Gerie Owen


Talk Abstract

DevOps and Groupthink: An Oxymoron?

DevOps teams bring together specialists from disciplines with different views on what is most important which forms the basis for preventing groupthink.  However, all closely-knit teams are susceptible to groupthink, a cultural attitude that implicitly rewards members whose striving for unanimity override their motivation to realistically appraise alternative courses of action.  DevOps team members from different functional specialties may often defer to the expert in a particular realm to solve individual problems.  Teams also recognize that they have to solve issues quickly and decisively, and may defer to the team member with the most authoritative voice.

This presentation examines the development of groupthink within devops teams.  It draws upon the research of Irving Janus, Daniel Kaheman and Carol Dweck to look at how biases and mindsets contribute to groupthink, and why groupthink invariably leads to poor decision-making.  I’ll how groupthink can be managed using these theories.  Then using Gloria Eoyang’s CDE theory, I’ll show what managers can do to positively influence groupthink behaviors.  From this presentation you will learn how sustained groupthink can prevent the DevOps team from achieving its operational goals of agility and quick corrective action and you will learn to use a combination of defined process and prescriptive actions, as individuals and as a team both internally and externally. 

Speaker

Gerie Owen

Gerie Owen

@GerieOwen

Gerie Owen is a test architect at Eversource Energy, Certified ScrumMaster, conference presenter, and author on testing/test management topics. She is developing a test center of excellence and consults on test processes and tools. Gerie manages large, complex projects involving multiple applications; coordinates test teams across multiple time zones; and delivers high-quality projects on time and within budget. She enjoys mentoring new QA leads and brings a cohesive team approach to testing. Learn more about Gerie on her website, her Software Testing in the Trenches blog, and on Twitter @GerieOwen.