What is the POD Model & How Can It Be Applied to DevOps?

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Many organizations have switched methods for creating enterprise purposes from conventional approaches to versatile fashions that promote innovation and quick turnarounds. This is mirrored in a surge in the adoption of DevOps and agile methodologies that enhance workflows and make growth groups extra environment friendly.

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Another mannequin gaining floor as a part of this motion is the POD mannequin, which might be seen as an extension of the rules of DevOps that will increase effectivity whereas splitting bigger growth groups into smaller, autonomous items.

This submit will break down the POD mannequin, its advantages, its drawbacks, and how one can implement this mannequin inside your group.

Agile growth methodology focuses on breaking down massive venture timelines with one predominant product launch into small incremental sprints that produce deliverables for the buyer. The DevOps mannequin expands on the agile strategy by combining the growth and operations groups to promote collaboration and cut back bugs in deployment.

The POD mannequin embraces the incremental strategy of agile and likewise follows the DevOps mannequin’s emphasis on operational necessities throughout the planning and growth phases. The POD workforce works in the identical dash workflow and combines a number of ability units to cowl the total software program growth lifecycle from planning to upkeep. Multiple PODs are usually used in order that bigger dash targets are damaged down into single duties that every POD workforce works on in parallel.

PODs are each a software program growth and a folks administration technique. POD groups are most frequently made up of 4-10 professionals. The roles that particular person contributors could fill embody:

  • Scrum Masters
  • Product Leads
  • Technical/Business Analysts
  • UX Designers
  • UI Developers
  • Back-end Developers
  • Full-stack Developers
  • DevOps Engineers
  • Test Engineers
  • QA Engineers
  • Cloud Engineers

Now that you just perceive the POD mannequin, let’s study its advantages.

The Benefits of the POD Model

The POD mannequin has three key advantages that make it a worthwhile extension of the agile and DevOps methodologies: scalability, collaboration, and effectivity. Let’s study each in additional element.

1. Scalability

By combining all wanted disciplines into one built-in unit, the POD mannequin removes the conventional roadblocks in the software program growth course of related to handoffs and lag time between phases that happen when the workforce is segmented by expertise. POD groups might be onboarded and offboarded from tasks as wanted to present the correct amount of sources for every dash.

2. Collaboration

Because the POD groups are small, it’s simpler to foster productive relationships between workforce members as communication is simplified.

In addition, by working carefully with others in associated disciplines, staff develop an consciousness of the better course of for producing the deliverable and the distinctive wants of every self-discipline to obtain the goal. This each improves collaboration with different workforce members and allows the worker to think about how they will assist these necessities in their very own work.

3. Efficiency

With all needed ability units underneath one roof, POD groups are extremely productive as a result of the course of for reviewing and testing deliverables is streamlined. By working carefully with all stakeholders, workforce members have easy accessibility to suggestions on their contributions. This reduces the danger that bugs make it into manufacturing and permits workforce members to course appropriate sooner in the course of.

The Drawbacks of the POD Model

While the POD mannequin presents many benefits, it is not best in each state of affairs. Here are a number of drawbacks to think about earlier than making the transition.

1. Distributed Decision Making

One benefit of the POD mannequin is that these performing the work are left to make strategic selections equivalent to selecting the know-how stack to use to produce a characteristic.

However, inexperienced workforce members could lack the management expertise and expertise to make these selections. This signifies that you could guarantee every POD workforce has practitioners with a background to decide workforce technique. You must also promote mentorship to foster these instincts in any newer workforce members to allow them to take part in future discussions.

2. High Level of Coordination

The imaginative and prescient of the POD mannequin is that every workforce is autonomous in order that a number of duties might be carried out in parallel. This requires cautious planning to outline the targets for every dash and guarantee they’re utterly self-contained.

In different phrases, a activity mustn’t require sources from one other POD workforce to full.

Otherwise, the effectivity benefit provided by shut inside collaboration could also be negated. For instance, Team A waits on Team B to full its contribution earlier than handing the deliverable off to Team A to finalize.

How to Implement a POD Model Framework

If you’ve gotten recognized the POD mannequin as the proper match to your group, these are the steps to begin organising your POD groups.

Plan the mannequin.

As talked about earlier than, cautious planning is a necessity for any POD mannequin. Begin by analyzing the venture and figuring out its underlying targets: what does the buyer need and what might be required to meet their wants? You can then cut up these particular person factors into separate areas of accountability and additional distill them into duties.

Once you’ve gotten the breakdown of labor, you may decide how you’ll cut up these tasks between PODs to guarantee every dash ends with a working deliverable. You now have the needed info to resolve the variety of POD groups and the expertise wanted inside every workforce to meet these necessities.

Finally, you may kind your POD groups and assign particular person tasks. It’s vital to guarantee every workforce has the needed management in addition to technical experience to meet venture necessities.

Now that you’ve got outlined the dash targets and chosen your groups, it is time to launch.

Execute your technique.

This section is all about flexibility. As your groups assemble and begin to carry out their work, actively gather suggestions so you may establish areas of friction and work with inside leaders to handle them. These stakeholders ought to equally be on the lookout for potential conflicts and intervening as needed, particularly if this is a brand new venture or new workforce.

During every dash and after its conclusion, you must also be monitoring metrics to measure progress in opposition to targets.

Measure efficiency.

Implementing a brand new POD mannequin is a hit by itself. But how have you learnt it was price the effort?

You can observe workforce exercise and outcomes over a number of key efficiency indicators (KPIs) to decide how efficient your POD implementation was, together with product high quality, dash completion charge, and buyer satisfaction rankings. You must also gather anecdotal suggestions from workforce members to decide their consensus on the mannequin and if they’ve recognized any areas for enchancment after working “in the trenches.”

Any greatest practices decided from these quantitative and qualitative measurements ought to then be shared throughout the POD groups so everybody can use these steps to enhance their execution throughout the subsequent dash.

Create facilities of excellence to your DevOps lifecycle.

The POD mannequin focuses on forming self-contained groups to fulfill particular person necessities of software program tasks and is an extension of the rules of the agile and DevOps methodologies. It presents benefits in scale, collaboration, and pace of execution, though it does require further coordination and competent leaders inside every workforce. Implementing a POD mannequin is an evolution of the DevOps mannequin’s mixture of growth and operations by bringing these disciplines collectively in small, unbiased groups.

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