Reorganizing An Application Service Delivery Model – an update

I wrote a post titled How Would You Reorganize an Application Service Delivery Model? in March 2010 and thought it was time to update you on the changes we made to our Application team.

At that time, my team was structured by role:  DBAs, Developers, Application Administrators, Email Administrators, etc.  Over that time, we had some successes with the structure and some challenges.

Some challenges with the role based structure included:

  • separation of developers and DBAs – resulted in delays, rework when developers did not meet coding standards expected by DBAs, and disconnected teams
  • separation of services that had tight integration like our portal environment from the ERP platform
  • mixture of platform skills that caused service support issues when service recovery work crossed team boundaries
  • challenges in providing minimum staffing coverage and training when support spanned team boundaries such as Identity Management, Project Management and Business Analysis work

In September 2010, we had an opportunity to reorganize our team.  After consulting with our team members and team leaders, we changed the structure to suit the two main architectures that our team supports – Microsoft and Oracle.  Essentially, we moved the developers to the platforms they predominately worked in and realigned the services that required tight integration.

Comparison of Role Based Structure to Platform Based Structure for Application Services

Role Based Structure Platform Based Structure
Support Team Oracle DBA Oracle Team Oracle DBA
Document Management Business Intelligence
Business Intelligence Document Management
Project Management Enterprise Portal
Business Analysis ERP Administration
Identity Management Java/Web Services Developers
Oracle Developers
Email and Collaboration Team Email Administration Identity Management
Calendaring Business Analysis
Instant Messaging Project Management
Collaboration Platforms Microsoft Team
SQL Server DBA Email Administration
Microsoft Applications Calendaring
Enterprise Portal Instant Messaging
Collaboration Platforms
Developer Team Java/Web Services Developers SQL Server DBA
Microsoft Developers Lotus Domino Developers
Oracle Developers Microsoft Applications
Microsoft Developers
Identity Management
Business Analysis
Project Management

We have been running with the structure for almost a year now and are seeing the benefits of aligning our Application Services team with our main support platforms.  I will revisit this structure annually to ensure that our team is organized to best serve our client community.