A couple of weeks ago, my ever-active colleagues Marco Mulder and Serge Beaumont organised an nlscrum meetup about "Combining Scrum and Operations", with presentations by Jeroen Bekaert and devopsdays organiser Patrick Debois.
Unfortunately, I was late and only managed to catch the tail end of Patrick's well-delivered talk explaining how Dev/ops can become Devops. Thankfully, the lively open space discussions that followed provided plenty of interesting insights, comments and general food for thought.
One recurring theme that particularly struck me was the comment, uttered with regret by many in Operations, that they would very much like to help and coordinate with the development teams but inevitably were always too busy keeping the production environment up and running.
In other words, helping prepare for new releases might be desirable, but achieving the five nines, or whatever SLA Operations has committed to1, will always be paramount.
This is a fallacy! Indeed, one of the core realisations of the "Devops mindset", to me, is that 99.999...% uptime is not an end in itself, but a means to an end: delivering the greatest business value possible. And aiming for the highest possible availability may not be the best way to go about it!2