<How to Build a DevOps Team?/>

DevOps is not merely about picking up the right tools and methodologies to gain success. It is a cultural and mindset shift. With the rise of more IT work given to remote teams, cultural challenges are piling up.

Are you working or leading a DevOps team? DevOps is not merely about picking up the right tools and methodologies to gain success. It is a cultural and mindset shift. With the rise of more IT work given to remote teams, cultural challenges are piling up. DevOps is no longer a luxury. From multinationals to startups, it has become common for an organization to have set up a DevOps team. Those who adopted DevOps initiatives or are in the midst of adopting them know well that it is more than a couple of tools and technologies. Here is how you can build a DevOps team.

Prioritize Collaboration

Following practices such as CI/CD is essential for enabling DevOps in organizations. But companies cannot embrace these techniques without making a team structure for DevOps that promotes these practices and other parts of DevOps culture. Traditionally, people resist change, which means that laying entire guidelines to trigger change with DevOps is seen as quite handy. In traditional scenarios, the development team and operations team work in a siloed environment, but to support a multi-model IT environment, they collaborate and are evenly responsible for versioning controls, software maintenance, production environments, and release cycles.

Focus On Retention

Before you look into recruiting new hires to build your DevOps team, it is necessary to keep one thing in mind: retention plays a pivotal role. Often, in sales, investing in a new customer can be more expensive than retaining a lucrative current customer. This same theory is employed to staffing DevOps teams. Training existing talent is less costly than recruiting new talent. Look for talent in your business that seems promising and can support a newly-created team. This way, you can save money and leverage the knowledge of the organization that these different professionals bring to the table.

Measure the Impact of DevOps Team Structure

After using the best practices to create an environment made of a solid team structure and DevOps practices, businesses cannot take a sigh of relief; they need to do more. DevOps is an ongoing journey – not an end goal. Hence, they have to continuously determine the effectiveness of their DevOps environment, roles, and structure. For this purpose, you can rely on a number of key performance indicators (KPIs).

  • Volume of bugs/errors: What is the percentage volume of bugs and errors that happen? How long does it take for teams to resolve them?
  • Quality and security: Are the quality and security standards of projects meeting the organization’s standards?
  • Deployment frequency: How many deployments are required in a day?

Create Cross-Functional Team Structure

It is a misconception that only new talent can help achieve DevOps goals. Managers don’t always recognize that the issue that affects how teams are managed. The team design is essential, but it is recommended against going for conventional chain-of-command org charts. Instead, prioritize creating cross-functional teams. The way an organizational chart is broken down is less important when a team works cross-functionality. High-quality product managers are great leaders; even the members on their team are not their direct reports.

Integrate Two-Pizza Teams

Amazon gained popularity in the Amazon space by coming up with the idea of two-pizza teams. This idea demonstrates an effective team is not too big, and two pizzas can easily feed it. Small team structures align well with the loosely coupled, microservices style of software delivery that high-performing DevOps organizations look for.

However, reorganizing IT into smaller teams can be a challenging prospect in the enterprise-level environment. Integration sounds good in theory, but implementation is not always a piece of cake. A good practice is building portfolio-based organizations that comprise traditional project managers, agilists, DevOps engineers, testers, and developers. Leadership should be accessible and emphasize ramping up the company’s ability to rapidly offer value to their customers.

Practically, this means that a group must have a director of technology or a vice president who promotes an application portfolio like finance. From this point, the leadership supervises a broad range of small business-aligned DevOps teams that are led by directors or managers.

Embrace CI/CD

A typical DevOps team requires making critical changes through technology, such as automating pre-production, testing, deployment, and integration. Continuous integration and continuous delivery form the basis of DevOps as they empower work in a shared and collaborative manner. Global corporations that embrace DevOps are well aware of the transitional shift they have noticed in developers who work independently and are waiting for a long time to solve code conflicts, fix bugs, and integrate code. On a similar note, software release cycles were sluggish because of the manual provisioning of the production environment, causing errors and delays.

A flourishing DevOps team is well-trained and well-equipped with the resources to rapidly address errors and failures and fix them in no time. Organizations looking to create a thriving DevOps practice with the capability to adopt CI/CD and continuously tweak activities to scale it to an enterprise level. This way, they can meet the shared goals and can know about the suitable toolkit for their business objectives, environment, and members.

Final Thoughts

Establishing a DevOps team means that a company has decided to proceed with a DevOps transformation. As part of establishing this team, to be successful, companies have to focus on the people and their skills rather than the common tools that technical individuals are proficient in. At Hooligan, we partner with organizations to boost their DevOps initiatives after getting an in-depth understanding of their teams and processes and determining how DevOps can meet their needs. We work as an enabler and can promote DevOps among stakeholders to adapt to evolved roles and responsibilities that lay the foundation of a successful DevOps implementation.

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