How to Form DevOps Teams in Your Organization

As DevOps is not just a tool or a technology, it is important to see a top-down cultural shift across the organization. Teams should break down silos and find a common ground to seamlessly communicate and collaborate. It should happen right from business perspectives to deployment and maintenance across all stakeholders, departments, and stages of development. With different tools, technologies, processes, and people, achieving this is a herculean task. It only happens when everyone imbibes this change, practices, and evangelizes the concept.

devops department structure

The idea to develop new methods of interacting with your colleagues can be a bit daunting and some even go as far as to say the traditional way of developing these communication channels isn’t really all that effective. Richard Lenkovits, a DevOps Specialist & Full Stack Developer thinks that the way to a fully functioning DevOps team is not by creating more processes they have to follow but to streamline the ones they already have. Lean, agile, and DevOps, all come with a vision of breaking the old methods and norms.

Time-consuming updates and fixes

DevOps roles and responsibilities are broad in scope but combine the specialized skillsets of individuals on the team. A culture of DevOps leads to shared ownership, on-call responsibilities and accountability for a team’s underlying service. With greater exposure to the production systems you’re building, developers are better at writing code that fits within the system’s parameters. And, the IT team is better at directing the developers and testing throughout the development lifecycle to ensure more reliable releases.

One way DevOps leaders can help fight burnout is to create more autonomy in their teams and not to impose restrictions on them. This means that leaders should not make all the decisions that affect team members, but rather allow them to make their own decisions. Your colleagues need to adapt to the new situation and find ways to communicate and get an easy way to provide updates and discuss progress. On the other hand, however nice that may sound, making the change to a DevOps approach is not that easy. Besides the proper processes, more than anything, you need the proper team, which we are going to discuss today. Crucially, the SRE team can reject software that is operationally substandard, asking the Developers to improve the code before it is put into Production.

Software to support your team

Ops people should feel comfortable working with developers on development-specific issues, such as test-driven development or versioning. On the other hand, Devs should get seriously involved in operational issues and also seek to get input from Ops when developing new solutions. All this requires a significant cultural shift from the traditional approaches. The organizations are for the same company, but are mostly isolated from each other.

So having teams that collaborate with some or significant levels of cooperation are the teams that will most likely succeed. This fundamentally changes the team dynamics in a way that previously happened by coincidence, if it happened at all. Instead of having highly specialized team members, you need well-rounded and experienced generalists. This approach makes it impossible for there to be a wall between Developers and Operations, because “DevOps” is now part of the definition of complete code.

devops department structure

Forks can be useful when you’re working with vendor teams that shouldn’t have direct access to update the main repository. Forks can also be useful in scenarios where many developers contribute infrequently, such as in an open-source project. When you’re working with forks, you may want to maintain a separate project to isolate the forked repos from the main repo. There may be added administrative overhead, but it keeps the main project cleaner. Configure teams and backlogs into a hierarchical structure, so program owners can more easily track progress across teams, manage portfolios, and generate rollup data. You can use this group in queries or to set permissions for your team.

DevOps Financial Services

When we talk about bringing teams to work together, that’s on the People pillar. Breaking the routine of going to the same office as the rest of your team can be tricky and requires a strong distributed team, the right tools, and lots of training. When it started to really get traction as a concept, almost 10 years ago, DevOps was primarily used to push rapid changes to web environments with minimal impact on the users. In order to bridge the Dev-DBA chasm, some organisations have experimented with something like Type 9, where a database capability from the DBA team is complimented with a database capability from the Dev team. This seems to help to translate between the Dev-centric view of databases and the DBA-centric view of databases . The DevOps Team with an Expiry Date looks substantially like Anti-Type B , but its intent and longevity are quite different.

  • She’s worked with both cutting-edge startups and some of the largest technology providers in the world.
  • This prioritization unnecessarily complicates certain product development aspects and increases market time.
  • If the goal of the DevOps team is to make itself obsolete by bringing the other teams together then they can be effective as evangelists and coaches.
  • Although any approach may work for your team, this dedicated team approach is the one you should think through the most.
  • It’s the responsibility of everyone from the data team to the frontend team to automate tasks and improve the efficiency of engineering and IT.

DevOps’ suggestion for you is to build product, service or micro-service API oriented small teams up to 10 people. Bringing DevOps to an organization means making some changes to the culture and structure of teams and the organization. These changes are often disruptive and frequently meet with some resistance from leadership, teams, and individuals. Naturally, once you get your DevOps team going you’ll want to track their effectiveness and the best way of doing it is by looking at KPIs, key performance indicators. These can give you ideas on how to make processes run smoother and remove friction from within the team.

