As a number of organisations realise the benefits of devops and continuous delivery, they will be approached by many people claiming they know the topic. They will talk big and sound philosophical on most of the occasions
Most important thing to verify for these individuals are
- Where have they implemented this before? Is this for small brands or big enterprises?
- What kind of team sizes they have dealt with? We are talking about around 200 engineers.
- What financial transactions they had to worry about when they say “Don’t be afraid to fail”?
- How many integrated teams they have worked with?
- How many legacy applications the main platform has integrated with?
- How many 3rd party applications and partners were involved?
Lastly the most important thing to discover. Ask them to lead one delivery team and take them through the journey which others can learn rather than seating on the fence and giving instructions.
Also normally most of the projects which they will refer they have led will be so big that you have to really find out where and what this specific person did. I have had one of the agile coach walked up to me and said he did a big transformation. When I asked where. He quoted the same client where I was leading. I was shocked as I had never seen him anywhere on the project. After finding more details I figured out that he was on the project for couple of months trying to do something which did not even materialise.
In summary, I am not saying you don’t need help. You certainly need help but please please get the right help from the right person or else you may choose the direction and change the culture which will be difficult to correct in the future.