The DORA team, at Google Cloud, recently released its Annual State of DevOps report that uses data to highlight the most effective and efficient ways to develop and deploy software. Now in its sixth year, the report is an accumulation of data gathered from over 31,000 professionals who represent a wide array of demographic and firmographic backgrounds.
Here are some curated insights from the report:
1. The Elitism in SDO Performance
According to the report, 5 factors define a team’s Software Delivery and Operational (SDO) Performance: Lead Time, Deployment Frequency, Change Failure Rate, Time to Restore and Availability. Elite teams outperform everyone else in all the above factors; however, where they shine the most is the time it takes for them to recover from incidents: they are 2,604 times faster than the rest of the crowd!
2. Size Does Not Matter
The report found no correlation between the industry and an organization’s size, and the speed and stability of their software delivery – retail being an exception (more on that later). This shows that all teams can achieve better software delivery irrespective of the resources at hand.
3. The Curious Case of Retailers
For retailers, there’s a direct correlation between their size and their SDO performance: the bigger, the better. This anomaly alludes to the cut-throat competition in the retail industry – those who are exceptional at delivering quality software with high speed and stability, reap the benefits by achieving high profitability, productivity, and customer satisfaction. Retail is an excellent example of how technology delivers operational value, and other industries should take note.
4. Human After All
The most underrated factor that defines a team’s ability to excel at DevOps, is its culture: Does it encourage members to take calculated risks? Be vocal about their opinions and concerns? Use their creativity to its full extent? Googles analysis shows that a culture of psychological safety is predictive of not just the team’s productivity and organizational performance, but also their software delivery performance.
5. Is it a Bird? Is it an Airplane? It’s the Cloud
The use of cloud – as specified by NIST Special Publication 800-145 – is a not-so-secret ingredient used by the highest performing DevOps teams; they are 24 times more likely to execute on all five capabilities of cloud computing than the low performers. Those five essential characteristics of cloud computing are On-demand self-service, Board Network Access, Resource Pooling, Rapid Elasticity and Measured Service. The report emphasizes that a team’s SDO performance depends less on IF they are using Cloud Technology and more on HOW they’ve implemented Cloud Computing services.
6. Less Baggage for More Speed and Stability
The report made a bold claim that may seem counter-intuitive to some: a heavyweight change approval process hurts a team’s software delivery performance – increasing their chances of being a low performer by 2.6 times. What’s more, there is no evidence to support the claim that an intensive change approval framework lowers change failure rates. Instead, the report encourages teams to adopt peer review-based approval and automated testing to find and fix errors much earlier in the delivery lifecycle.
7. CAB has a new job
In the world of the lightweight change approval process, the Code Advisory Board still has an essential role to play. According to the report, CABs should transition from a gatekeeper to process architect by helping teams with process improvement work to increase their performance. CABs can also help with important high-level decisions that require trade-offs and signoffs at a business strategy level.
8. DevOps Transformation 101s
When initiating a DevOps improvement or transformation project: start with the foundations, and then identify constraints that are unique to you and focus on improving them. The report found that out of nine different approaches to DevOps transformation projects, Elite performers are more likely to use Communities of Practice and Bottom-up approaches while Low performers favor Training Centers and Centers of Excellence approaches. As for coping with technical debt, the report recommends using refactoring and making it part of your daily work. Dr. Nicole Forsgren, one of the report authors, mentions a great tip for transformation: make sure you are all talking the same language – especially when it comes to your metrics. This ensures everyone is clearly communicating their plans to one another so you can all work together to drive goals more effectively.
You can view the full report at Google Cloud’s website: https://cloud.google.com/devops/state-of-devops/
At Indellient, we strongly agree with the insights presented in the report. We have enabled clients of all sizes – from startups to Fortune 50 enterprises – boost their Software Delivery Performance by adopting CI/CD best practices for both on-prem and on-cloud deployments. Our experts are certified on and have vast experience with core technologies and methodologies to help you manage mission critical infrastructure operations in an agile and reliable way. Our clients rely on us to maximize their infrastructure performance to innovate quickly, unlock new efficiencies and reduce total cost of ownership.
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