5 DevOps Project Failures You Can't Afford to Make (And How to Avoid Them)

DevOps has become an essential part of the software development process in recent years, allowing for faster, more reliable releases with increased collaboration and communication between development and operations teams. However, not all DevOps projects have been successful. Here we discuss the 5 biggest DevOps project failures that you can’t afford to make and how to avoid them in the future.


1. Lack of Communication and Collaboration
DevOps is all about collaboration between development and operations teams. However, the lack of communication and collaboration between these teams is one of the biggest DevOps project failures. When developers and operations teams work in silos, it can lead to misunderstandings and delays, resulting in project failure.

How to Avoid: To avoid this, fostering a culture of collaboration and communication is crucial. Encourage developers and operations teams to work together from the beginning of the project. Use tools like chat, video conferencing, and project management software to ensure that everyone is on the same page.


2. Poor Automation Strategy
Automation is an integral part of DevOps. However, poor automation strategy can lead to project failure. The lack of a robust automation strategy can result in manual errors, delays, and inconsistencies in the deployment process. 

How to Avoid: It is essential to have a well-defined automation strategy in place. This includes identifying the areas that need automation, selecting the right tools, and defining the automation process. Regularly review and update your automation strategy to ensure that it aligns with your project goals. 


3. Failure to Define Metrics
Metrics are critical to the success of any DevOps project. They provide insight into the performance of the project and help identify areas that need improvement. However, failing to define metrics is one of the biggest DevOps project failures.

How to Avoid: Define metrics at the beginning of the project. Identify the key performance indicators (KPIs) that you want to track and measure. This can include metrics like deployment frequency, lead time, and mean time to recovery (MTTR). Use tools like dashboards and reports to monitor and track these metrics regularly.


4. Inadequate Testing
Testing is an essential part of the DevOps process. It ensures that the software is functioning as expected and meets the requirements. However, inadequate testing can lead to project failure. This includes insufficient testing, testing at the wrong time, or testing the wrong things. For example, in 2018, TSB Bank attempted to migrate its IT systems from those of its former parent company, Lloyds, to a new platform owned by Spanish bank Sabadell. The migration was plagued by technical issues and resulted in millions of customers being unable to access their accounts or complete transactions for weeks. The incident was a stark reminder of the importance of thorough testing and contingency planning in DevOps projects.

How to Avoid: Define a testing strategy at the beginning of the project. This should include what needs to be tested, when it needs to be tested, and who will do the testing. Use tools like automated testing frameworks and continuous integration to ensure that testing is performed regularly and consistently.


5. Lack of Continuous Improvement
Continuous improvement is a key principle of DevOps. However, failing to prioritise it can lead to project failure. When DevOps teams do not continuously improve, they miss opportunities to optimise processes, improve efficiency, and reduce waste.

How to Avoid: Make continuous improvement a part of the culture. Encourage teams to regularly review processes and identify areas for improvement. Use retrospectives to reflect on what went well and what needs to be improved. Ensure that all team members are involved in the process and have a say in how improvements are implemented.


DevOps is a powerful approach that can transform the way organisations develop and deploy software. However, it is not without its challenges. Organisations can increase their chances of success by avoiding the five biggest DevOps project failures. Encourage collaboration and communication between teams, have a well-defined automation strategy, define metrics, prioritise testing, and make continuous improvement a part of the culture. By doing so, organisations can unlock the full potential of DevOps and drive innovation and growth.



If you're looking to avoid DevOps project failures and build a successful IT team, consider partnering with a specialist DevOps Talent Partner like Prism Digital. With a deep understanding of the DevOps landscape and access to a pool of talented candidates, we can help you find the right people with the skills and experience you need to drive your projects forward.

Get in touch today!