Communication for some is easy, for others not so much
How often to meet and with who? What is the agenda? What is the balance between high level meetings versus detailed meetings? How well are leadership goals absorbed by the DevOps team? And likewise, how well are the individual voices, concerns, and ideas on the DevOps team heard? Are you meeting too much or not enough? Is the team collaborating and communicating on their own?
Communication frequency, methods, and topics to cover vary from team to team. As a DevOps leader, the important thing is that you are considering these questions and fostering a team atmosphere of collaboration.
As a DevOps leader, don’t make decisions in a silo, before making a decision that will make a significant impact consult the team and get different points of view. This can be a decision over tools, process, technology, roles, responsibility, security, team structure, or even communication tactics. After deciding, be able to explain why. Also be able to explain how it will impact their workflow.
Communication promotes knowledge transfer
The more knowledge transfer there is the better a team can handle change, complexity, turnover and extended leaves of absence. There are many tools related to DevOps that require different skill sets. When DevOps teams collaborate with one another outside of structured meetings setup by leadership they become more confident individually, trust goes up between team members, and another great benefit is they share knowledge with each other. Learning new tools becomes a little easier when you have trust and can share experiences with other team members. When the team is collaborating, the complexity of the different environments becomes easier to bridge. If there is a team member with specific knowledge that would be better if others on the team knew as well, are there incentives or encouragement in place to ensure transfer is taking place?
Encouraging the team to collaborate among themselves takes effort and maybe even a little prodding but once they start it usually picks up steam! As a DevOps leader, if you find yourself triaging communication encourage members of the team to directly contact one another.
Communication promotes leadership
A DevOps team needs leaders and when leaders communicate and collaborate only good things can happen. When teams communicate well, a pool of potential leaders will emerge. Perhaps you have a team member that has great ideas. Maybe they are not good at communicating those ideas out. Fostering communication and collaboration among the team, outside of structured meetings setup by leadership will help team members improve their communication skills and help them find their voice and perhaps you will find a few diamonds in the rough.