My notes from the DevOps Handbook

by Gene Kim, Jez Humble, Patrick Debois, John Willis

The Third Way: Continual Learning and Experimentation

High performing operations require and actively promote learning.

Workers perform experiments in their daily work to generate new improvements, enabled by rigorous standardization of work procedures and documentation of the results.

Reserve time for the improvement of the daily work and to further accelerate and ensure learning.

Simulate and inject failures into the production services under controlled conditions to increase resilience.

Enabling organizational learning and a safety culture

In a complex system it is impossible for us to perfectly predict all the outcomes for any action we take.

Our goal is to have a generative culture where we actively seek information, responsibilities are shared throughout the value stream and failure results in reflection.

In a generative culture we create ever safer systems of work and when accidents happen, we redesign the system to prevent failure from happening again.

Institutionalize the improvement of daily work

In the absence of improvements, processes degrade over time.

When we avoid fixing our problems, relying on daily workarounds, our problems and technical debt accumulates until all we are doing is performing workarounds, trying to avoid disaster, with no cycles left over for doing productive work.

Even more important than daily work is the improvement of daily work.

Reserve time to


In a technology value stream, we make our systems of work safer by fixing problems from ever weaker failure signals - not only customer impacting failures but also team impacting failures and near misses.