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DevOps Team Structure Roles & Responsibilities

We explain how a DevOps team is structured, the roles and responsibilities within the team, and the balance between an individual contributor and the needs of the team. 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. 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.

devops org structure

Responsibilities of DevOps developers include tasks such as updating the code, adding new features, and resolving bugs while ensuring that the application meets business objectives. DevOps’ advent has transformed the software development landscape, bringing cross-functional teams of developers, operations, and QA to seamlessly collaborate and deliver quality in an automated continuous delivery environment. With Quality Engineering and Quality Assurance going hand in hand, QA teams are happier now as quality is not just their job, but it turns into DevOps Team responsibility. As businesses transitioned from a product-oriented development model towards a customer-centric approach, smaller release cycles, better quality, and seamless collaboration across a DevOps team became the need of the hour. DevOps is an innovative methodology that offers a set of practices that brings development and operations teams together to collaborate seamlessly and continuously to deliver quality products faster and better.

Platform Engineering

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. This approach is commonly called “NoOps” as it removes the need for a distinct operations team. This approach works best when a company is developing a single digital product. That’s why the NoOps approach works for companies like Netflix, where software engineers can quickly build and maintain new features and fixes. Before hiring a DevOps engineer, assess your business requirements and prepare a hiring strategy.

devops org structure

The trick to avoiding this pitfall is to make sure that whomever you assign to your DevOps team-within-a-team gives equal priority to DevOps and the primary team’s focus. This may include provisioning and configuring servers, storage, and networking equipment and implementing automation to manage and maintain the infrastructure. There are many possible sub-roles within a DevOps team, and the specific roles present will depend on the size and needs of the team, as well as the specific responsibilities assigned to the team.


This type of culture promotes working together as one team towards a common goal instead of dividing into a few teams and focusing on different tasks. Encourage open communication, sharing of ideas, and cross-functional collaboration to foster a sense of teamwork. Under DevOps support models, there are no such problems as siloed teams and poor communication. The security engineer is tasked with the responsibility of maintaining the security of both the software and infrastructure.

  • This one may seem pretty obvious as an anti-pattern, but many organizations that try to adopt DevOps try to do so without breaking down the barriers between the groups.
  • However, if Dev neglects operational considerations, this model can devolve into an adversarial “us and them” dynamic.
  • We are using system design terminology to refer to DevOps team modalities because it is only an abstraction intended to capture a human resource use case for today’s tech companies.
  • Hiring external DevOps consultants may be useful for smaller companies who want to get a better grasp of the latest best practices in automation, monitoring and configuration management without hiring in-house expertise.
  • This includes deploying and configuring servers, networking equipment, and other hardware, as well as managing cloud-based infrastructure services like AWS and Azure.
  • After it became clear that these topologies were very useful to lots of people, he decided to create this micro-site to allow more collaboration and discussion.
  • It also brings consistency across the infrastructure and enables easy tracking of KPIs.

Resource managers must prioritize labor hours to staff DevOps based initiatives while balancing day to day operational tasks. On small scale, having worked on a small team in a matrix construct, I witnessed an inherent lack of accountability across reporting lines and elevated overhead costs, which introduced unnecessary operational risk. Projectized structures, which I subjectively believe can best support DevOps efforts, rely on small, highly skilled teams, commonly referred to as ‘Tiger Teams’. Tiger Teams can quickly deliver value to organizations and work across diverse functional teams on multi-phase projects.

DevOps as an external party

IT support is another important team that should be integrated into the DevOps lifecycle. It should be automated to match the speed and scale of agile development. When developers push code to production, they can convey known errors to the support team. Similarly, Kbs related to incidents and problems should be communicated to all members so that everyone is educated about issues and incidents. System hardening is another security process that strengthens the system configuration and reduces potential vulnerabilities. By removing unnecessary programs, accessible accounts, you can reduce threats.

What they care is to make sure that none of their doors are left open after projects will go nasty and everyone starts to finger-point. Most companies, probably including your company too, compartmentalize their software delivery organizations in a number of teams, and they end up producing their software architected with the very same number of layers. The controlled experiments have also proven that when an organization of 6 teams was asked to build a software, their teams came up with an architecture of 6 layers. When another organization with 3 teams was asked to build the very same software, they came up with an architecture of 3 layers.

Dev and ops groups remain separate organizationally but on equal footing

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(s). I’m in a perpetual state of in-ease with organizational structures that claim to embrace various Agile and DevOps functions, but DevOps ends up being a rebranding of operations, handoffs and all. That being said, I have accepted the idea of an infrastructure platform team that enables Agile teams to do their work without concern for location or operator of the infrastructure. I don’t know how many organizations that are not themselves cloud providers have truly ached this, however. This definition makes it clear that the self-organizing team must now ensure that their work is deployable, scalable, observable, and supportable, not just that it worked on their local machine. Bringing validation of these features into the definition of done for a team task requires new skills be brought into the team to eliminate inefficient hand-offs.

devops org structure

A DevOps team is more focused on the process than on the end goal, which helps derive more joy and content in their development jobs. And when your team is happy, it offers the prospect of retention rates and motivates other bright minds to cross their paths with your business. When a DevOps team builds a strong working relationship between developers and operations engineers, applications can be built devops org structure and updated far more quickly. This doesn’t mean that some engineers can’t focus on a specific role – such as CICD, IaaS or automation – but those who are responsible for development tasks are commonly in direct contact with operations and release managers. The automation architect would have to identify the different automation opportunities within the development process and the testing process.

key organizational models for DevOps teams

Platform teams work with development teams to create one or more golden pathways. These pathways don’t prevent teams from using something else but offer supported self-service products that help teams improve delivery capability. It assumes putting one or several DevOps engineers in charge of all the operations and deployment processes. The main drawback here is a possible decrease in software quality during the implementation of new changes.

Perhaps I’m being too much of the purist and there are essential reasons why maintaining separate orgs that would seem to violate the tenets of Agile and DevOps is widespread. It’s my recollection that some compliance regimes require complete separation of development and quality assurance organizations because they were born in another era. The 2015 State of DevOps Report from Puppet Labs describes the characteristics of a “generative culture” that can succeed in implementing DevOps. Among the necessary traits are high cooperation through cross-functional teams, shared responsibilities, breaking down silos to encourage bridging. In the 1980’s, Jack Welsh, at the time the CEO of General Electric, introduced the idea of the “boundaryless organization” in a process that became known as GE Work-out. The focus was teams that were able to quickly make informed decisions, what people in Agile might today call self-organizing teams.

Team Structure 4: DevOps as an external service

At this point in the DevOps maturity, the tools and processes need to be built, maintained, and operated like a product. Making changes in the pipeline to improve the processes or even just to update to tools to stay current will no longer be something that can be done whenever one team feels like it. Because if something breaks, all teams will be unable to deliver software. KMS Solutions’ DevOps services offer everything organizations need to facilitate this change. We provide expert consultation to help determine the optimal team structure that aligns with your specific requirements. Furthermore, our highly skilled DevOps engineers are dedicated to breaking down silos and fostering collaboration, unlocking the full potential of DevOps within your organization.

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