Julia Hall of Appfire on The BEST Work Management Show by Appfire

“What is DevOps and why it is so important for organizations today?” Find out in this episode of Appfire Presents: The Best Work Management Show by Appfire.

Julia Hall explains the challenges organizations face when implementing DevOps, and how value stream mapping can help you identify areas for improvement. She also gives you sneak peek at what she’ll cover in the Appfire webinar “DevOps: The secret of many organizations.”

For more details on this topic, check out Julia’s webinar on October 27th at 11am ET (or watch the recording on demand) to learn how DevOps and the right tooling can help strengthen your competitive advantage.

About the guest

Julia Hall is principal product manager at Appfire. She’s an experienced product manager, mainly focused on technical products such as data/database tools, web development tools and payments/ecommerce, with a passion for helping teams to transform and leverage more modern approaches like DevOps and Agile/SCRUM. Julia also helped start DevOpsDays in Houston.

About the show

The BEST Work Management Show by Appfire features smart leaders sharing their secrets for optimizing business processes and increasing productivity. Get the goods on how they handle everything from setting up workflows to automating processes. Every episode is 10 minutes or less, packed with insights you can use right away to supercharge your team’s productivity.


For your convenience, here is the transcript of this episode:

What is DevOps and why it is so important for organizations today?

Kerry:  Today we’re going to tackle the question what is dev-ops and why is it so important for organizations today. To help us answer that question is Julia Hall, principal product manager at Appfire. She is an experienced product manager, mostly focused on technical products such as data and database tools, web development tools, payments and ecommerce. Stick around for 10 minutes of work management awesome.

Julia, thanks so much for joining. This is exciting because it’s an important topic and you’re going to be having a whole webinar about it in a week’s time. Let’s go ahead and unpack the question, what is dev-ops and why is it so important for organizations today?

Julia:  Hey, Kerry. It’s a pleasure to be here. Thanks for having me. 

That’s an excellent question. What is dev-ops? Dev-ops is actually a combination of many things. There’s culture, philosophies, practices, and let’s not forget also tooling to increase an organization’s ability to deliver applications and services faster. 

Why is dev-ops so important for organizations today? Well, if you take a look at organizations such as Google, Etsy, Amazon, or Netflix, these organizations are very successful in rapidly delivering actual value to customers. One thing common these organizations actually have, aside from being very successful, is the fact that their dev-ops flow is very efficient. In talking about ways to make a dev-ops flow more efficient is what I will be talking about in more detail during my webinar on October 27th.

Kerry:  You’re going to give up the goods and details on it. 

Julia:  Yes.

Kerry:  Okay. What are the challenges that organizations face when they’re implementing dev-ops, what are some of the hurdles they have to overcome?

Julia:  Dev-ops is great, but one thing it certainly requires is understanding. You need to understand your dev-ops. What’s even more interesting is that no dev-ops flow is actually created equal. Every organization, or even a product team within an organization, might have some product lifecycle or dev-ops flow with unique dev-ops phases.

What I mean is that where there is a requirement with a goal to deliver value to the customer, the same requirement goes through the entire dev-ops flow from planning, coding, all the way to production, closing with, of course, the loop for feedback. How fast a request can travel through the dev-ops flow will determine how quickly value can actually be delivered to your customer. That velocity is what we all want, of course, to make it better. 

If you wanted to improve your dev-ops flow, where would you start? Actually, that is one of the challenges that many organizations face today.

Kerry:  You mean where to start? 

Julia:  Exactly. Where would you start? Right? It varies and it’s a big challenge. What I’d like to do here is to introduce one possible way to improve your dev-ops flow, which is by adopting value stream mapping.

Kerry:  We’re getting a sneak peek.

Julia:  Exactly. 

Kerry:  Value stream mapping?

Julia:  Yes. I’m going to back to that question of how would you improve your dev-ops flow. The truth is that if you want to really pinpoint areas of improvement, it becomes a real challenge. How do you know actually that the dev-ops flow is taking a lot of time doing coding, or planning, or testing, or when you’re deploying? 

That is where value stream mapping comes into play. It is going to help you identify these areas so that you can improve, which of course I’m going to go over in more detail during my webinar. But not only that, I’m going to include a few value stream mapping metrics, so that could start helping you actually have more visibility into your dev-ops flow.

Kerry:  So, it’s literally mapping? You’re looking at the whole stream from beginning to end and figuring out what’s happening and how the work is getting done.

Julia:  Exactly. It’s very cool. I really love the way that you can see how everything is working, how can you understand, how you can pinpoint where you can improve. Not only improve, but also see when the things you have done actually are helping make your flow better. If it’s not, I mean, you’re not always going to do things right. We wish we were all perfect. If its not right, you go back and you see exactly what you did, it’s not working this way, you can come back and try to fix it. 

So, value stream mapping is a lifesaver, for sure.

Kerry:  We’re going to get the scoop on that in your webinar on October 27th.

Julia:  Yes, you will. 

Kerry:  What else is in there?

Julia:  I cannot give you too much. I’ve already given a few hints. I will share actually my journey as a product manager, because one of the challenges I have is that I also want to deliver more value faster to my users. That is the journey that I want to share with you from the basics of dev-ops and how I use value stream mapping to improve the velocity of the dev-ops flow.

Kerry:  So, we’ll find out how your love affair with value stream mapping began.

Julia:  Yes. It has a beautiful ending, so I think you’ll all enjoy it very much. I’m going to talk about metrics and telemetry as well, which for me is extremely exciting. 

Kerry:  That’s exciting for all of us. Anybody who wants to work more effectively and serve people better should be interested in this.

Julia:  Certainly. It’s going to be on October 27th, and I really hope you all can join us.

Kerry:  And it will be available on-demand, so if you’re hearing this after October 27th, 2022, do not despair. You can check out the on-demand version at Appfire.com/events. I will put a direct link for registering in the show notes so that you can check that out everywhere this broadcast program is available. 

Visit Hub.Appfire.com if you’d like to see more episodes of The Best Work Management Show by Appfire or Appfire.com/events to find the webinar featuring Julia Hall, as well as our other valuable educational events. 

Thank you for joining, Julia.

Julia:  Thank you. Happy to be here.

Kerry:  See you next time.

Last updated: 2022-11-22

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