DevOps 101: Breaking Down the DevOps Maturity Model

Posted by Jimmy Stetzel, Practice Lead - Application Modernization & Migration

Jan 21, 2021


When you’re building a DevOps culture within your organization, remember this: DevOps isn’t a destination; it’s an ongoing journey of collaboration, quality, automation and reliability in your development and release pipeline.

By understanding and following the DevOps maturity model, you can get a better idea of where your organization is on its DevOps journey. In this latest installment of DevOps 101, we’ll take a look at this model and help you know how to use it to gauge your progress and success.

What is the DevOps Maturity Model?

The DevOps maturity model is a concept that reaches beyond your organization’s continuous integration and continuous delivery (CI/CD) pipeline into a broader realm. It focuses on non-technical aspects of your program, too.

devops maturity modelThese other vital factors, technology, process, people and culture, influence the success of your organization’s progression in the DevOps maturity model at any stage.

While different organizations rely on different models to determine maturity, the majority agree that these five transformation stages are crucial for a successful model.


This is where most organizations start. The development and operations teams are separate and do not coexist. They are siloed. Because DevOps requires that controls are embedded in the product development process rather than focusing on manual testing once development is done, you’ll face growing pains in this stage. Why? Because your development and operations teams will be learning to think differently and more cohesively. Moving to a DevOps culture will initially challenge them in the way they interact with each other.


In this stage, mindsets begin to shift toward better collaboration between these separate teams by activating the influences both of people and culture. They want to see what DevOps can do for the organization and its delivery pipeline. Put your trust in these people and give them the ability to own the changes and process to make DevOps a success.


Once the idea catches on, you can start putting defined and consistent processes, including automation, into place to join the two teams. All of these actions should be standardized and repeatable. The way your teams “used to do things” will be reimagined and restructured. Workflows won’t be the same, and this is a good thing.


You’ll then want to set metrics to track successes and failures to facilitate continuous improvement. Testing for results is a great way to not only measure success but to also make your teams feel empowered and excited about being part of a DevOps-focused organization.


In this stage of maturity, you will see achievements. Fissures between teams vanish and workflows are a success, scaling when needed.

How Culture Affects DevOps Maturity

In most organizations, culture drives success along any stage of the DevOps Maturity Model. Is your company ready?

Ask yourself these questions:

  • discussing a projectDoes your leadership understand the concept of DevOps and that success relies on a cultural shift?
  • Do your development and operations employees understand the benefits of a DevOps environment?
  • How is communication across these siloed teams?
  • Do you have a comfortable feedback loop that avoids blame and finger-pointing and focuses on improvements?

Before you can even start your journey into the first stage of the DevOps Maturity Model, you need willingness from the top to stimulate cultural change. Without top-down encouragement, the idea will be stifled or won’t ever get off the ground.

But that’s not all. You need to get everyone involved on board with the idea, as well. They must understand how things will work and that DevOps isn’t a race with a finish line but a continuous improvement journey.

Culturally, you’ll also want to design your DevOps program so that it fosters a sense of trust and empowerment in each individual involved. The teams embarking upon this journey have been siloed and have never really worked “together.” That’s about to change, as collaboration and sharing are hallmarks of successful DevOps culture.

Now they have to own and implement functions that used to “belong” to other teams. It’s a completely different mindset and can affect your progress with the DevOps Maturity Model.

Change ManagementAny organizational change that involves a massive cultural shift comes with growing pains. For many organizations, moving along the DevOps Maturity Model can be overwhelming, to say the least.

Make sure you have evangelists on the team who can keep people at all involved levels in your organization interested, engaged and on track, even when times get tough. Combining this with a targeted plan for rolling out DevOps with powerful planning, thoughtful strategy and defined policies and procedures will keep things moving successfully along this journey into continuous improvement and delivery.

Dive deeper to more DevOps concepts with our DevOps 101 series. Check out these other blogs:

DevOps 101: What Does DevOps Mean and Why Do I Need It?

DevOps 101: The Strategic Partnership Between DevOps and the Cloud

DevOps 101: What Problems Does DevOps Solve?

DevOps 101: Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery (CI/CD)


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Jimmy Stetzel, Practice Lead - Application Modernization & Migration

Jimmy has led several companies through the cloud journey helping them to become more agile, operationally efficient and innovative by applying cloud solutions. He has been in the IT industry for 20+ years in different capacities ranging from development, systems engineering, architecture, engineering leadership and building cloud practices from the ground up. He is passionate about helping our customers succeed in their cloud journey.

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