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DevOps strategies focus of Gene Kim, new Tasktop strategic adviser

Tasktop, focusing on improving software delivery processes, is working on a framework for defining how to architect end-to-end software delivery with the help of a DevOps pioneer.

DevOps toolmaker Tasktop has enlisted the assistance of DevOps pioneer Gene Kim to help the company in its mission to facilitate enterprises in their digital transformation efforts.

Tasktop CEO and co-founder Mik Kersten said Kim will serve as a strategic adviser to Tasktop. In that capacity, he will provide strategic guidance on the future of the company's products and market strategy. Tasktop's tools help organizations foster DevOps strategies.

Kim, a renowned DevOps expert, is lead author of The DevOps Handbook: How to Create World-Class Agility, Reliability & Security in Technology Organizations. He is also the author of The Phoenix Project: A Novel about IT, DevOps, and Helping Your Business Win; and The Visible Ops Handbook.

In addition, Kim was the founder and CTO of the security automation vendor Tripwire for 13 years, and he has been studying high-performing technology organizations since 1999.

"Gene and I share a passion for transforming how software is built, and for unlocking the $2.6 trillion of IT value that Gene discusses in The DevOps Handbook," Kersten said in a statement. "Gene and I have a shared goal of driving economic results for organizations while elevating the productivity and happiness of IT staff worldwide. As our strategic advisor, we look to Gene to help guide our company and customers on the journey of Value Stream Integration to turn every traditional business into the next generation of software innovators."

The Business Dictionary defines a value stream as "a sequence of activities required to design, produce and provide a specific good or service, and along which information, materials and worth flows."

In a blog post on Value Stream Integration, Patrick Anderson, a marketing specialist at Tasktop, based in Vancouver, B.C., said, "When we talk about an integrated value stream in software delivery, we mean bringing together the tools across the software development lifecycle to radically improve team effectiveness and project visibility."

Anderson noted that, until recently, building an integrated software delivery value stream has been too difficult and too costly for most enterprises. However, he said Tasktop's Value Stream Integration model scales to dozens of tools, thousands of users and millions of artifacts, enabling enterprises to reduce the cost and complexity of creating and managing integrations.

That will be an area of focus for Kim at Tasktop, where he will provide guidance on DevOps strategies and how enterprises in the real world are working with DevOps and implementing it at scale.

Tasktop tools, such as its Sync product, help enterprises implement Lean development and DevOps strategies. Tasktop Sync provides synchronization across an enterprise's software development and delivery tools.

Hundreds of major enterprises, such as European carmaker BMW Group, use Tasktop's technology. BMW uses Tasktop Sync to connect its central Hewlett Packard Enterprise Quality Center instance with the disparate defect management systems used by its software supply chain.

The Tasktop software enables BMW Group to fully automate reporting across organizational boundaries and gain insight into which issues have been corrected and are ready for retest.

"I am an admirer of Dr. Mik Kersten's contribution to the industry, and his work at Tasktop is visionary in providing a novel Value Stream Integration infrastructure to deploy DevOps successfully at scale," Kim said in a statement.

Kim added that Tasktop's products provide a "highway system infrastructure" for integrating software development and delivery tools. Essentially, Kim said Tasktop helps organizations implement the "Three Ways" concept of DevOps, which he popularized in his book The Phoenix Project.

I've started putting together a new Value Stream Integration framework for defining how we should architect end-to-end software delivery.
Mik KerstenCEO and co-founder, Tasktop

Kim's "Three Ways" include gaining encompassing visibility about a system's end-to-end processes, enabling the amplification of feedback loops and fostering a culture of continuous experimentation.

"I look forward to helping Tasktop continue its product vision of making DevOps integrated, connected and measurable at scale as it innovates for its customers," Kim said.

Meanwhile, Kersten told TechTarget that the back story behind Kim's involvement with Tasktop is Kersten and Kim share an obsession with how the ideas of software architecture can be combined with the ideas of DevOps and Kim's "Three Ways" to create a new way of looking at architecture overall. This would encompass the entire value stream, from business initiative through design and development to live feedback from running software.

At the beginning of the year, Kersten and Kim began to discuss this new architecture over a series of calls and text messages.

"This became such a key thing for me to explore that I've started putting together a new Value Stream Integration framework for defining how we should architect end-to-end software delivery," Kersten said. "I realized that I needed more brains in order to do this, and Gene was interested in Tasktop's approach and Switzerland-like neutrality, so we formalized the relationship with the advisory role."

Kersten noted that this new focus may even have the makings of a book that provides a framework for this next phase of large-scale software delivery.

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