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What the hex is going on

In honor of Halloween, this month’s title and theme are drawn from the animated series, “Scooby-Doo,” which featured a loveable Great Dane and his companions who unlock the mysteries and unmask seemingly scary monsters. What does that have to do with DevOps? Let’s jump into the Mystery Machine and find out …

 The Mystery Machine Breaks Down

In most episodes, our sleuths Fred, Velma, Daphne, Shaggy, and Scooby-Doo are traveling along until their trusty van, the Mystery Machine, breaks down near an abandoned property or town that is experiencing some kind of monster problem. This monster may have been terrorizing the locals but was previously unknown outside the immediate vicinity.

 Suppose we apply the Scooby-Doo metaphor to your value stream. In that case, your business may be running along smoothly until suddenly, a previously undetected “monster” brings your development or operations to a sudden stop. You need the help of the team to solve the mystery!

 Putting Together the Perfect Team

In Scooby-Doo, each mystery team member brings their own set of unique skills to the job at hand.

  • Fred provides direction for the team and delegates tasks to the right team members to complete the job. He also works with the customer to define the problem, set expectations, and then follow-up to ensure the job is complete.
  • Daphne has an intuitive sense for finding and following clues. She creates the team’s fun-loving culture and maintains team morale, but picked up new skills like martial arts in an effort for continuous improvement. 
  • Velma is smart and focused on results rather than credit. She also knows how to motivate other team members, like motivating Shaggy and Scooby-Doo with snacks.
  • Shaggy and Scooby-Doo work well together, testing the haunted house or town for traps and uncovering the monster, no matter where the team finds themselves.

 Although the team members split up during each episode to cover more ground, collect clues, and flush out the monster from its hiding spot, their success is dependent on them working together. 

 Each member of your DevOps team is there for a reason as well, and both their unique skills and personalities contribute to your team’s success in detecting and solving issues that can delay your time to market or cause problems for your users. Breaking down the silos between management, developers, operations, and QA will help your DevOps culture succeed.

 Lessons From Those Meddling Kids

As the team members of Scooby-Doo (and your DevOps team) work to solve the mystery, the monster turns out not to be scary after all. It’s a much smaller offender masquerading as the supernatural. At the end of every episode, the villain exclaims, “I would have gotten away with it too if it weren’t for those meddling kids!”

 In DevOps, we should never stop looking for answers and for ways to improve continuously. Like the Scooby-Doo teens, look for “monsters” that are slowing down your processes. In some cases, the solution might be as simple as automating a manual process or approval. Others may be more difficult, but you’ve already put together the right team to solve it. 

 And, remember, there’s nothing scary about DevOps.

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