5 Activities to Improve the Culture of Agile DevOps Teams

It's getting close to summer months and many agile devops teams are working hard to close out their Q2 commitments. The summer months are a great time to bring people and teams together to recalibrate on priorities and revitalize their commitment to collaboration.
So this week I'd like to share with you a few simple ideas on how to brings teams together.

  1. Review their understanding of customers, personas, and needs - Agile teams that have been heads down and hands-on keyboards for stretches of time can easily lose sight of who their customers are and their primary needs. In some cases, they may never have formalized personas or value propositions. Even when I've seen teams led by strong product management organizations, it's very easy to lose sight of what the level of understanding is around customer needs and what changes have transpired since it was last reviewed.
  2. Brainstorm an innovation - In my book, Driving Digital, I share my best agile planning practices that help teams plan out their backlogs and releases. Many teams are forced to go from one sprint to the next and one release to the next one without a lot of time to think, align, and plan. It becomes a grind. But in the summer, consider pulling your teams together and letting them brainstorm and plan a new innovation. Be upfront that the work may not be prioritized, but just thinking about the art of the possible is a healthy way to bring teams together.
  3. Pick three KPIs to measure and discuss at retrospectives - Have your teams become data-driven and use retrospectives to drive quantifiable process improvements. You'd be surprised how this reinvigorates teams especially when selected performance indicators align with business needs.
  4. Build a dashboard - Aligned with picking KPIs, another great team-building exercise is to enable them to build tools out that help their productivity. Sure you could prioritize a DevOps tool and build or enhance CI/CD pipelines, automated testing, or infrastructure as code. But that's in the team's wheelhouse (or should be) and summer is a good time to take them out of their comfort zones. Try having them build one of these devops dashboards that I've recommended
  5. Have fun, throw a department potluck lunch or barbecue - One of the best collaborating organization's that I led through potluck lunches throughout the year and had one large family picnic every summer. By making it a potluck, you can keep company spending to a minimum while celebrating the cultural heritage and cuisines of your teammates. It's great fun!
Remember, happy and driven teams are collaborative and productive.


  1. Good article Isaac. First and foremost a product leader should be a customer advocate and inject as much real customer experience into the agile teams as possible. One thing I did for a major product launch was webcast to the dev team from the convention we launched our product at. They got a real feel for it and were really appreciative. I also started that "Change" project with an industry down "half-time" talk. The size of the industry, teh big players and how we could change it with the right effort. And the entire project we talked about Nacy and gary our primary personae. Good stuff

    1. Matt - Great to hear from you and thanks for the feedback. I really like the idea of webcasting to share the experience with the team and continued dialog around the competition.


Comments on this blog are moderated and we do not accept comments that have links to other websites.


About Isaac Sacolick

Isaac Sacolick is President of StarCIO, a technology leadership company that guides organizations on building digital transformation core competencies. He is the author of Digital Trailblazer and the Amazon bestseller Driving Digital and speaks about agile planning, devops, data science, product management, and other digital transformation best practices. Sacolick is a recognized top social CIO, a digital transformation influencer, and has over 900 articles published at InfoWorld, CIO.com, his blog Social, Agile, and Transformation, and other sites. You can find him sharing new insights @NYIke on Twitter, his Driving Digital Standup YouTube channel, or during the Coffee with Digital Trailblazers.