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FinOps Capability: Training and Enablement

The FinOps Foundation Framework emphasises the importance of developing FinOps capabilities through targeted training and enablement.

By building a robust understanding of FinOps principles and practices, organisations can optimise cloud spending, enhance financial accountability, and foster a culture of collaboration between finance, operations, and engineering teams.

Forms of Training: Informal and Formal

Informal Training

Informal training encompasses a range of activities that are less structured but equally effective in building FinOps capabilities. These include:

  • Workshops and Seminars: Interactive sessions where team members can discuss real-world FinOps challenges and share best practices.
  • Peer Learning Groups: Regular meetups where colleagues exchange insights and experiences on managing cloud costs.
  • On-the-Job Training: Hands-on experience with FinOps tools and processes during day-to-day operations.

Formal Training

Formal training provides a structured approach to learning FinOps, often involving external resources and certifications. This type of training includes:

  • Instructor-Led Courses: Classroom or virtual sessions led by experienced FinOps practitioners.
  • Online Courses and Webinars: Self-paced or live online courses that cover various aspects of FinOps. This includes some from the FinOps Foundation, such as Introduction to FinOps, but also there are interesting courses aimed at certain personas (such as LISA focussing on ITAM) and some good (and some not so good) courses on LinkedIn Learning, Udemy and other platforms. (If you’d like a few to look at, ping me)
  • Certifications: Recognized credentials that validate an individual's expertise in FinOps. This include FinOps Certified Practitioner, Engineer, Professional and soon FinOps Focus Analyst.

Internal Training: What You Can Do and How to Do It

Internal training is a crucial first step in building FinOps capabilities within an organisation. Here’s how to effectively implement internal training:

Identify Training Needs

Assess the current knowledge and skills of your team to identify gaps and prioritise training areas. Use surveys, interviews, and performance reviews to gather insights.

Develop a Training Plan

Create a comprehensive training plan that outlines the objectives, topics, and methods for delivering training. Ensure the plan aligns with your organisation’s goals and the FinOps Foundation Framework.

Leverage In-House Experts

Identify internal FinOps champions who can lead training sessions and share their expertise. Encourage them to develop training materials and conduct workshops.

Use Real-World Scenarios

Incorporate real-world scenarios and case studies into your training to make it relevant and practical. This approach helps team members understand how FinOps principles apply to their daily tasks.

Continuous Learning

Promote a culture of continuous learning by encouraging ongoing education and providing access to the latest FinOps resources and tools.

Formal Training and Certification

Formal training and certification provide a structured pathway to mastering FinOps. The FinOps Foundation offers several certification programs to validate and enhance your skills.

FinOps Certified Practitioner (FOCP)

The FinOps Certified Practitioner certification is an entry-level credential that covers the fundamentals of FinOps. It is designed for individuals new to FinOps or those looking to formalise their knowledge.

Course Content: Introduction to FinOps, core principles, and basic practices.

Exam: Multiple-choice exam testing foundational knowledge.

FinOps Certified Professional

The FinOps Certified Professional certification is a more advanced credential that delves deeper into FinOps practices and strategies.

Course Content: Advanced FinOps concepts, cost optimization strategies, and hands-on practices. Multiple essays required, multiple workshop attendance, community and content contributions needed.

Exam: Comprehensive exam including case studies and practical applications.

FinOps Certified Engineer

The FinOps Certified Engineer Certification is a similar level of complexity to the Practitioner, but more specifically aimed at an engineering persona.

Course Content: Introduction to FinOps, core principles, persona specific concepts and practices.

Exam: Multiple-choice exam testing foundational knowledge.

FinOps for Containers

Focussed on the specific challenges of FinOps for containers, helping people understand some of the complexities around allocation and cost control. Not certified in quite the same way as the other courses (and one of the only one’s I’m yet to personally do).

How to build a Full Learning Path

To achieve comprehensive FinOps expertise, follow this structured learning path:

Start with Internal Training

Begin with informal and internal training to build a foundational understanding of FinOps within your team. Focus on basic principles, tools, and real-world applications. This can also now be replaced or supplemented by the FinOps Foundation’s new course “Introduction to FinOps”.

Move to FinOps Certified Practitioner

Once the basics are covered, encourage team members to pursue the FinOps Certified Practitioner certification. This formal training will solidify their foundational knowledge and prepare them for more advanced topics. I’d generally suggest using Instructor led training, this is the only course it’s available and having someone live who you can pick the brain of is hugely valuable (even if more expensive).

Conduct More Specific Internal Training

After achieving the practitioner certification, implement more specific internal training sessions to address advanced topics and specific organisational needs. This stage should involve hands-on exercises and real-world problem-solving. Drive these to specific personas, perhaps helping engineers do the Certified Engineer, but certainly helping teams like finance access training materials that exist from groups like the foundation and then building their own internal expertise and knowledge sharing.

Advance to FinOps Certified Professional

For team members who have mastered the basics and intermediate concepts, the FinOps Certified Professional certification is the next step. This advanced certification will deepen their expertise and enable them to lead FinOps initiatives within your organisation.

Other useful tools

As time has gone on, more people are actively helping keep the community up to date and improve their knowledge. My own podcast “What’s new in Cloud FinOps” helps keep practitioners and technical people up to date with the latest technologies and trends. While podcasts/channels like “Faces of FinOps”, “FinOps for finance”, “FinOps Nexus” and the “FinOps Pod” are all sharing knowledge aimed at specific groups to help the community grow and knowledge improve. Using a mix of these and newsletters that people are now creating will help share knowledge on a continuous basis.


Investing in FinOps training and enablement is crucial for managing cloud costs effectively and fostering financial accountability. By combining informal and formal training methods, organisations can build robust FinOps capabilities and stay ahead in the cloud cost management game. Start with internal training, advance through recognized certifications, and continuously promote learning to achieve FinOps excellence.


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