8 key DevOps roles and responsibilities for team success


With infrastructure as code increasingly gaining momentum, the thin line between development and operations is quickly waning off. The current DevOps team structure contains people who are skilled in coding and operations. Strong communication skills, technical expertise, and team player mentality are important traits for a DevOps guy. Most importantly, commitment and buy-in from every member are also important.

As Jim Benson says in The Collaboration Equation, ‘individuals in teams create value’. Individual skill combined with collaboration is where great things happen. Underperforming teams happen when you don’t build in the need for people to work together to unlock their unique talents. The goal of this team is to reduce the load of stream-aligned teams who work on systems that include or use the subsystem.

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Likewise, developers should be prepared to communicate with security engineers early and often to help design code that is secure from the start. IT engineers should work closely with the security team to ensure that their deployment and management processes follow best practices with regard to application and infrastructure security. DevOps and ITSM traditionally operated as separate frameworks with distinct focuses. DevOps emphasizes rapid software delivery and collaboration between development and operations teams. On the other hand, ITSM-based ITIL (information technology infrastructure library) provides best practices for ensuring service stability, reliability and adherence to governance and compliance. Microservice architecture is a process of building an application as smaller services that are loosely coupled, independently deployable, and use lightweight protocols.

devops team organization

Now virtual communication apps provide that same instantaneous communication. While the team operates autonomously most of the time, it will report to a pre-assigned senior member of the organization, ideally a DevOps evangelist, when required. As such, each team works independently and does not belong to any other team. While one on-call engineer responds to incidents, DevOps teams assign multiple people for escalations so that the on-call engineer can escalate it to the right person or team.

Using DevOps PATHS

DevOps+ encourages a cultural shift, breaking down silos and promoting cross-functional communication. This collaboration enhances the entire software development lifecycle, leading to faster feedback loops, accelerated innovation, and increased responsiveness to business needs. The original idea for DevOps wasn’t to change team structures at all. It was about development and operations teams working more closely to deliver software.

devops team organization

In this model, development teams provide logs and other artifacts to the SRE team to prove their software meets a sufficient standard for support from the SRE team. Development and SRE teams collaborate on operational criteria and SRE teams are empowered to ask developers to improve their code before production. This team structure assumes that development and operations sit together and operate on a singular team – acting as a united front with shared goals. Occasionally called “NoOps”, this is commonly seen in technology companies with a single, primary digital product, like Facebook or Netflix.

Leadership in DevOps Team

It is hard to do that when team members are reporting to different departments, being measured on different criteria, and working towards different goals. It might also be helpful to insert “champions” into struggling groups; they can model behaviors and language that facilitate communication and collaboration. Because of the continuous nature of DevOps, practitioners use the infinity loop to show how the phases of the DevOps lifecycle relate to each other. Despite appearing to flow sequentially, the loop symbolizes the need for constant collaboration and iterative improvement throughout the entire lifecycle.

devops team organization

His specialties are IT Service Management, Business Process Reengineering, Cyber Resilience and Project Management. Taking an example from Spotify, the business teams are called squads, who handle specific services (e.g., search, playlist, player etc.). They sit together and act as a mini-startup, incorporating every component required to support a service throughout its lifecycle. In this model, a single team has shared goals with no separate functions. The reason it’s called “no ops” is because ops is so automated it’s like it doesn’t actually exist.

Breaking Down Barriers to Change

Success isn’t determined by whether you host workloads on premises or in the cloud, and it won’t necessarily matter which OSes you use. Still, a team that wants to design a DevOps-friendly architecture should keep certain goals in mind. Steve Fenton is an Octonaut at Octopus Deploy and a six-time Microsoft MVP with more than two decades of experience in software delivery. They protect the autonomy of stream-aligned teams by helping increase skills and install new technology. As an enabling team, the goal is to give the knowledge to teams, not to dictate what they do with it. If you have to create a groundbreaking 3D rendering engine, you may need a complicated subsystem team to handle the challenges.

devops team organization

You may decide your organization just doesn’t have the internal expertise or resources to create your own DevOps initiative, so you should hire an outside firm or consultancy to get started. This DevOps-as-a-service (DaaS) model is especially helpful for small companies with limited in-house IT skills. Even though DevOps is arguably the most efficient way to get software out the door, no one actually ever said it’s easy. So building the right DevOps team is a critical step in the process. Applications like Zoom, Slack, and Microsoft Teams are also necessary for teams to communicate quickly and efficiently, especially in a remote-first world. In the past, a developer could walk over to the operations team to ask about the status of an incident.

examples of DevOps team models

While there are multiple ways to do DevOps, there are also plenty of ways to not do it. Teams and DevOps leaders should be wary of anti-patterns, which are marked by silos, lack of communication, and a misprioritization of tools over communication. In our DevOps Trends survey, we found that more than two-thirds of surveyed organizations have a team or individual that carries the title “DevOps” in some capacity. If the developers are handling DevOps, then we can get rid of Ops entirely, right?

  • So, ensure that your employees are creative thinkers, team persons, communicate well and are ready to learn.
  • Taking an example from Spotify, the business teams are called squads, who handle specific services (e.g., search, playlist, player etc.).
  • While working as a team is crucial, dealing with members at an individual level is equally important.
  • 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.
  • The Security and Compliance Engineer (SCE) is responsible for the overall security of the DevOps environment.
  • Security, network, and data center management teams usually sit together on this task to prepare a cloud migration framework with well-written documentation.

Metrics, logs, traces, monitoring, and alerts are all essential sources of feedback teams need to inform their work. A DevOps culture is where teams embrace new ways of working that involve greater collaboration cloud operations team structure 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.

DevOps Responsibilities: Cloud/Server/Network Architectures

It also helps to highlight the results and the impact of the project, and to appreciate the value of the CI and cloud DevOps culture and practice. Celebrations can be formal or informal, and can involve recognition, rewards, or fun activities, depending on the preferences and the culture of the team. Bringing DevOps to an organization means making some changes to the culture and structure of teams and the organization.

Increasing efficiency of DevOps Teams

This enables teams to focus on higher-value tasks, reducing manual errors and operational overhead. Before hiring a DevOps engineer, assess your business requirements and prepare a hiring strategy. A DevOps engineer is skilled in development and operations and interacts with all team members. When it comes to DevOps responsibilities, a DevOps architect prepares the infrastructure, designs a plan, and offers guidelines to build relevant processes. The DevOps engineer implements this plan to design and automate DevOps processes using the right tool stack and infrastructure as code (IaC) techniques for the specific environment. The implementation of these tools will again be monitored by the DevOps architect across the product lifecycle.

The authors describe this as a series of magnetic poles, with each team attracted to one type. You can use your skill map when team members are looking for growth opportunities or during the hiring process. As well as these examples, many other designs are problematic over the longer term. The DevOps PATHS provides a way to address overloaded team members and skill gaps.


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