DevOps Adoption Framework


Searching to adopt agility, I’ve found an Agile Adoption Framework[1] that proved very useful in practice. It’s composed of a maturity model and an index to measure agility’s level.

This framework is a guide to develop a roadmap on agility adoption. First levels are essential to establish a basis for a solid adoption. Organizational change management is a must, as complementary discipline.

1. Principles

Fundamental principles[2] of DevOps are distilled as follows:

Principle Description
Flow Improvement Eliminate waste in value streams.
Feedback Improvement Reciprocal and fast feedback and feedforward.
Continual Learning and Experimentation From individual knowledge to organizational knowledge.

2. Practices

Practices related to principles are categorised as follows:

Principle Practice Examples/Description
Flow Improvement Make work visible Kanban.
Flow Improvement Limit WIP Kanban.
Flow Improvement Reduce batch size Batch size of one.
Flow Improvement Reduce number of handoffs Automate tasks or reorganize teams to avoid dependencies.
Flow Improvement Automate environment managing
Flow Improvement Automate code deployment
Flow Improvement Automate testing
Flow Improvement Decouple architecture To avoid dependencies or integrations that affects other systems (CAB).
Flow Improvement Eliminate waste Reduce hardship and drudgery.
Feedback Improvement Working safely within complex systems Problem solving and knowledge sharing.
Feedback Improvement See problems as they occur Measure and monitor process. Fast feedback. Measure product.
Principle Practice Examples/Description
Feedback Improvement Swarm and solve problems to build new knowledge Everyone helps to solve problems as they occur.
Feedback Improvement Keep pushing quality closer to the source Share quality responsibility among roles.
Feedback Improvement Enable optimizing for upstream/downstream work centers See next function in value chain as customer, and the previous one as “feedbackable”.
Continual Learning and Experimentation Enabling organizational learning and a safe culture Look for a safe system of work.
Continual Learning and Experimentation Institutionalize the improvement of daily work Find and fix problems in area of control.
Continual Learning and Experimentation Transform local discoveries into global improvements Share knowledge globally.
Continual Learning and Experimentation Inject resilience patterns into our daily work Netflix: chaos monkey.
Continual Learning and Experimentation Leaders reinforce a learning culture Metrics to improve processes.

3. Levels

Analysis of principles, practices plus feedback from Agile Adoption Framework[1] results in the following level configuration proposal.

Level # Name Value or Quality
1 Collaborative Enhancing communication and collaboration.
2 Automated Automation of many tasks.
3 Safe Complex Systems Strong downstream and upstream feeedback.
4 Safe Culture Strong problem solving and knowledge sharing.
5 Resilient Resilence as common practice.

4. Framework

Finally, the result framework combines principles, practices, levels, own experience, DevOps[3] and Agile Adoption Framework[1] patterns.

DevOps Adoption Framework
Figure 4.1. DevOps Adoption Framework proposal.


Even though this DevOps adoption framework is not as professional as Ahmed Sidky’s Agile Adoption Framework, it provides a guide to design a roadmap for DevOps adoption. Obviously the principles, practices and levels can be configured or adapted as neccesary. Finally, this is a work in progress given that it lacks of an index to measure DevOps adoption level in organizations. In a further post I’ll expose such index.

Your comments are important so we can share knowledge, ideas and thoughts about DevOps adoption.


[1] Sidky A., A Structured Approach to Adopting Agile Practices: The Agile Adoption Framework, 2007.
[2] Kim G., Debois P., Willis J., Humble J., The DevOps Handbook: How to Create World-Class Agility, Reliability, and Security in Technology Organizations, 2016.
[3] Kim G., Behr K., Spafford G., The Phoenix Project: A Novel about IT, DevOps, and Helping Your Business Win, 2018.


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