Michael in Culture 10 minutes

Technology < Partnership

Last year our organization made a major decision to use Chef for our configuration management. People often ask me why we chose Chef over Puppet, SaltStack, or Ansible. I tell them that we chose Chef over the others because they have a better sales organization.

I’m only half kidding.

I’ve come to believe that the essence of success with change initiatives and tools is not about the underlying technology. Chances are if you have a funded popular tool it’s going to have some cool technology. All of the above was cool.

Instead the essence of success with change initiatives is managing the organizational and cultural changes needed to make it to the other side. Chef is a great partner in helping us navigate our change through the various parties and into a model that rapidly delivers value for our business. I’ve been extremely impressed with their organization at all levels and don’t think I would be where I am without their help.

So don’t start with the tools. Start with the people, the culture, the process that will lead to safe, repeatable, high-velocity change. If you find a tool that will partner with you in that discovery, you probably have a world-class tool. If you start with the tool and ignore the other things, you might end up with a cool tool that no one wants or understands.