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How to design and implement a POD-based DevOps operating model

Blog: Capgemini CTO Blog

The do’s and don’ts for successful adoption within your enterprise

In my previous blog, I outlined the necessity for a new POD-based operating model and the benefits it can bring throughout a successful DevOps and Agile transformation. In this blog, we’ll look at how you can actually design a POD-based DevOps operating model, the dos and don’ts for its successful adoption within your enterprise, and a real-life implementation case study.

You build it – you run it: the roles and structure needed for successful POD-based model implementation

The POD-based model is centered on the DevOps best practice of “you build it – you run it.” This means POD teams assume full ownership and accountability for a product from build to support. A POD-based model consists of dedicated roles with complementary skills that are confined to a POD, shared roles that are spread across the PODs as needed, and CoE teams that define standards:

Dedicated roles – POD model dedicated roles include:

Shared roles – POD model shared roles used across PODs include:

CoEs – to establish standards, best practices, frameworks, accelerators, KPIs, and Metrics, a POD model utilizes a host of different CoEs that include:

                                                A typical POD structure

PODs should be structured by product and business area. They may also be set up within a product – using the following criteria across products during demand fluctuations:

PODs may be classified by the code change management process within an organization. For example, there could be a POD for performing the design and development of large enhancements, a POD for minor enhancements, and a POD for hot fixes as detailed below:

What are the do’s and don’ts of working with a POD-based operating Model?



Case Study: POD-based operating model for a large utility client

One of Capgemini’s large utility clients was looking to attain IT operational efficiencies through a POD-based operating model solution that would ensure the delivery of all current services, and drive cloud adoption, micro-services architecture, automation, and DevOps transformation – along with a 30% reduced headcount after five years. The organization’s applications are grouped by value streams and Capgemini assessed each technology used in each value stream of applications. The salient features of the POD model are listed below:

The POD-based model would follow the DevOps best practice of “you build it – you run it” and the same resources that implement a change will perform the maintenance.

A POD operating model for a Utility client: POD sizes, skills, and sharing across two value streams for better utilization and value stream apps knowledge

POD models vary from enterprise to enterprise and significantly depend on current operating models. They need to be designed closely to the existing model and align with variables such as technology, location, vendors, and size of teams for their acceptance and adoption. A POD-based model assumes that as organization is already on its Agile and DevOps journey – and we recommend defining your target POD model based on some of the best practices defined in this article, along with implementing in phases by product, continuously improving the model, and taking in feedback from teams.

In my next blog, I’ll be delving deeper into accelerators and tools for implementing a POD-based operating model with more client case study examples.

To find out more about POD-based DevOps operating models, contact me now to get started or visit us at Capgemini’s ADMnext here.

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