Deep Work: A New Working Model for DevOps Teams

You come into the office and before you’ve had your morning coffee, someone’s at your desk looking for help with an issue. You spend the day trying to focus on that new feature you’re building for customers, it’s going to make their lives so much easier, but you find that you’re answering questions and firefighting all day. The day ends and you wonder “what did I even do today?”. In our roles on technical teams, we live an interrupt driven life, but how do we make progress on that new feature or author that new tool or investigate that new OSS project? It’s not hopeless!

This session will introduce the concept of Deep Work and a new way to structure your team to optimize for Deep Work, while at the same time meeting your customers’ needs. The examples will focus on DevOps teams but the lessons are applicable to any team experiencing high levels of interruption. At the end of the talk you will have learnt from our experience implementing the new team structure on DevOps teams in two different organizations, ways to promote the concept, how to visualize people’s availability, and how to find success in an interrupt driven world.


Outline/Structure of the Talk

  • Introduction of the problem, examples of how teams get interrupted.
  • Introduce concept of Deep Work.
  • Explain the importance of deep work.
  • Introduce new team structure that maximizes deep work.
  • Discuss how to introduce and roll out new team structure.
  • Highlight how to communicate it to the organization.
  • Explain the importance of visualizing availability/unavailability.
  • Go over various examples how to visualize this.
  • Conclusion.

Learning Outcome

Coming to this session participants will come away learning:

  • What Deep Work is and why it's important.
  • A different way to structure teams to control interruptions.
  • Ways to sell the idea to your organization.
  • Approaches to visualize who's available and who isn't.

Target Audience

Anyone working on or with a team that has a lot of interruptions.

Prerequisites for Attendees

None needed, although helpful if participants have heard of DevOps and what DevOps team do or other similar horizontal support teams



schedule Submitted 3 years ago

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