Conf42: Site Reliability Engineering 2021


Lean Product Development Through SLOs

Josh Armitage
AWS Practice Lead @ Contino

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  • How can you strip over-processing out of your value stream?
  • How can you understand and communicate what “good enough” looks like?
  • How can you systematically challenge and remove assumptions from you consumers?

In supporting enterprises in DevOps & agile transformations across three continents, I discovered a common theme, stories talk of what is to be enabled, but not how well it needs to perform.

Recently, upon joining a platform team drowning under the weight of their backlog, I experimented with SLOs being the beating heart of our product development flow.

To do this, we: * Revisited all previous core usecases and determined meaningful SLIs and SLOs * Made SLOs an inherent part of defining features * Built a lightweight infrastructure to translate technical changes to business events * Made a dashboard to transparently broadcast our SLOs * Made SLOs be the core of conversations with our consumers

By doing this, we: * Removed assumptions from consumers, driving more meaningful conversations about value * Created a beachhead for a more data driven culture * Created a common understanding of what “good enough” looked like * Became better focused on maximising value delivery, over redundant gold plating of features

You’ll learn: * How to adopt an SLO driven product development flow * From the mistakes we made along the way * Tips and tricks for defining SLOs for low frequency usecases * How to drive more impactful conversations

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