Subscribe to our blog

Evolution and innovation are inherently incremental. Change happens over time, step by step, cell by cell, within supportive ecosystems. Revolution and creativity are more dramatic and often catalyzed by unexpected events or challenging circumstances. Successful innovators learn how to welcome and embrace some level of discomfort in order to harness the foundational powerhouse that drives real change and inspires new ideas.

What is the engine in that powerhouse? That engine is empowerment.

Modern software engineering platforms are changing the way we build and deploy software. There's a messy smorgasbord of tooling options for businesses to consider to stay ahead of the curve. Yet the true potential of these platforms can only be realized by healthy, cross-functional teams of people supported by processes, policies and platforms that enable them to better do their jobs. At the same time, they must have the freedom to learn, adapt and experiment without fear.

Red Hat's Open Innovation Labs has embraced the thinking of people like Amy Edmondson, Matthew Skelton, Manuel Pais, Alberto Brandolini and Susanne Kaiser by adopting elements of Team Topologies, Team psychological safety and domain-driven design. We've shared our approach as openly as we share our code, so you will find these tools in the Open Practice Library.

Empowerment is the sustainable energy source of innovation

Empowering individuals and teams is the cornerstone of successful software development. Red Hat Open Innovation Labs exemplify this principle. Red Hat fosters an environment where innovation can thrive by providing the tools and resources necessary for developers to take ownership of their projects.

The concept of GitOps has recently emerged as the next evolutionary step from Agile, DevOps and Infrastructure as Code to support ongoing software development operations and innovation.

Open source software has long since proven its value. Git is a distributed version control system for source code that enables people to work together more effectively, facilitating transparency, collaboration and innovation. While Linus Torvalds originally developed it to manage the Linux kernel, it has become a de facto standard underpinning most modern software engineering practices.

Building on this standard as a foundation for software source code, we're now increasingly using version control as the single source of truth for IT operations, so Git for Operations has become known as GitOps. Red Hat OpenShift GitOps enables customers to build and integrate declarative Git-driven continuous delivery workflows directly into their application development platform.

Optimization is the key to unlocking more effective processes

Innovation requires more than just empowered teams, it also needs streamlined processes. Continuous improvement, achieved through efficient pipelines, is the linchpin of this endeavor. Red Hat's commitment to simplifying processes is evident in its support for best practices in DevOps and continuous integration and continuous deployment (CI/CD).

Using well-designed pipelines helps keep the software development process smooth and error-free. This means that developers can focus on what they do best: writing code and pushing the boundaries of what's possible. Red Hat OpenShift Pipelines is a cloud-native CI/CD solution for container workloads.

Further optimization driving consistency and an improved security posture can be achieved through automation. Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform empowers teams by replacing error-prone, tedious tasks with code-driven automated workflows.

Team psychological safety: A catalyst for creativity

Empowered and well-organized teams need psychological safety to reach peak performance. Without it, innovation will be stifled. When teams can take risks, share ideas and express their creativity by embracing criticism in pursuit of better outcomes, they often surpass their own expectations.

The Red Hat Open Innovation Labs residencies prioritize creating an environment where team members feel psychologically safe, helping them generate more innovative ideas and critically evaluate them. Encouraging teams to engage in open dialogue, risk-taking and mutual respect empowers them to build better solutions.

Team Topologies: A blueprint for success

The Open Innovation Labs team at Red Hat were enthusiastic early adopters of the DevOps Topologies language developed by Matthew Skelton and Manuel Pais. The team was honored to receive a mention in the Team Topologies book when it was published in 2019. In many ways, we are an "enabling team for hire." By working side-by-side with our customers to, "Show, don't tell," we foster on-the-job learning by building solutions together rather than simply doing it for them. This empowers those we work with to take complete ownership of the solution and better understand how it was built. Reducing team cognitive load with tools like Red Hat Developer Hub empowers teams to focus their time and energy on outcomes that matter.

Domain-driven design: Aligning technology with business needs

In a world where software engineering is deeply integrated into business operations, domain-driven design (DDD) is key. It helps align technology with the specific needs of the business, driving innovation toward useful outcomes.

By placing a strong emphasis on DDD, Red Hat Open Innovation Labs helps create software projects that are technically excellent and strategically aligned with the goals of the organizations we work with. We see the benefit of aligning technology's potential with business vision as a powerful catalyst for innovation.

Enabling inspired innovation

Red Hat Open Innovation Labs gives our customers the help they need to fast-track their innovation, transformation and complex optimization projects. By combining open practices from the realms of team psychological safety, Team Topologies, and domain-driven design with Red Hat's award-winning DevOps platforms, we help harness the collective energy and focused intention teams need to succeed.

Case studies


About the author

Donna Benjamin is a passionate advocate of Free and Open Source Software who works to facilitate team success through the use of open practices as an Engagement Lead, in Red Hat's Open Innovation Labs.

Read full bio

Browse by channel

automation icon

Automation

The latest on IT automation that spans tech, teams, and environments

AI icon

Artificial intelligence

Explore the platforms and partners building a faster path for AI

open hybrid cloud icon

Open hybrid cloud

Explore how we build a more flexible future with hybrid cloud

security icon

Security

Explore how we reduce risks across environments and technologies

edge icon

Edge computing

Updates on the solutions that simplify infrastructure at the edge

Infrastructure icon

Infrastructure

Stay up to date on the world’s leading enterprise Linux platform

application development icon

Applications

The latest on our solutions to the toughest application challenges

Original series icon

Original shows

Entertaining stories from the makers and leaders in enterprise tech