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Defining Devops as CALMSS

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There is an ongoing discussion in the DevOps community to better define DevOps. Eric Minick, product management lead - Continuous Delivery at IBM says that everyone has their own interpretation of DevOps, in his recent blog.

While everyone supplies slightly different words, the same working understanding of DevOps is nearly universal. Analysts, authors, industry, and community leaders all agree. The ideas are big and mutually supportive. In short:

  • DevOps exists to help the business win
  • The scope is broad, but centered on IT
  • The foundations are found in Agile and Lean
  • Culture is very important
  • Feedback is fuel for innovation
  • Automation helps

Eveline Oehrlich, VP and Research Director at Forrester Research, mentions in her blog, that Forrester has come-up with a new definition of DevOps. Forrester has added an additional “S” for sourcing in the CALMS definition of DevOps. They believe that DevOps must be supported by a solid sourcing strategy to extend the ecosystem. This then brings them to the acronym of CALMSS.

The first acronym - CAMS (Culture, Automation, Measurement, Sharing) was coined by John Willis and Damon Edwards in 2010 in the first US based Devopsdays in Mountain View, California. Later on, the “L” for lean was added by Jez Humble. We at Forrester have added an additional “S” for sourcing.

Chris Jackson, Chief Technologist, Rackspace, explains CALMS in his blog as

  • Culture – Own the change to drive collaboration and communication
  • Automation – Take manual steps out of your value chain
  • Lean – Use lean principles to enable higher cycle frequency
  • Metrics – Measure everything and use data to refine cycles
  • Sharing – Share experiences, successful or not, to enable others to learn

Eveline mentioned that they had conversation with Patrick Debois, Senior Java, Unix web consultant, architect at VRT and organizer of devopsdays and started working on a Forrester CALMSS research report.

We are working on a Forrester CALMSS research report where we list what we think are the characteristics of each letter that supports measurement at individual, project, intra-company and inter-company levels. We will be focusing in our playbook on the project level so that you can measure and benchmark yourselves.

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Community comments

  • not sure changing is the most important

    by Erik Gollot /

    Your message is awaiting moderation. Thank you for participating in the discussion.

    Why changing the definition ?
    we can keep it and do not change the scope, just because it is really focused on dev-ops collaboration.
    But yes we can explain that the problem is much broad in software development.
    But do not change a definition just to surf on the wave...and to sell your full tool stack.

  • Doubt this will get adopted

    by Dan Cundiff /

    Your message is awaiting moderation. Thank you for participating in the discussion.

    Another letter wasn't needed; I mean, it's kind of off-topic even.

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