Moneyball and the Science of Building Great DevOps Teams


Moneyball is about baseball. But it’s also about breaking down accepted preconceptions and finding new ways to look at individual skills and how they mesh as a team. We often inherit already-existing teams, and believe that the structure and operation of the team takes best advantage of individual abilities. When we have the opportunity to add people to a team, we often look for skills we think the team is lacking, rather than what will make a more effective team. Sometimes the characteristics that we believe the team needs aren’t all that important in assessing and improving the quality and productivity of that team.

Moneyball is also about people deceiving themselves, believing something to be true because they think they witnessed it. Likewise, when building multidisciplinary DevOps teams, we let our observations about what the team does, and how it works, in order to collect and analyze data, and make determinations of how to best perform their mission. In fact, some of the team’s accepted practices may have less an impact on the end result than we would like.

This presentation examines how to use data in our daily jobs to tell the right story about our state of affairs, and our success in delivering successful outcomes. It takes a look at some of our preconceptions about skills, and whether those preconceptions are actually supported by data and research. It identifies characteristics that can give pointers on building and running a high-performance team.

It applies the Moneyball approach to team building and managing DevOps teams, and to give teams the best bang for their buck in evaluating their own capabilities and project requirements, looking at their work in a new way, and delivering the highest quality results possible.

Speaker

peter-varhol

Peter Varhol

 

Peter Varhol is a well-known writer and speaker on software and technology topics, having authored dozens of articles and spoken at a number of industry conferences and webcasts. He has advanced degrees in computer science, applied mathematics, and psychology, and is currently a community evangelist at Dynatrace, an international software testing and application monitoring company. His past roles include technology journalist, software product manager, software developer, and university professor.