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October 13, 2017

Featured Resource: Making Matrixed Organizations Successful with DevOps

By IT Revolution

Leading up to DevOps Enterprise Summit 2017 San Francisco, we’ll be releasing our most valuable DevOps resources to our community on a weekly basis.

Each of these resources come to you straight from the DevOps Enterprise Forum, where more than 50 technology leaders and thinkers gather for three days to create written guidance on the best-known methods for overcoming the top obstacles in the DevOps Enterprise community.


In a previous resource, Thinking Environments, the authors describe four organizational models, and the benefits and drawbacks of each model with respect to DevOps. They recommend moving away from a matrixed organization to overcome the drawbacks for DevOps teams.

However, in some cases, especially large traditional organizations, there are good reasons for not moving away from a matrixed organization. This resource focuses on the problem of organizations that can’t or won’t move away from a matrixed organization. In particular, we focus on those matrixed organizations in which, functional (vertical) organization is responsible for defining and measuring the process, and the programs/projects (horizontal) are responsible for program execution.

About this resource

  • The Audience — This paper is written for team leads and specialists in matrix-based organizations where a significant part of the work is done in programs and projects, thus creating conflicts with task priorities and work visibility, as well as leading to misaligned metrics on the individual and team level.
  • Problem Statement — As defined in Thinking Environments and expanded by this team, there are drawbacks to a matrixed organization. Our goal is to provide tactics for mitigating those drawbacks where possible.
  • Outline —Divided into two sections, Definition and Tactics, this resource simplifies important terms for understanding DevOps practices, then breaks down two tactics your matrixed organization can use to mitigate the drawbacks.

The authors on each of these resources will be prominent figures in the industry, and on this particular one, we have seven industry leaders working together. They include:

  • Damon Edwards, Co-founder and Chief Product Officer, Rundeck Inc.
  • Ben Grinnell, Managing Director and Global Lead of Technology and Digital Service Line, North Highland
  • Gary Gruver, President, Gruver Consulting LLC
  • Suzette Johnson, Agile Center of Excellence Lead, Northrop Grumman
  • Kaimar Karu, President, itSMF Estonia
  • Terri Potts, IIS SW Technical Director, Raytheon Company
  • Rosalind Radcliffe, Distinguished Engineer, Chief Architect for DevOps for z Systems, IBM

Here are two amazing presentations from the authors on this week’s resource.

Suzette Johnson

Kaimar Karu


If you’re eager to continue learning about these topics and more, come see how you can be a part of DevOps Enterprise Summit 2017 San Francisco. We spend three days talking with the leaders of large, complex organizations implementing DevOps principles and practices, with the goal to give leaders (like you) the tools and practices they need to develop and deploy software faster and to win in the marketplace.

- About The Authors
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IT Revolution

Trusted by technology leaders worldwide. Since publishing The Phoenix Project in 2013, and launching DevOps Enterprise Summit in 2014, we’ve been assembling guidance from industry experts and top practitioners.

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