Insights from using SFIA's competency-based approach

Using SFIA provides insights in how you can tackle the people and skills side of moving to DevOps

Consider the impact of automating routine development and operational tasks.

  • It is likely that the lower level of SFIA skills will no longer be required or significantly impacted. You should consider how to support your people so their skills can move vertically (increased competency e.g. to levels 3 and 4) or horizontally (take on different tasks at the same level). Examples of skills affected by automation of operational tasks.
    • Configuration management CFMG - levels 2 & 3
    • Testing TEST - level 1
    • Systems integration and build -SINT  levels 2 & 3
    • Release and deployment RELM - level 3
    • IT infrastructure ITOP - levels 1, 2 & 3
    • Database administration DBAD- level 2

Developing multi-skilled, T-shaped people.

  • You can make use of SFIA skills and skill levels to highlight the operational skills you want your developers to have and the development skills you want your operational roles to have. Or if you want everyone in the team to be complete allrounders you can do that too. The SFIA framework lets you define both the skills and competency levels to aim for, and provides a way to keep track of skills and encourage the development of a rounded set of skills in all your team members.

Culture change

  • The DevOps world is overflowing with technical jargon, vendor's toolsets. When you are starting off or when you need to improve performance - think about the cultural and organisational change required. You will need to recruit or develop people with non-technical skills (e.g. Organisation design, Organisational capability development, Relationship management) or find them elsewhere in your organisation or use external resources.

The difference between detailed knowledge and increasing levels of responsibility.

  • Distinguish the depth of knowledge required for a person from their required level of responsibility. You will need some deep experts in your team's tools and working practices. But the leadership roles in your organisations do not need to be technical experts - they will need to be operating at level 6 and 7. Most technical certification programmes aim to develop a depth of knowledge - if you take a look at the SFIA level 6 and level 7 definitions you will see that the definition of increased responsibility level is quite different to increased knowledge. 

DevOps skills at a glance.

 The skills at a glance page provides a one-page summary of the SFIA DevOps-related skills and competency levels.