What is DevOps?

DevOps is the union of people, process, and products to enable continuous delivery of value to our end users.

I am very deliberate in the terms used in this definition. I choose value over software.  DevOps is not just automating a pipeline so we can quickly deliver software. Our goal is to deliver value.  The term end users was also very carefully chosen.  The value we produce must reach our end users.  If the value only reaches the Dev and QA environments but is held up before reaching production where it can be realized by our end users, we are still failing.

It is very important to realize that DevOps is not a product.  You cannot buy DevOps and install it.  DevOps is not just automation or infrastructure as code.  DevOps is people following a process enabled by products to deliver value to our end users.

Comments (22) -

  • Jojo Aquino

    9/29/2015 1:16:48 AM | Reply

    I heard you on MSDEVSHOW and I really appreciate your passion towards DevOps. And thank you for summing it up in one sentence btw.

    • Donovan

      1/7/2016 9:37:16 PM | Reply

      My pleasure.

  • Jeff Hurst

    2/28/2016 5:56:27 PM | Reply

    Blending "the New" into "the Existing" to truly enable the work force, rather than stopping at the defined lines setout by Project Charters and PM plans. In short let's ensure every project element which is declared "out of scope" still connects to the reality of worklife for the poor employee that does not have the option to declare the related work on their desk as "out of scope" as well.

  • Santosh L

    3/14/2016 2:14:38 PM | Reply

    Quite apt definition...I am sure over coming time all of us will see the criticality of implementing DevOps and will accept them to remain competitive in the market. Thanks for the definition as well as the well informative video in MVA site.

  • James Murphy

    9/22/2016 12:06:07 PM | Reply

    I heard this definition of DevOps on the Radio TFS blog.  It is the most elegant definition of DevOps I've heard (and now, have seen).  I really like your emphasis on delivering *value*, not just software.  A process improvement that delivers the very same software, but delivers it more quickly and reliably, still has value to the end user.  Bravo.

    • Donovan

      11/6/2016 1:37:04 PM | Reply

      I really appreciate that.  Took me a while to write but I think it was worth it.

    • Angela Dugan

      1/18/2017 5:14:25 PM | Reply

      Truth!  I am quoting the CRAP out of this lately, and of course giving Donovan proper credit.  My other favorite thing that he recently said on the most recent  <Shameless plug> Radio TFS podcast</Shameless plug> was that "DevOps isn't something you should debate, it is something you should do", or something to that effect.  Smile

  • Diego

    10/2/2017 9:33:52 AM | Reply

    I'm preparing a workshop related to DevOps, its perception and adoption. Your definition is a perfect summary.

    • Donovan

      10/2/2017 2:50:27 PM | Reply

      I am glad you like it.

  • Nawaz R.

    10/14/2017 10:58:33 PM | Reply

    I came across this post from Microsoft's "Introduction to DevOps" online course and indeed found it to be an apt definition that clearly states the ideology of DevOps!

    • Donovan

      10/14/2017 11:14:31 PM | Reply

      I am glad it resonates with you.

  • Gaurav G

    1/18/2018 5:17:00 PM | Reply

    I really liked the idea of keeping VALUE at the core of DevOps. Very well defined !!

  • Sarah Gamal

    1/30/2018 12:03:03 PM | Reply

    Thanks for sharing this info. with us Smile

  • Francesco

    3/7/2018 7:47:05 AM | Reply

    Best definition ever

  • Mohammad Imran

    3/25/2018 3:04:57 PM | Reply

    Best definition ever. Now I can explain more easily my role in DevOps. Thanks.

  • Harinatha reddy

    6/6/2018 1:59:50 PM | Reply

    devops is process


    it's time to market  
    and run on business  to deliver fast and consistently.

  • Mateo M Gomez

    10/3/2018 5:26:19 AM | Reply

    Dev Ops is a process that combine with people of different level that get together to make delivery to the user.

  • Qaiser

    10/15/2018 7:54:12 PM | Reply

    The most elegant definition of DevOps and i liked it :--)

  • William

    11/13/2018 4:11:31 AM | Reply

    Love your DevOps definition @Donovan.  Also listened your Ignite talk this year.
    However, why would you call your self DevOps Manager?
    Is that really a title?

    • Donovan

      11/26/2018 6:50:35 PM | Reply

      I am a manager of a team of DevOps specialists that help guide DevOps best practices for Azure. So, it is accurate but not a common title.

  • Hedego

    2/20/2019 9:54:38 PM | Reply

    Simple, concise and to the point DevOps description ever.

  • John Walker

    4/22/2019 7:49:34 PM | Reply

    I needed this today when mired in meeting-speak. Thanks Donovan! This actually is going to set the tone for what we choose going toward that DevOps destination my team all agrees we want. This sets a goal and describes what to value to get there.

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