Using Journey Maps to highlight Developer/Operations Pain Points

July 21, 2019 | By Jamil Jadallah

Three people on a hiking journey

What to Know About Using Journey Maps for DevOps

Over the past few years, the word experience has become more and more prevalent as companies compete for their customer’s attention and happiness. I’ve primarily seen it focused on end users (User Experience or Customer Experience) and focused on internal users such as (Developers, Testers, Operations) which I feel is a lost opportunity. Developing services that keep your internal users happy is a golden opportunity for organizations to ensure that investments in technology are adopted.

By putting internal users at the center of our practices and technologies, you ensure not only the Developer’s experiences are better but ultimately that of our end users.

Where to Start?

One of the first things we like to do at Oteemo is understand the space and context of the people we are empowering. Part of this work requires Empathy and the ability to understand the environment and constraints of our clients. The challenge is that we have to understand their world through two dimensions: time and feelings. Time because we need to understand their processes from beginning to end and feelings because feelings like fear, anxiousness, etc are some of the drivers of why their processes require change.

One of our favorite tools is a Journey Map. If you google it there are lots of explanations for it but my favorite is “Customer journey mapping helps you to visualize your customer’s experience from the customer’s point of view, across all the different touch points they have with your brand as they seek to achieve a specific goal or goals.”

For a large multinational client of ours, we followed the idea of “eating our own dog food” and presented our own Journey Mapping activity based on our past experiences to help communicate not only the process but the emotions that need to be addressed to create good experiences when adapting DevOps practices.

We created two Journey Maps, one from a Developer’s perspective and another from an Operations Manager’s perspective. You’ll notice that Journey Map makes no mention of the technologies, rather it works to convey emotions over time. The second Journey Map was to visualize the Development Lead’s experience.

Journey Maps: Ops Manager's experience

Journey Map: Figure 2

As you’ve noticed, we did not fill out the opportunities space empty as it could be a number of things that improve the experience of the Developer or Operations manager and we believe that one of the tools to do that are adopting DevOps principles and having a Cloud Native/ Container first perspective when it comes to developing applications.

Putting people at the center of the things

In my day-to-day role over the past few years, in a number of roles, I’ve marveled as technologies like (Kubernetes, Containers) and frameworks/cultures like DevOps have transformed the way IT organizations work. I’ve noticed that these tools and frameworks resonate deeply with their audience: Software Engineers and Operations teams; because they help solve one of their major challenges “I want to deploy quickly” and “I want to focus on solving the business problem, not why my code won’t work on my machine.”

I find it interesting that these tools were the results of someone asking “how can we make it easier to manage multiple containers, so we can be less stressed out, and focus on other things” or “how can I get my application up and running without having to request a VM?” You’ll notice these questions focused on the people that were using these tools and they didn’t think of them in isolation, they thought systematically about them. The result has been transformative technologies that have changed how thousands of people do their work.

In December, Kubecon was hosted in Seattle with over 8,000 attendees! Clearly, there is a market and appetite for technologies that improve the ability for Developers, Engineers, and businesses to focus on delivering value, both internally and externally. We believe that the success of these tools and capabilities are due to Empathy and perspective, the same elements that we identify in our journey maps. We believe these two aspects are key to any endeavor.

In conclusion…

There are lots of reasons for you to adopt Cloud Native technologies or Kubernetes but ultimately, if you follow our example and put people at the center of why you are adopting these technologies and using techniques (like Journey Mapping) you will discover and bring to light some of the emotions that drive the behaviors that have prevented your organization from improving your Operations or Developers experiences.


  1. Lawrence Hecht

    Do you have example journey maps of developers using Kubernetes?

  2. Joshua Roebuck

    The images are not appearing. would love to see the maps you created!


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