When implementing a product-based DevOps strategy, firstly, we define multiple product areas based on your business functions and current operations, and structure development teams around them. The result is a pragmatic approach with “product teams” feeding up into product clusters, which then expand into broader product areas.
Of course, different product and IT dynamics require different operating models – product-oriented setups will depend on your organization’s size, and business and integrative processes.
Customer-centric, 360° strategy and vision
Product teams work as independent, empowered units and assume total product ownership. They form the heart of your enterprise’s culture, orchestrating product-specific requests, technical improvements, and horizontal needs across cluster and area borders.
Product team members no longer solely execute based on demands but take a more strategic role within your services and operations. They embody and communicate your vision throughout your entire organization – and play an active role in creating:
- Responsive, end-user-facing systems for better customer experiences
- End-to-end Business and IT alignment that brings different stakeholders into a “One Team” culture for improved agility
- Heightened speed and synchronicity within product areas and products for faster delivery
More products, more problems?
However, as your business grows and your product offerings expand and shift, product teams will need to multiply and change in order to support each of your products. New and growing product teams can drastically increase structural complexity, and duplications and inconsistencies may start to appear.
More talent, fewer problems?
This complexity brings a real demand for multiskilled teams, which may get tougher and tougher to fulfill. Generally, DevOps teams have higher costs due to the deep and wide skillset expected.
The issue of costs here can be compounded further. When organizations implement a product-based approach, a huge volume of operational tasks is moved into your DevOps structure. This can create challenges such as the under-utilization of high-cost talent for more standard, commodity activities, leading to a high cost pyramid, demotivated developers, and even a loss of business focus. The higher the operational and commodity activities, the lower the value extracted from highly skilled and expensive resources will be.
Additionally, a lack of industrialization can boost the cost of operations, as developers are now broken down into smaller teams. And a lack of standardization and the duplication of tools can hinder harmonized processes, quality, and operational excellence.
Putting it all together from the bottom to the top: Balancing your appetite for speed and agility with costs and structural challenges
We want to guarantee you get all the benefits of a product-based DevOps strategy, while also addressing costs and structural challenges. So, after analyzing market trends and listening closely to our clients, we devised a transversal model for product teams. This model delivers technology and-application-independent services across product teams, which we call non-backlog services.
This ensures that we have an overarching structure on top to unleash DevOps benefits across all individual product teams. This then dovetails with the strong, harmonized foundation of product teams from the bottom up, which enables industrialization, automation, synergies, and correct production costs.
You can also find out more on how a product-oriented mindset, and embracing and implementing DevOps across your organization can really maximize business value in our joint report with Everest Group®: Applications Transformation for the Digital Age – From Delivery Excellence to Business Value.
To learn more about how we can help you deliver faster and create better customer experiences with product-based DevOps, please contact me here.