How can industrial DevOps help you deliver safety-critical cyber-physical systems at the speed of need?

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I am proud to share that I recently co-authored a book with Dr. Suzette Johnson which we called Industrial DevOps. The book is focused on applying Agile, DevOps, Lean to Safety-critical Cyber-physical systems.



Industrial DevOps (IDO) is the application of Lean, Agile, and DevOps principles to the planning, development, manufacturing, deployment, and serviceability of significant cyber-physical systems. The practice of Industrial DevOps pulls from several proven bodies of knowledge, including Agile, Lean, DevOps, security driven development and systems thinking, as well as from personal experience delivering cyber-physical systems in the new technological revolution. We have identified nine principles to address the challenges of cyber-physical systems.

Understanding Cyber-Physical Systems

Cyber-Physical Systems are integrated systems that involve both hardware and software components designed to interact with the physical world. Examples include autonomous vehicles, industrial automation systems, smart grids, and medical monitoring systems.

Complexity of CPS

  • Multi-Disciplinary: Involves mechanical, electrical, and software engineering.
  • Real-time Constraints: Many CPS must respond to events within tight time frames.
  • Safety-Critical: Often, lives or valuable assets are at stake.
  • Interconnected: A single CPS often interacts with other systems and networks.

Why Industrial DevOps for CPS

  • Adaptability: CPS often must adapt to changing environments and requirements. IDO’s flexibility makes it ideal for such scenarios.
  • Quality: By focusing on delivering small elements of value pieces, IDO increases quality and minimizes the risk associated with complex systems.
  • Transparency: Short iterations in IDO provides visibility into work and incorporate feedback, which is essential for tuning the performance and safety aspects of CPS.
  • Schedule: Extensive automation and continuous feedback minimizes rework allowing us to reduce delivery time.
  • Predictability: IDO provides greater visibility into the system with empirical data to inform delivery dates.
  • Cost: CPS are often expensive IDO automation, improve resource utilization, and streamlined compliance reduce costs.

Nine principals to implement Industrial DevOps

Through years of experimentation and implementation we propose 9 key principles to build better systems faster.

  1. Organize for the Flow of Value: Organize by product or service over function.
  2. Apply Multiple Horizons of Planning: Apply multiple horizons of planning to address scaling and complexity.
  3. Implement Data-Driven Decisions: Use observations and empirical data to determine the progress of system.
  4. Architect for Change and Speed: Modular and open architecture with standardized interfaces allow rapid updates.
  5. Iterate, Manage Queues, Create Flow: Continuously analyze queues to improve flow of value.
  6. Establish Cadence and Synchronization for Flow: Optimizing at the whole requires alignment and synchronization of teams, products, and services
  7. Integrate Early and Often: Integrating early and often is critical to minimize rework.
  8. Shift Left: Invest early in environments and test cases to validate systems incrementally.
  9. Apply a Growth Mindset: Continuously challenge what is known with what could be.

Author: Robin Yeman

Published on: 08/20/2023

Last Updated: 08/20/2023


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