complete transparency to all our work via task cards defined on our Trello Board that show the workflow (Trello lists such as Epics, Product Backlog, Sprint Backlog, In Progress, Sprint Done, etc.) that the Team follows to deliver value.

Flux7 ScrumMasters are servant leaders who provide ongoing visibility and insights through daily Burndown Charts that allows the customer to see progress for the current Sprint along with the overall Forecast Burn-Up Chart that provides transparency to the overall timeline of the current scope of the customer engagement.  Flux7’s transparency extends to the Team Working Agreement, Definition of Ready and Definition of Done on our Trello Board which are prominently displayed on our Trello Board for our customers to review.

We also plan collaborative engagements to improve customer team skills and help them do things independently. These collaborative engagements help them to review and practice all that has been covered in Sprints and prepares them for work-related challenges.

Game Days Improve Operational Excellence

Game Days are a learning exercise where things intentionally do not go as planned. Game Days simulate a real-life failure scenario which helps to prepare the team to take the most effective action in case of an emergency. In this way, we challenge the team to apply best practice problem-solving techniques to solve real-world problems. (Refer to our blog Improve IT Operational Excellence with Game Days for more information.)

Dungeons: Working Hand-in-Hand for Success

From time to time we encounter more complex deployments where the Flux7  team determines that a higher level of hands-on collaboration is recommended to put the customer in the best position for success.  In such cases, Flux7 DevOps expert engineers are available in dungeons where they work with the customer in a pair-programming manner to strengthen their skills.  Real-time dungeons help customers get hands-on experience in an isolated environment, virtually eliminating interruptions and improving team responsiveness.

Unlike other organizations, Flux7 focuses on KT throughout the course of our customer engagements, providing a variety of hand-in-hand KT deliverables to teach teams along the way, ensuring their ultimate DevOps success. With a focus on a transition where we seamlessly hand our customer’s team the baton, this model allows enterprises to take ownership and grow comfortable with the technologies and processes deployed in their environment while having an expert there to guide them at every step of the way. In our experience, this approach results in customers able to retain more knowledge, obtain greater depth of understanding, and ultimately take strategic ownership of the DevOps platform for greater productivity and innovation.