When it comes to implementing DevOps, Orange Group has a pretty aggressive schedule: By the end of this year, 100% of its IT projects in France will have begun using it.
Telco Transformation spoke with Pascal Viginier, Orange Group CIO, about the lessons learned so far. Last year, Viginier was tasked with leading the digital transformation at Orange, which includes adopting a software-centric culture across all of its areas.
Telco Transformation: In your experience, what cultural transformations need to take place in order to implement a DevOps mindset across the entire workforce?
Pascal Viginier: In order to implement DevOps successfully, there is a mindset that has to be adopted throughout the whole company and not just by technical teams.
It comes by changing the management mindset: decreasing direct control, fostering autonomy and initiatives, letting the team explore new ways and finding disruptive solutions and performance KPIs. It is also about stopping thinking in silos and starting to think "global." Dev objectives are Ops objectives and vice versa: Everyone either wins, or nobody wins if the global objectives of the project are not reached.
TT: How are employees being trained for new services and applications?
PV: We have different phases in our DevOps training journey:
- First, awareness. In one day, a global overview about what DevOps is, what it is for, how to do it and what the benefits are.
- Second, training. We focus on how to work on a DevOps project. We undertake scenario training with different roles across the project team.
- Third: We deliver tools and methods training, as well as coaching.
How are new employees being recruited?
PV: We have a standard Orange (NYSE: FTE) recruitment process for new external employees. And for internal recruitment, we have launched several programs (Orange software culture, Orange training, for example) to encourage career changes and thus increase the number of developers within the group.
TT: How is DevOps helping to break down service silos and enable cross-disciplinary groups?
PV: Breaking down silos is never easy, especially in big organizations such as Orange. But we have launched different initiatives over the last couple of years to improve the transversal nature of our projects, and DevOps has definitely been a great contributor.
DevOps facilitates project collaboration, sharing the same aims and solving issues together. This day-to-day way of working helps people to forget about silos in the project team. Additionally, the fact that managers are setting an example to follow encourages organizational barriers to be broken down.
TT: What are some examples of how DevOps has changed some of your organization's services and applications?
PV: A good example is the Orange Digital Factory, which is in charge of developing the online portal for Orange France and other web applications for millions of users.
The organization is very flat, with a maximum of three levels. Developers and operations work together daily. Some are not in the same location, but they have daily standing meetings, and the same tools are used by both sides. People are invited to evolve in the project team across different roles: developers, testers, scrum master and release manager, for example.
This new way of working has improved the overall delivery process of the Orange France's Portal and increased its time to market.
For previous Q&As on DevOps, check out:
— Tim Kridel, Technology Writer, Telco Transformation