The Four Work Types of DevOps


The concept of the Four Work Types of devOps does not have a clear history earlier than its appearance and central context in the now well-known moral tale about devOps called ‘The Phoenix Project’. 

It is not revealed whether the writers (Gene Kim, Kevin Behr and George Spafford) based the concept on some part of Lean manufacturing - or any other - frameworks, or whether it arises purely from the genius of the authors themselves, but it is clear that categorising IT work according to the Four Work Types provides us with a number of useful outcomes.

The Four Work Types is a useful framework for:

  • Understanding the nature and flow of work
  • Improving how work is done
  • Investing in reducing work that does not add new value

You can download below the Visionate paper that explains the concept in more detail.

(For further information on on the Four Work Types of Devops, or any other aspect of agile, Lean or devOps, you can check out our training and coaching offerings in the submenu, or contact us at or simply give our chief coach, Pete, a call on +64 21 186 8664.)