Why Shared Accountability of Teams is Crucial for High-performing Teams

Joined team responsibility is a primary characteristic of high-performing teams. In a DevOps team, the shared responsibility for Development and Operations is also a defining characteristic.

It is easy for the Development team not to be interested in the operation and maintenance of a system when handed over to another team. However, if the Development teams are jointly responsible for managing their systems during their lifecycle, they learn to understand the pain of operators. The learning enables or pushes them to identify ways to simplify deployment and maintenance, such as by improving logging and automating deployment. In the same way, by sharing the responsibility for a system’s business goals, the Operations teams will able to work more closely with developers to better understand the operational needs of a system and help meet these.

In practice, collaboration often begins with an increased awareness from developers of operational concerns (such as deployment and monitoring) and the adoption of new automation tools and practices by the Operations teams. Some organizational shifts are required to support the culture of joined responsibility and accountability, such as:

  • Break down silos between the Development and the Operations teams.
  • Avoid handover periods and documentation. These are a poor substitute for working together on a solution from the start.
  • Adjust resourcing structures to allow the Operations staff to get involved with teams early.
  • Colocate developers and operators so that they can work together.
  • Avoid handover and sign-offs. These discourage people from sharing responsibility and contributes to a culture of blame.
  • Encourage developers and operators to be responsible for the successes and the failures of a system.

DevOps culture blurs the line between the roles of developers and operators. It can even eventually eliminate the distinction.

Source: DASA DevOps Product Owner coursebook.

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The DASA DevOps Product Owner Certification extends traditional Agile Product Owner programs and deals with the extended set of requirements that the Product Owner faces when teams start to take on both Dev and Ops responsibilities.

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DevOps Agile Skills Association (DASA) is an open, global community for DevOps and Agile skills development. DASA was founded in April 2016 and has become…