The code deployment process starts by packaging a version of the code from version control, running through a test suite, and deploying it to a given environment. All details are recorded for security and compliance, and the code is pushed to production. Then developers run tests to ensure the code is operating and integrated correctly and get feedback about its performance. The next step is to identify the team members involved in creating value and understand how they create value. The DevOps team meets to discuss and document the product development process, from the business idea to UX research, UI/UX design, feature implementation, integration, testing, and deployment. The value stream illustrates the current processes, lead times, and problems.

How to create an IT Org Chart for Modern DevOps

Notwithstanding the foregoing, the mono-functional teams typically have many advantages. These include greater opportunities for knowledge sharing and narrow specialization within a particular team or department. If you find that mono-functional teams work well with the rest of the organization, you should not reformat them for the sake of the idea of reorganization. What is important is not the structure of the organization itself, but the interaction between the teams to improve the overall effectiveness of the organization as a whole. TFVC is a centralized version control system that is also available.

When a software team is on the path to practicing DevOps, it’s important to understand that different teams require different structures, depending on the greater context of the company and its appetite for change. Employees can better see how their actions contribute to company success. Because specialists aren’t confined to their specific departments, they can better see their impact on their products. This perspective can help them recognize their role in the success of their product and can make them feel involved.

Within organisations that have a large gap between Dev and Ops , it can be effective to have a ‘facilitating’ DevOps team that keeps the Dev and Ops sides talking. This is a version of Type 5 but where the DevOps team exists on an ongoing basis with the specific remit of facilitating collaboration and cooperation between Dev and Ops teams. Members of this team are sometimes called ‘DevOps Advocates’, because they help to spread awareness of DevOps practices. A team within Dev then acts as a source of expertise about operational features, metrics, monitoring, server provisioning, etc., and probably does most of the communication with the IaaS team. This team is still a Dev team, however, following standard practices like TDD, CI, iterative development, coaching, etc. This topology might also be called ‘NoOps‘, as there is no distinct or visible Operations team (although the Netflix NoOps might also be Type 3 ).

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Coupled with the overload of supporting multiple applications databases, the end result is constant firefighting and mounting pressure to deliver. Responsibilities also include IT structure maintenance, which comprises hardware, software, network, storage, and control over cloud data storage. A DevOps engineer should be able to run regular app maintenance to guarantee the production environment operates as intended. Continuous delivery allows devs not only to automate unit-level testing but also to perform multiple checks for application updates before deploying them to end-users. This may include testing the user interface, loading, integration, API reliability, etc.

DevOps Team: Roles and Responsibilities for 2022

I have seen shared databases of retrospectives leveraged not only to help onboard new team members but queried regularly as a first time in overcoming roadblocks or root causes analysis. Use your business structure as a guide for the number of organizations, projects, and teams that you create in Azure DevOps. This article helps you plan for different structures and scenarios for Azure DevOps. These DevOps teams should constitute generalist full-stack software engineers which are able devops organizational structure to self-sufficiently cover all phases of software engineering life cycle from design to maintenance. A DevOps pilot team can work as a bridge between silos for a limited amount of time, as long as their focus is bringing the silos together and their long-term goal is making themselves unnecessary. But once DevOps has become mission critical, the tools and processes being developed and used must themselves be maintained and treated as a project, making a pipeline for your pipeline.

These tendencies, first of all, manifest themselves in the sequential nature of the work transfer between teams. Isolated functional teams cannot start working until previous teams have completed with their project responsibilities. In addition, making changes in already completed work can be extremely challenging because a given team in the sequence might not have a direct communication channel with the previous one. Teams might need to raise issues to their department heads to have them solved, which can be highly inefficient. Regarding IT staff, functional teams distribute the functions in areas like backend development, iOS development, or DevOps.

We can use Key Performance Indicators to determine high performing DevOps teams. Below are a few sample KPIs which can be used to measure performance. For more information about managing projects, see Manage projects in Azure DevOps.

What is DevOps and how to implement it?

While DevOps teams theoretically can fit into most if not all organizational structures, some are better equipped than others to handle the only thing constant about it as a whole, that being constant change over time. You can best determine project structure by how you ship the product. Having several projects shifts the administration burden and gives your teams more autonomy to manage the project as the team decides. It also provides greater control of security and access to assets across the different projects. Having team independence with many projects creates some alignment challenges, however. If each project is using a different process or iteration schedule, it can make communication and collaboration difficult if the taxonomies aren’t the same.

And, when your team can easily see what’s happening in production and during development, they can notice more problems before they occur. DevOps is highly focused on automating tasks and workflows to improve the efficiency of people and processes. Find pain points and bottlenecks in your development lifecycle, then find ways to automate processes to relieve the pressure on your developers and IT teams. By integrating the two into each other’s territory, everyone is exposed to more of the system. Then, when something goes wrong, the team is better equipped to identify the issue and remediate the incident.

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