DevOps From the Hospital to the IT Department

Dan Goldberg ON Apr 05, 2016

Sometimes you have to look outside of IT to see the effects of DevOps. Here’s an example.

My dad has been in the hospital for more than six weeks. Each of the doctors and nurses is well trained, knowledgeable, and attentive. But clearly, there is an issue. So what’s the problem?

Here’s a brief outline.

  • The surgeon who performed the original lung surgery wants my dad to get up and walk, even though he still has a breathing tube down his throat.
  • The respiratory therapist keeps trying to get him off the respirator.
  • The pulmonologist says his right lung needs to heal more before he can get off the respirator.
  • The infectious disease doctor confirms there is an infection in his right lung.
  • Seemingly every time they try to wean him off the ventilator, they stress him out with some other procedure like turning him over or adjusting his breathing tube, ensuring failure.
  • The doctors agree that his nutrition is important for building strength, but he’s not allowed to eat or drink anything now.

Do you see the communication problems?

DevOps From the Hospital to the IT Department

Do you see the communication problem?

Communication Breakdown
It is incredibly frustrating to watch it all unfold. And here’s the problem, as I see it:

  • The thoracic surgeon performs lung surgery and counts it as a success.
  • The pulmonologist removes fluid from my dad’s lung, and counts it as a success.
  • The infectious disease doctor confirms an infection, and counts it as a success.

But no one seems to be paying much attention to the business objective, which is getting my father healthy so he can go home.

Development and Operations
Each doctor is taking care of development, introducing next steps that might work in a vacuum.

But the operations, the coordination that produces successful outcomes, are a disaster.

Better communication would improve individual performances by aligning them with other activities and improving accountability, and improve the overall outcome by again aligning activities.

From the hospital to the IT department, DevOps is just teams working together. It’s common sense.

Complimentary Report
Legislation already on the books in Singapore levies fines for not being timely enough in alerting the authorities and victims of a breach, and also for not using proper protocols for consumer data protection.

To learn more about changing laws and regulations and how to overcome the challenges of compliance, red our new white paper, 2016 Communication Best Practices for Data Breaches and Service Outages.