Rabobank: Helping shape an effective DevOps culture
When Rabobank wanted to ensure that its delivery teams were adopting DevOps methods effectively, it called on the experienced team at Scott Logic.
Rabobank is an international financial services provider operating on the basis of cooperative principles, which serves approximately 8.7 million clients around the world. It offers retail banking, wholesale banking, private banking, leasing and real estate services.
Building a partnership for success
Rabobank’s London IT Department was six months into its transformation to DevOps. However, the company felt the culture needed help to take root, and lacked uniformity within the various delivery teams across IT systems in London.
Through their coaching style, Scott Logic’s team has empowered individuals in their new DevOps roles.
John Hinks: Head of IT Systems, Rabobank
Disruptive, without disruption
Scott Logic consultants provide bespoke solutions that fit in with a company’s wider goals. Therefore, their first step was to travel to the company’s head office in Utrecht to meet the DevOps coaches helping to shape delivery teams in The Netherlands. They had started their journey six months ahead of the London office and could advise on their strategy. Working with these coaches, Scott Logic identified a strong collaborative approach which would help the London teams transform, while maintaining the unique culture of the business itself.
Scott Logic shaped bespoke coaching sessions for six delivery teams, facilitating intense review and discussion of DevOps principles, and agreeing achievable goals. As a result, each team was able to demonstrate tangible progress toward adopting DevOps, in a way that was more positive and in-keeping with the values of the bank.
Rabobank’s delivery teams are busy, and time is precious. Therefore the company was keen that coaching was effective, yet unobtrusive.
Scott Logic devised an approach that would leave teams with real outputs, as well as benefits that would be evident immediately. Instead of long-winded end-of-project reports, consultants proposed improvement items that could be placed straight into the backlog of work. These were both actionable by the team, and visible to Rabobank management.
Delivering immediate value
Scott Logic organised intensive two-day workshops with each team, which maintained a strong focus without consuming too much of the team’s time. These workshops encouraged the team to share their thoughts about DevOps and the challenges that stood in the way. The open, relaxed atmosphere empowered teams to confidently discuss shortfalls and suggest improvements.
These workshops were followed by a coaching day, in which teams participated in a frank round-table discussion about DevOps principles.
When it came to DevOps, different teams had achieved different measures of success. Using ideas gathered from earlier sessions, Scott Logic formulated a team exercise that identified important goals, and plotted realistic and achievable improvements that would bring those aims closer to reality.
The exercise was based on the GROW coaching model, and provoked considerable discussion about key topics. These included cross-team communication, process-led concepts such as automation and monitoring, and the integration of support within the model. These conversations weeded out the root causes of the cultural divisions within the teams.
Scott Logic suggested ways to fix bottlenecks in areas such as testing, automation and deployment through wider discussion, and helped teams identify measurable items for improvement.
Through a structured and open discussion, Scott Logic coached each team to confront their most fundamental cultural concerns. It also left them with a solid model that would help them improve their performance, and build a more cohesive culture of collaboration and communication.
Delivered by Scott Logic
- Bespoke coaching sessions
- Focussed workshops with real outcomes
- Improvement items placed straight into the backlog of work, for immediate benefits
Scott Logic’s consultants helped us identify various practices which will enable us to function better as a DevOps team. We are already reaping the benefits of this. We found them very knowledgeable about DevOps practices and a pleasure to work with.
Paul Johnson: Scrum Master, Rabobank