Getting to the Root of High Performance—Help Us!



How do you figure out which IT practices create high-performing teams? You ask the experts—that is, the teams that are developing and delivering software.

My company, DevOps Research and Assessment (DORA), was founded to transform the IT industry by instituting a scientific approach to software development, product management, and organizational change. To do that, we go beyond sharing anecdotes and instead use rigorous, data-driven research methodologies to figure out which key practices create high-performing teams. We survey a broad set of technologists, over a wide variety of companies, which work with a vast array of tools to find a common set of patterns that work across the board. (And you can help contribute to this world-leading research! The 2018 Accelerate State of DevOps Survey just launched, and we would love to hear from you! It only takes about 20 minutes.)

Previously, our research has shown that practices like small-batch deployments, trunk-based development, and test automation are directly correlated with high performance on both a technical level (faster recovery times, lower change failure rates, etc.) and a business level (increased profitability, greater market share, and so on). We’ve examined the role that lean management practices, application architecture, and deployment pains have on team success. We’ve also confirmed that there’s a lot more to IT performance than just technical practices. Organizations need to create an empowering culture, increase diversity, and invest in their people as much as they do in their technology.

We’ve also started to discover new findings about the influence that leadership has on DevOps transformation initiatives, and what indicates effective transformational leadership traits. A number of organizational factors can lead to high performance, including architecture and team structure. High-performing teams need an integrated platform to share data from diverse sources that include internal application delivery, application performance, and systems infrastructure (cloud, on-prem, API, serverless). And from the customer perspective, it’s important to know what the elements do, how they interact, and how new code impacts business goals.

The reason we’ve been able to reach these conclusions is because we ask you to tell us about how you work. Your participation in our surveys has provided us with over 27,000 different responses that we analyze to get to the root of high performance.

We’ve just launched a new survey in collaboration with Google Cloud. The 2018 Accelerate State of DevOps Survey will allow us to unlock new findings to help improve management, productivity, and quality for IT teams. Our goal is to help organizations understand how to become high performers by building on the last four years of work, and offering the most comprehensive view yet of truly impactful practices.

This year’s survey dives further into:

  • IaaS and PaaS to understand how cloud computing is shaping work for software delivery
  • Monitoring and observability to understand how systems are being “seen”
  • How databases are impacting software delivery
  • The evolution of testing for faster feedback and better quality
  • Understanding how to review change approvals for better workflow
  • The way leadership behaviors impact feelings of trust, as well as voice in your culture
  • The impacts of how security is being integrated
  • How we think about system reliability
  • .. and so much more!

By participating in this year’s survey, you’ll not only help transform IT industry practices, you might also win a fun prize! Survey respondents who complete the survey will be entered for a chance to win:

  • One of two $500 gift cards (VISA)
  • One iPad Pro
  • One ticket to the DevOps Enterprise Summit (London or Las Vegas)
  • One of five IT Revolution Press book bundles

Take the survey and tell us about your work. The survey is open until June 8, and you should expect to see results this September.

Dr. Nicole Forsgren is CEO and Chief Scientist at DevOps Research and Assessment (DORA) and co-author of the book Accelerate: The Science of Lean Software and DevOps. She is best known as lead investigator on the largest DevOps studies to date. She has been a professor, performance engineer and sysadmin. Her work has been published in several peer-reviewed journals.


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