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DevOps

Improving DevOps observability with value streams & gamification

Post by
Susmitha Vakkalanka
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2020 has been an extremely unpredictable year but by the end of it one this is for sure - the pandemic has brought 2030 to 2020, or what’s also termed as digital acceleration. DevOps in 2021 borrows from the same concept. After all, digital capabilities were vital to developing and deploying rapid innovation during the pandemic.

In this article, we will discuss how to improve DevOps observability with value stream and gamification. 

To make DevOps a culture, make it fun - Gamify it! 


Deciding to go to devops tomorrow is Big Bang IT, and it just can’t work. You’re introducing way too much way too fast”. 

-Jonathan Feldman, CIO for the city of Asheville, N.C.


Even in 2021, pangs of cultural change is one of the biggest hindrances in DevOps adoption. And gamification of DevOps is the way to circumvent the hurdle.

What is gamification in DevOps?

It is the integration of gaming principles and elements such as point system, leaderboards, and badges into the DevOps cycle. This ensures that everyone from developers to testers to managers are engaged, navigate the learning curve faster and deliver robust products in a shorter development time. 


“When I joined Cognizant Softvision as CEO, I wanted to empower our teams and promote a continuous delivery mindset by developing a delivery model that was customer-centric, differentiated and unique to each client without being prescriptive. Thus, the Game of Pods was born.” 

-Andres Angelani, CEO, Softvision

Why do we need gamification of DevOps in 2021?

The biggest development challenges in 2021 are coming from the diversity of critical operation problems which are more than often uncertain in nature. Some glaring issues are unpredictable security threats, data protection, lack of agility, increasing production incidents, expanding compliances, and complex automations.  

Gamification is the motivator that inculcates a culture of experimentation, measures innovation with integrated scores, introduces quality research in the process and moves the needle from ad-hoc innovation to organised innovation.

Gamification also allows a leader to tie team performance to automation work. If you are looking to explore this further, watch our webinar where Garima Bajpai, Co-founder of DevOps community of Practice, Canada discusses them in detail. 

Best practices of gamification driven DevOps


Integrating gaming into your development environment can uplift employee morale and contribute to a sustainable innovation model. Here are a few best practices that I picked from gamification implemented at leading IT companies.


  1. Cognizant recognises and rewards best performing teams and individual champions. This ensures keeping up the team spirit, health of the project and alignment between clients needs and project deliverables. 
  1. Share the results of the game board on big monitors in the office. In order to stay on top of the board, the team has to constantly invest in maintenance and continuous improvement.

DevOps to become measurable with focus on value stream management

For businesses to continue delivering value to users and staying at the top of their game, speed of execution and customer satisfaction are key. With increased focus on value stream management, organisations can accelerate implementation without compromising on customer satisfaction.  


What is value stream management?

Value stream management is a visual way of illustrating, analysing and improving the steps to deliver a product in complex environments. It maps activities and information flows against a basic business parameter - is it adding value to the customer or not. 

Value stream management + DevOps. Why use it together?

DevOps is an end-to-end culture that’s rooted in Agile and lean principles. Whereas value stream management is a visual representation of measuring the value delivered to customers. Here is a list of reasons why DevOps should be coupled with VSM -

  1. Helps identify and quantify the limiting factors
  2. Delivers visibility and traceability across the software development process
  3. Helps identify redundant and wasteful processes
  4. Aligns teams with results and KPIs
  5. Manages feedback in a streamlined fashion
  6. Exposes opportunities for better automation


If you are looking for an in-depth understanding of one or all of these trends, watch our webinar where experts from the DevOps community discuss their PoVs and experiences.