This work is licensed under CC BY 4.0 - Read how use or adaptation requires attribution
FinOps X 2023, San Diego June 27-30 - Early Bird Registration

Establishing FinOps Culture

Related Domains


The word “Kuleana” is Hawaiian for “Responsibility”. Kuleana encourages us to be accountable for all that we do and is the “ability to respond” to whatever is happening.

With this in mind, this capability is about creating a movement to establish cultures of accountability so that your organization understands the practice of cloud cost management is really about leveraging FinOps to accelerate the creation of business value.

An organization’s FinOps culture embraces a long term roadmap of transformation and continuous improvement across all the FinOps Domains at each stage of FinOps Maturity.

It requires finding allies in the face of opposition, winning over detractors during times of change, defining a common language, creating metrics to prove value, building enablement strategies to elevate stakeholder teams, and developing communication programs to inspire the FinOps Personas in your organization.

At its core, FinOps is a cultural movement because the practice of Finops is more than a technology solution or a checklist you hand to your teams. It’s a living, breathing way of approaching the cloud and cloud financial management made possible by the collaboration of finance, engineering and executive leadership through the FinOps Framework.


Maturity Assessment


  • Engineers are not familiar with what FinOps is and their role within it.
  • FinOps metrics are available to teams but there is no set ritual followed by engineers around the metrics.
  • Leadership is sold on the idea of FinOps but is not yet providing the buyin required.
  • Finance and engineers are only just starting to meet.


  • Engineers actively engage the FinOps processes, they understand the importance of FinOps within the business.
  • FinOps metrics are “just another operational metric” teams monitor and optimise this metric.
  • Leadership is actively supporting FinOps in the organisation. They make decisions on the Iron Triangle by insisting on knowing the cost impact and business value of the decision.
  • Engineering and Finance are aware of each other and understand what motivators drive each other.
  • Leadership celebrate FinOps success and celebrate/reward teams who have wins.


  • Engineers consider financial impact during each life-cycle.
  • Engineers are actively looking for FinOps opportunities, reversing the flow of questions from finance to engineers more to engineers towards finance. Engineers proactively confirm budget and highlight changes that will impact costs.
  • FinOps team advocates with Engineering teams for investment for solid financial endeavors.
  • Business/Product Owners understand that their design decisions drive cost.


Functional Activity

As someone in a FinOps Practitioner role, I will…

  • Establish cloud cost management best practices
  • Establish benchmarks for stakeholder teams to use
  • Centralize cloud cost management in single cloud or multi-cloud environment
  • Create visibility and transparency to cloud cost
  • Align accountability to cloud users
  • Identify unallocated spend
  • Create and contribute to cloud budgets and forecasts
  • Create and contribute to showback to increase financial accountability
  • Advance communication and socialize FinOps throughout the organization

As someone in a Business/Product role, I will…

  • Connect product decisions with business outcomes
  • Predict how much cloud infrastructure will factor into feature/ product price
  • Guide team to make good cloud investments

As someone in a Finance role, I will…

  • Manage analysis and reporting of costs during growth, disproportionate cost reduction during flat/declining periods
  • Increase accountability for cloud cost
  • Increase reliance on budget and forecast models
  • Cost out and budget maintenance
  • Identify unallocated spend
  • Normalize spend predictability
  • Establish showbacks/chargebacks to increase financial accountability
  • Drive budget and forecast accuracy

As someone in a Procurement role, I will…

  • Obtain the best cloud cost rates available
  • Translate billing data to activity based costing
  • Provide visibility and enable understanding of cost per technology license and contracts

As someone in an Engineering/Operations role, I will…

  • Identify service or application ownership
  • Predict cloud costs closely enough for developing new features and products
  • Provide increased visibility to cloud cost to Engineering teams
  • Connect cloud costs and unit economics

As someone in an Executive role, I will…

  • Connect engineering decisions with cloud business outcomes
  • Increase accountability for cloud cost
  • Predict how cloud spend will grow as the business grows
  • Guide the organization’s cloud investments
  • Enable engineering organizations to gain more freedom to utilize newer cloud technologies and deliver solutions to market faster
  • Support the prioritization of FinOps objectives.


Measure(s) of Success & KPI

Measures of success are represented in the context of cloud costs and may include one or more key performance indicators ( KPI ), describe objectives with key results ( OKR ), and declare thresholds defining outliers or acceptable variance from forecasted trends.

  • Engineering teams feel enabled to make cost trade-offs because they have real-time visibility to spend.
  • Education is available and evolving as it relates to Cloud cost management.
  • Active processes for FinOps knowledge sharing among teams.
  • Teams feel they have actionable FinOps tasks available.
  • There are KPI’s that quantify the use of rate-optimization constructs.
  • Unit Metrics are made available to track business value of cloud spend, enabling business agility.
  • The number of business leaders FinOps trained or certified.



the information used that contributes to the measure(s) of success listed above; information here may include specific datasources, reports or any relevant input


Get Involved

Get involved and contribute to the community by sharing your real world experiences related to this Capability in the form of a story or providing a playbook for how you have implemented best practices in your organization. Your real world experiences can be provided in the context of:

  • one or more cloud providers
  • the types of cloud services used (compute, storage, database, etc…)
  • describe a combination of tooling, platform or vendor, and processes including KPIs
  • the industry the organization belongs to
  • the complexity of the organization (global enterprise, start-up, etc…)
  • the [FinOps personas]( involved / organizational roles

Join the conversation about this Capability in Slack . You can submit stories, how-tos and suggest improvements using one of the options for contributing here.

Related Projects

Establishing FinOps Culture
U.S. Public Sector FinOps Playbook
Establishing FinOps Culture
FinOps Assessment Playbook
Establishing FinOps Culture
Encouraging Engineers to Take Action