It’s easier to spend money than to change habits

When you want to make any change in your life whether it’s diet, exercise, learning a new skill, etc. often it’s easy to start with some sort of purchase to commemorate your bold decision. It’s easy to think that some magic purchase is what’s going to kickstart your transformation and you’ll just wait until you receive it to get started. Whether it’s a treadmill, a juicer, a diet book, or that new miter saw nine times out of ten all you get out of that experience is the short-lived jolt of satisfaction that you’ve put into “action” your plan for a new you. In reality you haven’t put anything at all into action. You’ve just traded some cash to temporarily make yourself feel better and added more unused clutter to your home. Even worse you’ll likely feel disappointed and discouraged that you have failed to make a change when in reality you hadn’t even started.

You’re better off taking real steps to change your habits first and after you’ve adjusted your routine for the better even if in a small but measurable and consistent way, then make your purchase for whatever will save you time or help you get to the next plateau. So start walking more, eating better, or doing small home projects first before making your bold proclamation purchase.

Here’s the kicker. This is not the end of a post just talking about your personal life…

Businesses fall into the same traps!

It can manifest by hiring some outside consultant or speaker or having a series of large offsite meetings intending to effect change but in the absence of management and cultural support for the initiative. The response within the events themselves can run the spectrum from excitement to disinterest, but often the same end result of no meaningful change occurs without proper pre and post event alignment and follow-up.

In the DevOps space we’re at the point on the hype curve where organizations with a shallow understanding want to jump on for touted benefits, but aren’t really interested in transformation. That’s not going to happen no matter what consultant you hire.

There’s a great clip from the consultant Andrew Clay Shafer on the Food Fight podcast “The Future of DevOps”.  The whole show is a fantastically blunt, but very real assessment and discussion of learning organizations, DevOps, and a host of worthwhile topics and worth a listen, but you can hear the clip here:

We want “The DevOps” but we don’t want to change anything. Is there some way that we can DevOps without changing anything. Give us that thing. Can we just have the DevOps certification and then we’re done with you?

Hiring a consultant or even getting a handful of people training/certification is easy. Changing your organization, changing multiple teams’ responsibilities and relationships to each other, building trust and tearing down walls is hard.

Another inspiration for this post was the video Don’t Reward Yourself Before You Earn It by John Sonmez

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