Horizontal Vs Vertical “Knowledge” Scaling

Driving DevOps culture change is the challenge. The challenge. And this is no new discovery but yet another realization. When dealing with a difficult conversation while setting up DevOps practice for a client, I realized the need for us to scale our knowledge. Scale both horizontally as well as vertically.

Most people I talk to are much more brilliant, skilled and talented than I am. Some are very precise at their work and excellent at taking orders — they do just what they are told to. These people have the ability to scale their knowledge vertically. Some are very good at understanding the whole picture and have the ability to pose a number of (relevant) questions when given a task. They have the ability to scale their knowledge horizontally.

It is very important to scale your knowledge both horizontally and vertically to reach greater heights. As a company, you need to grow and nurture a culture that encourages innovation, which can be mapped to horizontal knowledge scaling. You also need the precision and focus when implementing any solution, which maps to the vertical knowledge scaling.

A traditional approach was to have knowledge focused at different groups within the company. The thought behind this was to have a group which is expert at their tasks. The DevOps approach recommends breaking this wall and achieving a culture of communication and collaboration. The DevOps transformation to me, simply seems, to be able to adopt an approach which fosters innovation by letting people think out of the box, by breaking barriers of boxed thinking approach and by being able to let everyone scale their knowledge horizontally also.

This article has been inspired after having a crazy discussion this morning on how best to scale data for a use case — horizontal or vertical? And when I was back at my desk, a TODO item on the list for a client read “Define how and why scaling is needed for X application”. We at Crevise are helping our clients embrace DevOps culture.

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