Organization Priorities - Operational Excellence Pillar

Organization Priorities

Your teams need to have a shared understanding of your entire workload, their role in it, and shared business goals to set the priorities that will enable business success. Well-defined priorities will maximize the benefits of your efforts. Review your priorities regularly so that they can be updated as needs change.

Evaluate external customer needs: Involve key stakeholders, including business, development, and operations teams, to determine where to focus efforts on external customer needs.

Evaluate internal customer needs: Involve key stakeholders, including business, development, and operations teams, to determine where to focus efforts on internal customer needs.

Evaluating customer needs will ensure that you have a thorough understanding of the support that is required to achieve business outcomes.

Use your established priorities to focus your improvement efforts where they will have the greatest impact (for example, developing team skills, improving workload performance, reducing costs, automating runbooks, or enhancing monitoring). Update your priorities as needs change.

Evaluate governance requirements: Ensure that you are aware of guidelines or obligations defined by your organization that may mandate or emphasize specific focus. Evaluate internal factors, such as organization policy, standards, and requirements. Validate that you have mechanisms to identify changes to governance. If no governance requirements are identified, ensure that you have applied due diligence to this determination.

Evaluate external compliance requirements: Ensure that you are aware of guidelines or obligations that may mandate or emphasize specific focus. Evaluate external factors, such as regulatory compliance requirements and industry standards. Validate that you have mechanisms to identify changes to compliance requirements. If no compliance requirements are identified, ensure that you have applied due diligence to this determination.

If there are external regulatory or compliance requirements that apply to your organization, you should use the resources provided by AWS Cloud Compliance to help educate your teams so that they can determine the impact on your priorities.

Evaluate threat landscape: Evaluate threats to the business (for example, competition, business risk and liabilities, operational risks, and information security threats) and maintain current information in a risk registry. Include the impact of risks when determining where to focus efforts.

The Well-Architected Framework emphasizes learning, measuring, and improving. It provides a consistent approach for you to evaluate architectures, and implement designs that will scale over time. AWS provides the AWS Well-Architected Tool to help you review your approach prior to development, the state of your workloads prior to production, and the state of your workloads in production. You can compare them to the latest AWS architectural best practices, monitor the overall status of your workloads, and gain insight to potential risks.

Enterprise Support customers are eligible for a guided Well-Architected Review of their mission-critical workloads to measure their architectures against AWS best practices.

They are also eligible for an Operations Review, designed to help them to identify gaps in their approach to operating in the cloud.

The cross-team engagement of these reviews helps to establish common understanding of your workloads and how team roles contribute to success. The needs identified through the review can help shape your priorities.

AWS Trusted Advisor is a tool that provides access to a core set of checks that recommend optimizations that may help shape your priorities. Business and Enterprise Support customers receive access to additional checks focusing on security, reliability, performance, and cost-optimization that can further help shape their priorities.

Evaluate tradeoffs: Evaluate the impact of tradeoffs between competing interests or alternative approaches, to help make informed decisions when determining where to focus operations efforts or choosing a course of action. For example, accelerating speed to market for new features may be emphasized over cost optimization, or you may choose a relational database for non-relational data to simplify the effort to migrate a system, rather than migrating to a database optimized for your data type and updating your application.

AWS can help you educate your teams about AWS and its services to increase their understanding of how their choices can have an impact on your workload. You should use the resources provided by AWS Support (AWS Knowledge Center, AWS Discussion Forums, and AWS Support Center) and AWS Documentation to educate your teams. Reach out to AWS Support through AWS Support Center for help with your AWS questions.

AWS also shares best practices and patterns that we have learned through the operation of AWS in The Amazon Builders' Library. A wide variety of other useful information is available through the AWS Blog and The Official AWS Podcast.

Manage benefits and risks: Manage benefits and risks to make informed decisions when determining where to focus efforts. For example, it may be beneficial to deploy a workload with unresolved issues so that significant new features can be made available to customers. It may be possible to mitigate associated risks, or it may become unacceptable to allow a risk to remain, in which case you will take action to address the risk.

You might find that you want to emphasize a small subset of your priorities at some point in time. Use a balanced approach over the long term to ensure the development of needed capabilities and management of risk. Review your priorities regularly and update your priorities as needs change.