Establishing a FinOps culture This article helps you understand the Establishing a FinOps culture capability within the FinOps Framework and how to implement that in the Microsoft Cloud.

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Establishing a FinOps culture is about fostering a mindset of accountability and collaboration to accelerate and drive business value with cloud technology.

Evangelize the importance of a cost-aware culture that prioritizes driving business value over minimizing costs. Set clear expectations and goals for all stakeholders that are aligned with the mission and encourage accountability and responsibility for all actions taken.

Lead with data. Establish and promote success metrics aligned with individual teams’ goals.

Establishing a FinOps culture gets the entire organization moving in the same direction and accelerates business goals through more efficient workflows and better team collaboration. Everyone can make more informed decisions together and increase operational flexibility.

▶️ Getting started

When you first start, not all stakeholders are familiar with what FinOps is and their role within it. Consider the following to get off the ground:

  • Start by finding enthusiasts who are passionate about FinOps, cost optimization, efficiency, or data-driven use of technology to accelerate business goals.
    • Build an informal steering committee and meet weekly or monthly to agree on goals, formulate strategy and tactics, and collaborate on the execution.
  • Research your stakeholders and organizations.
    • Understand what motivates them through their mission and success criteria.
    • Learn about the challenges they face and look for opportunities for FinOps to help address them.
    • Identify potential promoters and detractors and empathize with why they would or wouldn’t support your efforts. Factor both sides into your strategy.
  • Identify an initial sponsor and prepare a pitch that explains how your strategy leads to a positive impact on their mission and success criteria. Present your plan with clear asks and next steps.
    • You’re creating a mini startup. Do your research around how to prepare for these early meetings.
    • Utilize FinOps Foundation resources to build your pitch, strategy, and more.
    • Use the FinOps community to share their knowledge and experience. They’ve been where you are.
  • Dual-track your FinOps efforts: Drive lightweight FinOps initiatives with large returns while you cultivate your community. Nothing is better proof than data.
    • Promote and celebrate your wins with early adopters.
  • Expand and formalize your steering committee as you develop broader sponsorship across business, finance, and engineering.

🏗️ Building on the basics

At this point, you have a steering committee that has early wins under its belt with basic support from the core stakeholder groups. As you move beyond the basics, consider the following points:

  • Define and document your operating model and evolve your strategy as a collaborative community.
  • Brainstorm metrics and tactics that can demonstrate value and inspire different stakeholders through effective communication.
  • Consider tools that can help self-promote your successes, like reports and dashboards.
  • Share regular updates that celebrate small wins to demonstrate value.
  • Look for opportunities to scale through other organizational priorities and initiatives.
  • Explore ways to “go big” and launch a fully supported FinOps practice with a central team. Learn from other successful initiatives within the organization.

🍎 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, and more, see the Establishing a FinOps culture capability article in the FinOps Framework documentation.

You can also find related videos on the FinOps Foundation YouTube channel:

⏩ Next steps

Related FinOps capabilities:

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