My notes from the DevOps Handbook

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

Have developers follow work downstream

One of the most powerful techniques in interaction and user experience design is contextual inquiry. This is when the product team watches a customer use the application in their natural environment, often working at their desk.

These customer observations almost always result in significant learning and a fervent desire to improve the situation for the customer.

Our goal is to use this same technique to observe how our work affects our internal customers.

By following downstream, we may uncover ways to help improve flow, such as automating complex, manual steps, working with testers to automate manual test suites, thus removing a common bottleneck for more frequent deployment, and creating more useful documentation instead of having someone decipher developer application notes to build installers.

Developers want to follow their work downstream - by seeing customer difficulties firsthand, they make better and more informed decisions in their daily work.

UX observation enables the creation of quality at the source and results in far greater empathy for fellow team members in the value stream. Ideally, UX observation helps us as we create codified, non-functional requirements to add to our shared backlog of work, eventually allowing us to proactively integrate them into every service we build.

Broaden the context of quality. The key concepts include designing for service, not software, minimizing latency and maximizing strength of feedback, designing for failure and operating to learn, using ops as an input to design, and seeking empathy.