Disciplined Agile

IT Operations Roles and Responsibilities

There are several roles that are pertinent to IT operations. Remember that these are roles, not positions. Small organizations may have a single person taking on every one of these roles whereas a large organization could have dozens of fine-grained positions. Remember, context counts. We define the following key roles for Disciplined Agile® (DA™) IT operations: 

  1. Operations engineers. Operations engineers install, configure, operate and evolve common infrastructure such as the network, servers, and your external services (e.g. the cloud).  Sometimes called a System Operator or Operator.
  2. Operations manager. A functional manager who leads the operations team.  Responsibilities potentially include managing change within the operational infrastructure; Planning for and mitigating operational disasters; and guiding the creation of operational guidelines.
  3. Tool smith. Someone who is responsible for buying, building, installing, configuring, and potentially supporting tooling used by people to support their work. In this case of IT Operations their focus is typically on DevOps tooling, including tools for deployment, security, operational monitoring, backup/recovery, and chaos engineering.
  4. DevOps engineer. This role is common when organizations are either new to DevOps or are very small. In small organizations a DevOps Engineer is typically a “jack-of-all-DevOps-trades” who takes on the responsibilities of several of the roles listed here. As your organization grows you’ll find that these specialist roles will emerge and that DevOps Engineer goes away.
  5. Database administrator. Operates, supports, and evolves existing legacy data sources. Data administrators collaborate with delivery teams, ideally as a member of those teams, to ensure that data sources are developed and evolved in a quality manner. From the Data Management process blade.
  6. Release manager/coordinator. A functional manager who leads the release team (if any). Responsibilities include coordinating the multitude of solution releases into production across all delivery teams; facilitating the determination of whether a solution is production ready; guiding the development of common release practices; and coordinating the overall release schedule. From the Release Management process blade.