DevOps friendly Organizational Structures

Playing Devil’s Advocate on the topic of “DevOps is not a job title“.

Here is a (simplified) traditional organizational structure.

Where red boxes represent Developers (or teams of developers) and blue ones represent Operations staff.

Let’s suppose the heads of Dev and Ops get on well and share common goals.  DevOps in this organization can work and probably is already.

But more often than not the heads of Dev and Ops don’t see exactly eye to eye.  If they don’t share common goals (feature delivery vs stability), if they are competing with each other for funds, attention, praise, the CIO’s job… DevOps may not be working so well.

Is this a familiar scenario?

If DevOps manager was a job title, with Developers and Operations staff reporting directly to one person, an org structure might instead look like this.

Suddenly Developers and Operations staff have common goals.  They share a manager.

Head count is the same.  DevOps managers are peers with programmers and sysadmins reporting to them.

The structure presented is a radical departure from traditional thinking but enables the benefit of a small start-up IT culture in the context of a larger company.


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One response to “DevOps friendly Organizational Structures

  1. EdC

    /agree, hardly surprising though as that is the org I put in place at LP and I’d hope not the only person who felt it worked!

    What disappoints me is that as recently as last week talking to another CIO he believed that tension between a Head of Dev and Head of Ops was a good thing.

    It’s not.

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