AWS and Operational Excellence: Organisational Best Practices

The AWS Well-Architected Framework exists to help businesses make their applications and workloads as efficient and secure as possible. It consists of five pillars: operational excellence, security, reliability, performance efficiency, and cost optimisation.

The First Pillar

Operational excellence is the first pillar of the AWS Well-Architected Framework. In addition to making sure your workload and applications run smoothly, operational excellence also focuses on making small and reversible changes and dealing with failure.

Operational excellence includes four best practice areas, which are organisation, preparation, operation and evolution. Compliance within all these areas helps your company to succeed and grow.


The best practise area of organisation deals with employee structure. It looks at the organisation of your teams and employees in terms of your workload and applications. It’s essential to have a clear structure with clearly defined employee responsibilities and priorities.

Each team should know their position in the company and be aware of how their actions affect other groups and vice versa. You should clearly define the hierarchy of each team to the whole company.

The structure of the workload also needs to be clearly defined. Assign an employee to every application, workload, platform and infrastructure component.

There are a few other steps to follow to help you achieve operational excellence.

1. Evaluate Needs

The first step in the Organisation Best Practice is to identify and evaluate needs, both internal and external. Once identified, you can determine what to prioritise.

External customer needs could involve your stakeholders, important customers or government regulations that impact your business.

Your business, development, or operational teams might have internal needs that could affect your customers.

2. Evaluate Threats

Threats to your business can be anything from other competitors to liability or security risks. Once you’ve found all the dangers, keep track of them in a risk registry. Periodically review the risk registry to determine if it’s possible to mitigate these risks or if they’ve grown in importance.

3. Encourage Experimentation

To encourage growth, build in time for your employees to learn about new techniques and advances in your field. Successful experimentation often results in more efficient practices.

Using the AWS Well-Architected Framework

The AWS Well-Architected Tool helps businesses to implement the Framework. There are also companies that can perform a Well-Architected Review to help you achieve full compliance.

WOLK is an experienced, long-term partner of the AWS Well-Architected Tool who can identify and remediate any high-risk items so you can follow the Organisational Best Practices.