Improve Productivity with Low-Context DevOps

Low-context DevOps is a concept introduced by Thomas Limoncelli for improving an organization’s DevOps/SRE culture by minimizing the required context needed for success.

Communicate and Document

In a recent article for ;login:, Limoncelli explains that in low-context cultures, communication is explicit. “Knowledge tends to be codified, public, external, and accessible,” he says. “There are rules, [and] you are told the rules.”

Limoncelli examines various ways to lower and manage required context. These approaches involve improving employee onboarding, information sharing, appropriate tooling, and ubiquitous documentation, all with the aim of creating an environment that is less frustrating and more productive.

High-quality documentation is crucial in a low-context culture, but, he notes, it does not just magically appear. “Management must set expectations around documentation quantity, quality, and timeliness.”

For example, managers should set expectations that documentation is written as part of the project, not as an afterthought. … When we save documentation for the end of the project, we create an opportunity to skip it. Instead, encourage people to write documentation along the way.

If left unchecked, Limoncelli says, required context “tends to grow over time and can make any environment insufferable. It must be managed like technical debt: Start off right, permit regressions only reluctantly, periodically create strategic projects to radically reduce it.”

Read the complete article at ;login:.

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