Welcome to the Equal Experts You Build It You Run It playbook. This summarises our thinking on when, why, and how to implement the You Build It You Run It operating model.
You Build It You Run It is an operating model in which product teams build, deploy, operate, and support their own digital services
This playbook is based on first-hand experiences from across the Equal Experts network. The authors of this playbook are:
Bethan Timmins Managing Director EE A&NZ
Steve Smith Principal Consultant EE UK
Equal Experts has worked with hundreds of organisations. Our customers often ask us for advice on how to improve their deployment throughput, service reliability, and learning culture. You Build It You Run It is a cost-effective way to achieve those goals together:
    Higher deployment throughput. Weekly deployments, or more frequent.
    Greater service reliability. 99.9% availability, or higher.
    Continuous learning culture. Constantly generating insights and implementing improvements.
This playbook contains the principles, practices, and pitfalls we associate with You Build It You Run It for digital services. The first part describes the traditional operating model of a central operations team, which we call Ops Run It. It also explains why using on-call product teams doesn't mean the end of a central operations team. A central operations team isn't the right choice for digital services, yet it remains the right choice for self-hosted foundational systems (COTS and custom integrations), which have lower deployment throughput and service reliability needs.
Figure 1: Operating model selector
We advocate for You Build It You Run It and Ops Run It co-existence in a hybrid operating model, which can be framed in terms of deployment throughput, service reliability, and learning culture.
We've open-sourced this playbook under a Creative Commons license, and we'd welcome contributions to improve it.
Last modified 1d ago
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