A cross-functional team is a team where all members have different backgrounds. It’s like a rock band: there is a singer, a guitarist, a bassist, a drummer, everybody has vertical expertise but all together they can perform great live 🤘!

What are the instruments of a DevOps team? I’ve recently found the DASA DevOps Competence Model that describes all skills and knowledge necessary for DevOps teams.

Skill Areas

Knowledge Areas

This does not mean that we need 12 people on our team but each person should have a basic knowledge of everything and one or more expertise area.

For example in a team of four:

Together they have all the skills needed inside a cross-functional team but everyone knows the fundamentals about other peoples subjects.

Courage, team-building, DevOps leadership and Continuous improvement are so important that every person in the team should be acquainted with them.

Advantages

This approach avoids misunderstandings between people, everyone walks at the same pace, and the members will be more motivated.

The project managers can write better specifications, and the developers will develop meaningful products focused on business goals.

How to build a good team?

The first step is to understand every company member’s strengths and weaknesses. It is possible to administer tests and perform interviews with everyone. Is the project manager able to write a SELECT query? Can the programmer
understand the impact of what is developing for the final customer? Does the Q&A engineer know what will be the volumes of business expected in one or two years?

Then everybody should have at least a minimum of knowledge of everything. It is important to establish a good learning path for each person to be sure that everyone is speaking the same language.

Then the training can continue to further grow the single and, holistically, the whole team.

Now it is easy to understand what profiles are missing and when is the moment to hire new people!

In the end

The team is the sum of the people that compose it, but this is not enough. Everyone should be able to understand the other people’s job.

Quoting the famous Italian actor Totó

È la somma che fa il totale

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