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E-Shaped Model for Organisation Agility

Organisations starting or in the middle of DevOps journey are familiar to T-Shaped model, the model which was popularized by IDEO chief executive Tim Brown.

T-shaped individuals have deep knowledge (the deep stem of the T) in at least one discipline or system, but also have a wide range of general knowledge of many disciplines and systems and a variety of boundary crossing competencies (the general top of the T).

This year our DevOps human has evolved to be E shaped. The trends clearly favor those with “breadth” and “depth”, as well as the tangible (execution) and intangible (exploration), implying having both a big-picture outlook and an attention to detail from being a practitioner. E-Shaped People have a combination of “4-E’s”: experience and expertise, exploration and execution. The last two traits, exploration and execution, are necessary in the current and future economy.

  1. There are three horizontal skill categories which comprise a specific set of capabilities: Automation skills, Functional knowledge and skills and Technical skills. These can vary depending on what the person is interested in, the individuals experience and abilities and are somewhat easy to train, develop and measure.
  2. A second grouping of skills, the categories of process and framework skills, is more of a vertical skill which focuses on flow and understanding the ins and outs of how things work leveraging a variety of best practices and methodologies like Scrum, Agile and Value Stream Mapping. These will need to be applied atop of the automation, functional and technical skills. Technology varies in its adoption and so do the technology skills as it depends on the technologies used and the plan for the organization, its current processes and methods used. This skill category requires some cognitive abilities, analytical thinking and innovation thinking to find and develop creative solutions for the complex world of DevOps.
  3. Another vertical skill category is the human skills which includes skills such as collaboration, interpersonal skills and more which are all necessary across all other skill categories. Unfortunately, human skills are not easy to train, upskill and measure. The experience and expertise come with time and upskilling; exploration is a fundamental of DevOps and execution is the simple proof of what a person has done applying his of her skills in terms of results.

Download the DevOps Institute Upskilling Report 2020 to get the comprehensive information on how Human DevOps Skills are evolving and the implementation in the organisations.