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InfoQ Homepage News Trust-Driven Development: Accelerate Delivery and Increase Creativity

Trust-Driven Development: Accelerate Delivery and Increase Creativity

By building trust you can break silos, foster collaboration, increase focus, and enable people to come up with creative solutions for products and for improving their processes.

Tomasz Manugiewicz spoke about how building trust impacts software delivery and creativity at ACE conference 2022.

The DevOps movement was created to break the silos in the organisations, Manugiewicz explained:

We want Dev people to talk and work with Ops team, breaking the opposition of "we" and "they". In order to establish smooth cooperation between them and eliminate blaming culture, we need these two teams to trust each other.

Trust can be built in such circumstances by organising pair programming across various functions and various teams, Manugiewicz mentioned.

When people trust each other, they can focus their energy on creating a product, improving processes and of course, on programming, Manugiewicz said. That’s why Google pays attention to the psychological safety in and between teams, he mentioned.

Manugiewicz explained what can happen when there’s a lack of trust:

If people don’t trust each other and don’t feel safe, they invest their energy and time to secure themselves by various corporate actions that we all know.

Manugiewicz mentioned that once we have people’s energy focused on the actual work, they can be creative and improve not only the product, but also the process of production of such a product. With this, he meant all the automation that can be done to make the process smoother.

A creative process assumes that we come up with many various ideas. In a safe environment we are not afraid to generate those which are not perfect and ideal, which can inspire us to find more creative solutions, Manugiewicz concluded.

InfoQ interviewed Tomasz Manugiewicz about applying trust-driven development to accelerate delivery and increase creativity.

InfoQ: How can building trust help to break silos in organizations?

Tomasz Manugiewicz: Building trust means training people first to have a cross-functional crew. In those circumstances, people can build cognitive aspects of trust as they show that they are able to deliver results. They also can understand each other and do exercises like pair programming. And once they start talking to each other, the emotional aspect of trust can be established.

It’s as simple as giving them knowledge and tools and letting them cooperate together.

InfoQ: How can we accelerate delivery by increasing trust?

Manugiewicz: The DevOps evolution model shows how it can be done. It starts with manual execution of ad-hoc tasks, then goes on with more planned tasks which can be scripted.

Moving further down the line we can observe some groups of tasks- let’s call them activities- which can be grouped and orchestrated by specific tool; in this case people need to agree that their tasks will be automated by DevOps tools.

There are also some actions that need to still be done in manual or semi-manual manner - so autonomy is needed. And this is where trust pop-ups because to give someone autonomy, the manager needs to trust this person or team.

The last stage of DevOps evolution model is the self-learning part - so we are coming back to this cognitive aspect. It is not only about increasing human skills - it is also about increasing learning by an algorithm itself, so machine learning as we call it.

I encourage you to read further about the DevOps evolution model in Puppet resources at Puppet’s new Scaling DevOps Service helps orgs scale DevOps practices.

InfoQ: How do trust and relationships influence creativity?

Manugiewicz: I have seen this in retrospectives. I had one team who was really good at listening to all the things that needed to be improved, but once we were discussing solutions it was difficult for them to come up with solutions. It was quite a new team and trust wasn’t established yet between team members. Once they built trust over time, they started sharing ideas for solutions; they were challenging each other and as a result produced great and creative solutions.

Earlier InfoQ interviewed Tomasz Manugiewicz about Building Cognitive and Emotional Pillars.

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