Establishing a FinOps decision and accountability structure
This article helps you understand the establishing a FinOps decision and accountability structure capability within the FinOps Framework and how to implement that in the Microsoft Cloud.
Establishing a FinOps decision and accountability structure involves defining roles and responsibilities, bridging gaps between teams, and enabling cross-functional collaboration and conflict resolution.
Define the roles, responsibilities, and activities required to effectively manage cost within the organization. Delegate accountability and decision-making authority to a cross-functional steering committee that can provide balanced oversight for technical, financial, and business priorities.
Describe the steering committee "chain of command" and how information moves within the company, aligning with the organization's goals and objectives. Document the principles and processes needed to address challenges and resolve conflicts.
Establishing a FinOps steering committee can help stakeholders within an organization align on a single process. The committee can also decide on the "rules of engagement" to effectively adopt and drive FinOps. All the while, ensuring accountability, fairness, and transparency and making sure senior decision makers can make informed decisions quickly.
When you first start managing cost in the cloud, you may not need to build a FinOps steering committee. The need for a more formal process increases as your organization grows and adopts the cloud more. Consider the following starting points:
- Start a recurring meeting with representatives from finance, business, and engineering teams.
- If you have a central team responsible for cost management, consider having them chair the committee.
- Discuss and document the roles and responsibilities of each committee member.
- FinOps Foundation proposes one potential responsibility assignment matrix (RACI model).
- Collaborate on planning your first FinOps iteration.
- Make notes where there are differing perspectives and opinions. Discuss those topics for alignment in the future.
- Start small and find common ground to enable the committee to execute a successful iteration. It's OK if you don't solve every problem.
- Document decisions and outline processes, key contacts, and required activities. Documentation can be a small checklist in early stages. Focus on winning as one rather than documenting everything and executing perfectly.
Building on the basics
At this point, you have a regular cadence of meetings, but not much structure. As you move beyond the basics, consider the following points:
- Review the FinOps Framework guidance for how to best scale out your FinOps steering committee efforts.
- Review the Cloud Adoption Framework guidance for tips on how to drive organizational alignment on a larger scale. You may find opportunities to align with other governance initiatives.
Learn more at the FinOps Foundation
This capability is a part of the FinOps Framework by the FinOps Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to advancing cloud cost management and optimization. For more information about FinOps, including useful playbooks, training and certification programs, see the Establishing a FinOps decision and accountability structure capability article in the FinOps Framework documentation.