5 key organizational models for DevOps teams GitLab

While adopting DevOps practices is easier said than done, the book Team Topologies provides insightful ways organizations can build DevOps into their company, including what sort of teams might be most effective. This book provides a starting point for how Atlassian thinks about teams. Rather than reiterate their findings, we want to share our own perspective on the team types. Engineering teams are required to move faster than ever to deliver value to their customers. The rise of cloud, SaaS, and always-on services means that customers expect new features, fewer bugs, and 99.99% (or higher) up-time.

  • In our 2021 Global DevSecOps Survey, a plurality of ops pros told us this is exactly how their jobs are evolving — out of wrestling toolchains and into ownership of the team’s cloud computing efforts.
  • DevOps teams should adopt agile practices to improve speed and quality.
  • Teams entrenched in siloed ways of working can struggle with, or even be resistant to, overhauling team structures to embrace DevOps practices.
  • This is where DevSecOps and BizOps encouraged specialists to work closer together.
  • It might also be helpful to insert “champions” into struggling groups; they can model behaviors and language that facilitate communication and collaboration.

Agile development centers around short-term projects that can encourage rapid delivery. The incorporation of Agile teams is said to be a precursor to organizations adopting DevOps practices. Is your team quick to change direction based on feedback (customer or internal) from the latest changes? Mature DevOps processes include automated testing to ensure quality code shipments.

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Your organization’s primary silo boundary might not be between development and operations. Many organizations used variations of DevOps as an internal campaign to increase collaboration. This is where DevSecOps and BizOps encouraged specialists to work closer together. In this scenario, dev and DevOps are melded together while ops remains siloed. Organizations like this still see ops as something that supports the initiatives for software development, not something with value in itself. Organizations like this suffer from basic operational mistakes and could be much more successful if they understand the value ops brings to the table.

devops structure

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. Start by asking each group to surface the major areas of friction and then identify leaders in each group – dev, ops, security, test. Each leader should work individually and together on all of the friction points. A solid DevOps platform needs a solid DevOps team structure to achieve maximum efficiency.

How four fundamental topologies influence a DevOps transformation.

However, in large companies, every aspect of DevOps – ranging from CI/CD, to IaaS, to automation – may be a role. This can include a release manager who coordinates and manages applications from development through production, to automation architects who maintain and automate a team’s CI/CD pipeline. Together, continuous integration and continuous delivery are often referred to as CI/CD. Taking these practices one step further, continuous deployment adds a routine of real-time monitoring, testing, and updating products after they launch. Agile is an approach to project management and software development that centers around incremental and iterative steps to completing projects.

DevOps doesn’t work without automation and for many teams, automation is the top priority. Their work is a must-read for anyone who’s trying to figure out which DevOps structure is best for their company. The right DevOps team will serve as the backbone of the entire effort and will model what success looks like to the rest of the organization. There is no “one size fits all” however – each team will be different depending on needs and resources. If you’re just getting started with DevOps, there are several team organizational models to consider.


Rapid deployment allows for more experimentation that will see your product constantly improving upon itself through iteration. While Ian Buchanan has broad and deep experience with both Java and .NET, he is best known as a champion of lean and agile practices devops structure in large enterprises. Mature teams release multiple times per week, and in some cases, multiple times per day. In pursuit of this goal, mature teams should use continuous integration and continuous delivery (CI/CD) to ship features frequently.

devops structure

A DevOps culture is where teams embrace new ways of working that involve greater collaboration and communication. It’s an alignment of people, processes, and tools toward a more unified customer focus. Multidisciplinary teams take accountability for the entire lifecycle of a product. Adopting DevOps first requires a commitment to evaluating and possibly changing or removing any teams, tools, or processes your organization currently uses. It means building the necessary infrastructure to give teams the autonomy to build, deploy, and manage their products without having to rely too heavily on external teams. This includes the practices involved in design, implementation, configuration, deployment, and maintenance of all IT infrastructure that supports an organization’s services.

Infrastructure as Code

More importantly, it allows teams to “shift left” to earlier stages in development and minimize broken production changes. The above roles can enable organizations to form the foundation necessary for DevOps. While not every DevOps environment contains these roles, the most crucial components https://www.globalcloudteam.com/ that need to be built is communication and collaboration amongst team members, regardless of which roles are involved. As such, we can think of the above list as merely an example of some of the responsibilities and skillsets that are required to develop a DevOps team structure.

devops structure

Still, the results are high-bandwidth information flow and increasingly brilliant collaboration. This doesn’t mean putting people together if they will regularly share information. You can expand the idea wherever you find silos separating people that need to work together.

Step 3:  Adopting Suitable Tools for the DevOps Team Structure

During his career, he has successfully managed enterprise software development tools in all phases of their lifecycle, from cradle to grave. He has driven organization-wide process improvement with results of greater productivity, higher quality, and improved customer satisfaction. He has built multi-national agile teams that value self-direction and self-organization. When not speaking or coding, you are likely to find Ian indulging his passions in parsers, meta-programming, and domain-specific languages.

To get organizations started, we put together a list of top DevOps tools that can enable a successful DevOps team structure. Make sure you understand the outsourcer’s security landscape and your own responsibilities in this area, as you would with any outside firm. The difference here is that the team, processes, and software the outsourcer plans to use will be deeply embedded in your company’s infrastructure — it’s not something you can easily switch from.

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This is just one extra silo, and has all the same drawbacks with the addition of alienating other teams to the idea of DevOps. If the developers are handling DevOps, then we can get rid of Ops entirely, right? Getting rid of Operations entirely just means someone else (developers or testers) will be taking on their workload, only Ops probably isn’t something they are good at or familiar with. An example of an open DevOps toolchain is Atlassian’s Open DevOps solution, which includes Jira as a foundation and integrates with leading vendors and marketplace apps. After 17 years of reporting on the API economy, ProgrammableWeb has made the decision to shut down operations.