How does FAST handle Support and DevOps?
Small Scale FAST (Team Sized)
In Small Scale FAST (~14 or less), the answer would be the same as if you were doing XP or Scrum.
Large Scale FAST (Collective)
The answer to most questions in FAST is to ask the collective. FAST works by tapping into the collective wisdom of the crowd. If you are responsible for a collective, or the FAST coach, get used to not solving problems and giving solutions. Get used to giving up control and trusting the collective. The Collective Members are adults with a lot of creativity and are used to solving problems. Give them ownership of the challenges, ownership of the product(s), and ownership of their processes.
OK, ok. So, with that pat answer – here are some ideas that I might suggest a collective try were I to be inside that collective and this challenge posed…
A lot depends on what you mean by DevOps. I understand it to be developers have the tools and ability to deploy code automatically and adjust the environments they are deploying into. This would also hopefully include a continuous integration server/service.
If that matches your definition, then make sure that whoever has purchase authority is continually in service to the needs of the Collective for these tools and keeps an open channel and healthy relationship with the company’s Ops dept.
Perhaps the Collective forms a DevOps guild for Members who are particularly passionate about these tools and the processes that come with them. Perhaps that guild makes available a wiki with documentation of the tools and processes.
A product in production will always need support. So how does the Collective manage support at the same time they are doing discovery and delivery work?
Short answer – ask the collective…
OK, ok. So, if I were in a collective and this question came up, here is what I might suggest…
What if – we always have one pair on support? Support would be its own “slot” in the marketplace, and we could come up with a randomized rotation for a “tour of duty”. Now should I find myself in this pair and the support ticket that we are working on, neither my partner nor I am particularly strong in, or we find ourselves stuck on, I can imagine going to the individual(s) who knew most about it and asking if they have time to come and help. The law of two feet (or mobility) enables that person the freedom to come and join us as a mob to get this ticket done, also ensuring to coach us at the same time so we would be better equipped next time something else like this might come up.
If the collective were supporting multiple products, then perhaps a pair per product is needed.