TeamOps is a new people practice that brings precision and operations to how people work together. It's rooted in reality and objectivity, and focuses on the behaviors that make for better teams. It's supported by actionable tenets and concrete, real world examples.
At its heart is a belief that creating the environment for better decisions and improved execution of them makes for better teams — and ultimately, progress.
TeamOps is how GitLab scaled from a startup to a global public company in a decade. Now we're opening it up to every organization.
The four guiding principles of TeamOps are below.
Organizations need people and teams — their creativity, perspectives, and humanity. That need will only grow as we move towards a future with bigger problems to solve, and as AI displaces every variety of rules-based knowledge work which can be automated.
Tomorrow's winners will be determined by how they bring teams together, and how well they’re able to get every person on those teams to contribute to their mission.
Up to this point, teams, and the ways the people on them work, have been treated in a profoundly subjective manner: ad hoc, DIY, left up to whims of the individual manager and the quirks of a given corporate culture. It’s viewed as a soft problem, mixing 20th century management philosophies with pop psychology. Grounded in opinion, not reality. Feelings, not behaviors.
Meanwhile, other critical areas of business have been studied, made objective, codified, and operationalized. Why not so with our most valuable resource: teams?
It is GitLab's mission to make it so that everyone can contribute. When applied to management, this creates an atmosphere where everyone is empowered to lead.
TeamOps differentiates itself from other management philosophies and people practices by consciously enabling decentralized decision making at a centralized (organizational) level. While guiding principles exist, TeamOps is not static. It is designed to be iterated on and evolved by everyone. This system is designed to apply to all work environments, from no remote to strictly remote.
By implementing TeamOps at an organizational level, individuals within the organization are less constrained. Each team member receives greater agency to exert self-leadership. Collectively, we believe this atmosphere allows for more informed decisions, made quicker, more frequently, and with a higher likelihood of successful execution.
TeamOps is a recipe which has worked at GitLab. It may not be perfectly applicable in your company, and that's OK. As with The Remote Playbook, we are transparently sharing it to inspire other organizations and to invite conversation.
There are a number of foundational elements that should be in place in order for TeamOps to be maximally successful within a team or organization. These prerequisites consist of the processes, organizational structure, and culture that create an ideal environment to implement TeamOps principles.
If your organization is missing some of these building blocks, consider this an opportunity to invest in your team. GitLab's Remote Playbook can serve as a blueprint.
In Q3-FY23, GitLab will release a 🎓 TeamOps Certification course 🎓, free and open to the public. To be amongst the first to earn the certification, sign up below and we will email you when it's available.