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The rise of DevOps has unleashed a range of technical, workforce and business benefits, including: more deployments, faster lead times, shorter recovery times, lower change failure rates, less unplanned and rework, and even happier people. Indeed, as noted by open source configuration tool maker Puppet, enterprises that boost performance through DevOps methodologies enjoy greater employee loyalty as measured by employee Net Promoter Score (eNPS). What’s not to love?

Well, more than a few project managers aren’t too enthusiastic about the rise of DevOps, because some of the generalized practices that work fine in conventional project environments don’t transfer over into DevOps culture.

As such, to adapt and thrive in the DevOps era, project managers need to update their playbook with the following:  

  • Agile Principles

DevOps fundamentally depends on continuous integration/continuous delivery (CI/CD), which means that silos and other barriers to rapid communication are fatal. Project managers need to adopt agile principles to do things smarter and faster, such as using automation and taking a micro-services approach.  

  • Real-Time Visibility   

The only version of time that works in DevOps is real-time, because the value and validity of information can — and often does — expire within hours (or sometimes minutes). Ensuring that all team members have access to reliable, real-time information is the difference between project clarity and chaos. An outstanding cloud-based work collaboration solution is essential here.   

  • Obsessive Streamlining

While reducing the frequency of status meetings is a good idea in general, it’s critical in a  DevOps environment where time is always of the essence, and streamlining is necessary rather than preferred. Less is definitely more.

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  • MVP

Project managers need to shift their mindset from completing objectives, to delivering minimal viable product (MVP). This is when software is delivered to end users with the core features required for deployment — but nothing more. The resulting feedback is then used to re-work the plan.

  • Customer Engagement

Because DevOps is so integrated and iterative, presenting finished (or nearly finished) products to customers doesn’t work. The risk is too high that customers will want or need different things — including aspects that they didn’t envision when the scope was developed — which if implemented, wouldn’t just trigger a course correction: it would require an overhaul.

To avoid this shared nightmare, project managers need to keep customers in the loop with frequent updates, relevant and accessible reports, and continuous sign-off/approval for material changes (i.e. stuff that matters, not every little tweak).

Leading the Way

Project managers — whether they’re called product owners, scrum masters, etc. — are essential for keeping projects on-track and portfolios healthy. Adopting the above mindsets and tools will help them confidently and competently lead the way in a DevOps Era that is only getting started.


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Preview: Gartner Market Guide for Adaptive Project Management & Reporting

Pick a PPM solution with the best capabilities to match your unique needs


In the Gartner Market Guide for Adaptive Project Management & Reporting guide, Gartner, Inc. provides recommendations and evaluation criteria for executives and PMO leaders assessing Project and Portfolio Management (PPM) solutions. This guide outlines the adaptive project management and reporting process flow as well as a market review of current providers in the following categories:

  • - Existing pure-play PPM providers
  • - Collaborative work management (CWM) providers
  • - Enterprise agile planning (EAP) providers
  • - Technology Platform providers from other markets

The guide provides insight into how well a product or service fulfills certain functional capabilities – with a forward-looking market direction and analysis provided.

In the report, Gartner, Inc. mentions/states that “by 2024, 50% of all program and portfolio management (PPM) leaders will integrate complementary technologies to enable portfolio decision making and adaptive work management for digital business evolution.”

Clarizen offers a complete solution that connects work across the enterprise, turning ideas into strategies, plans, and action. With Clarizen, organizations can work the way they want to work and have real time visibility across all workstreams in their portfolio. This keeps teams focused on the things that matter, provides the real-time information needed to make more accurate and timely decisions, and delivers results faster to meet and even exceed company goals and customers’ expectations.

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Buyer’s guide to project management software
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