Car manufacturing might not be the first thing that comes to mind when discussing software development, but the two are more closely related than one might think. When the Model T Ford introduced principles of mass production in the early 20th century, the impact moved beyond the automobile industry and continued to thrive in modern-day markets.
Connecting the Model T to a DevOps Mindset
Ford revolutionized the way production systems work through a novel method that repeated each step of the Model T’s journey, from idea to inception. Unlike car manufacturers who utilized built-to-order production systems, Ford was able to produce a substantial number of Model Ts on an unimaginable scale. 15 years after introducing the concept of mass production, Ford produced more than one million Model Ts per year.
It's no surprise when the world took notice and followed suit—between the 1940s and 1970s, Toyota introduced their “Toyota Production System” (TPS), a set of guidelines and practices that refined the manufacturing industry. The key principles of TPS boosted Toyota to production leaderboards, maximizing speed, efficiency, and quality.
The key principles of the TPS, which would soon be adopted by manufacturers of all kinds, included ideas like:
Eliminating waste and inconsistency
Building learning organizations
Culture of respect for individuals and teamwork
So where does software development fit into these manufacturing practices? Markets Insider cites Jason Goth to explain how at its core, software creation and DevOps principles were born out of mass production practices.
Bringing DevOps Strategies to Growing Software Brands
With the TPS offering unbeatable speed, efficiency, and quality, it’s easy to see why DevOps strategies mirror the principles putting Toyota at the top of their industry. Miscommunication, errors, and delays all occur when departments work independently of each other—and this is where developing a unified DevOps team is crucial. DevOps seeks to combine departments and key plays under one team, focusing on efficiency, automation, and constant improvement.
“Today, the ability to deliver technology is critical to business success. Jeff Bezos once declared to investors that Amazon is not a retailer, it’s a software company,” Goth says. “Companies like Amazon, Google, Netflix, and Facebook have outpaced their competitors by adopting DevOps principles. They produce software like Ford produces cars.”
Should organizations look to the proven methods of mass production and adopt a DevOps mindset, they can expect the following three advantages to give them an edge in against competition:
DevOps Advantage #1: Tremendous Speed-to-Market
Disruption takes pity on no software organization, striking from all angles and from competitors of all sizes. By implementing a DevOps mindset, companies can rely on the consistency of processes to provide quick, replicable solutions and ideas.
DevOps Advantage #2: Constant Reliability
Software systems are no stranger to flaws, creating pressure that’s exasperated by impatient software users with high expectations. DevOps, given its dedication to continuous testing, reduces the pressure by lowering software failures and increasing customer confidence.
DevOps Advantage #3: All-In Teamwork
DevOps emphasizes collaboration across a variety of teams and people, leading employee engagement and offering opportunities across an organization. Commonly seen in large changes, it’s not surprising if the shift to DevOps is met with resistance. This is where leadership drives buy-in, helping their teams adapt and see the value in taking on a mass production approach.
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Foster Organizational Success Through DevOps
Making meaningful improvements through mass production principles isn’t confined to cars. By adopting DevOps, a diverse range of companies can shield themselves from disruption and outshine competitors. No matter where you’re at in your DevOps journey, or if you’re just interested in learning more, check out how we’ve helped firms strengthen their DevOps strategies or reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org
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