The CALMS Model is an acronym often used to describe the mindset when undertaking DevOps. Let’s explore.

Culture – Automation – Lean – Measurement – Sharing


It is all about those pesky Humans!

Culture is a choice made by the people within an organization. In order to influence culture, people need a common goal to aim for. Once a common goal has been established, people need to be willing to step outside their comfort areas. It requires a willingness to learn and experiment. It requires the entire organization to trust and empower their people.


Automate where you can. Automate where it provides value. Through automation, you can reduce human error and increase speed. Let automation do repetitive tasks. This will maximize the availability for people to focus on tasks that require thought.


Lean is our Agile aspect within DevOps. Lean is one way to become Agile. We want to apply the 7 Lean Practice Principles.

  1. Eliminate Waste
  2. Amplify Learning
  3. Last Responsible Moment Decision Making (Decide as Late as Possible)
  4. Deliver as Fast as Possible with Quality
  5. Empower the Whole Team
  6. Build Integrity In
  7. See the Whole

Consider adopting an Agile framework like Kanban to help drive your lean principles.

Portfolio Kanban - Reduce Overburden - Improve Flow


Measure EVERYTHING! Continuous improvement requires an empirical process. Expose your data and be transparent so that you can inspect and adapt. Data-driven metrics helps organizations make smart decisions. Work smart.


Sharing is a large part of how DevOps organizations grow fast. Team members learning from other member’s experiences and teams learning from other team’s experiences within the organization is how an organization can mature. Growth comes from both successful and failed small experiments. A sharing organization is a growing organization.

Failure is not an option, it is a requirement.

Now What?

Now that you understand the CALMS Model, you are ready to head on your DevOps journey. DevOps is a forever commitment to continuous improvement and growth, experimentation and fun. Start by creating your Value Stream Map (VSM) to visualize and help identify your first improvement experiments. Inspect and Adapt!

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About the Author: Kristen Varona

Kristen Varona, Kanban Coach at Kanban Zone
Kristen Varona is a Software Architect turned Agile Coach who embraced the Agile mindset. Kristen became a Certified SCRUM Master in 2005 and has continued active in technology and Agile practices. Kristen leverages her 20+ years of software development experience to help different kinds of Agile teams learn to break work down for faster feedback and delivery while ensuring quality along the way. Kristen's technical understanding of how software needs to be built, verified, deployed and monitored gets teams up and running smoothly.