How to Build the Ideal DevOps Team Structure ITPro Today: IT News, How-Tos, Trends, Case Studies, Career Tips, More

This will involve giving them more autonomy than I imagine a lot of companies would feel comfortable with allowing. Trust will be crucial to letting these teams organize themselves and learn what is effective and what needs more effective implementation next time, but that’s the price of doing business. The solution here is always to define good development practices. And I’m not talking about readme files and company wiki pages here and there that you have to maintain and keep up to date, thus creating an n+1 piece of bureaucratic overhead task. Once you forget about it, nobody reads it and the whole process is a mess. Static analyzers, linters, automated checks, and tests, that push people to comply with processes. That is the basic concept of all these modern methodologies.

Time is running out to make an IT organizational structure that can meet the constant “ideate-build-run” iterations of modern development operations . Soft skills are the most important requirement in a DevOps team structure. Compared to technical skills, soft skills are harder to teach your employees. So, ensure that your employees are creative thinkers, team persons, communicate well and are ready to learn. More than speaking, they should listen and translate the information into actionable insights. While many organizations focus on tools and technologies, people and culture are ignored.

Cloud roadmap

This anti-type is typical in organizations with low engineering maturity. They want to improve their practices and reduce costs, yet they fail to see IT as a core driver of the business. Because industry successes with DevOps are now evident, they want to “do DevOps” as well. Unfortunately, instead of reflecting on the gaps in the current structure and relationships, they take the elusive path of hiring “DevOps engineers” for their Ops team. In order to embrace these practices, organizations must adopt the necessary tools. IT leaders are actually struggling to understand which tools and technologies they should utilize to enable DevOps.

Is DevOps a part of Agile?

DevOps can be thought of as an evolution of agile practices, or as a missing piece of agile. It's an effort to take the innovations of the agile approach and apply them to operations processes.

If you’re struggling with operations-centered issues that are slowing down your deployments or causing site reliability concerns, this might be a good approach — even temporarily. Although any approach may work for your team, this dedicated team approach is the one you should think through the most. The greatest disadvantage of a dedicated DevOps team is that it easily becomes a continuation of traditional engineering teams without acknowledging the need to align teams, reduce silos, and remove friction. The risks of continuing friction are high in this approach. Tread carefully to ensure you’re choosing this team organization for a specific reason. If you want to apply these organizational structure ideas to your own teams, I’d be glad to send you an example Excel file that you can use to organize your data and then upload to an org chart software like OrgWeaver. Just send an email to nick orgweaver with the subject “Dev Ops org chart template”.

DevOps Team Topologies

In this anti-type the organization shows lack of appreciation for the importance and skills required for effective IT operations. In particular, the value of Ops is diminished because it’s treated as an annoyance for Devs . This topology is borne of a combination of naivety and arrogance from developers and development managers, particularly when starting on new projects or systems. Even if the pipelines are separately maintained for each team, there is a strong advantage to have one team that understands the pipeline tools, tracks upgrades, and sees how new tools can be added.

  • Emily Freeman is a technologist and storyteller who helps engineering teams improve their velocity.
  • But keep in mind that their composition varies from team to team and from organization to organization.
  • Devs still throw software that is only ‘feature-complete’ over the wall to SREs.
  • It’s the way we deliver, test, monitor, and release functionalities.
  • While working as a team is crucial, dealing with members at an individual level is equally important.

However, identifying potential talent within the organization and building new DevOps teams would be a good idea. Not only is it cost-effective but the knowledge they possess and share with others will be an added advantage. IT support is another important team that should be integrated into the DevOps lifecycle.


The automobile dealer and buyer witnessed significant growth after acquiring over 20 companies. They had minimal IT resources and their DevOps practice was not as effective as expected. Cox Automotive wanted to build a DevOps team that encouraged both the creation and consumption of reusable assets––enabling the growing number of acquired companies to leverage assets effectively and securely. The drawback is that, if you don’t have engineers whose sole focus is DevOps, DevOps can end up becoming a secondary area of focus within your organization.

The secret to success in a DevOps environment is gaining top-down buy-in across the organization. On-call Incident management is not very different in DevOps environments. The only change is that developers are also involved in this process. Teams collaboratively identify vulnerabilities and are prepared to efficiently handle incidents. With monitoring tools, continuous feedback, and alerting tools, teams detect and respond and resolve issues along with a post-mortem process. This is when DevOps transformation begins in the new cloud environment.

Platform Team

Besides the proper processes, more than anything, you need the proper team, which we are going to discuss today. After all, without the Build-Run team, there’s no application, and therefore no infrastructure is needed.

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