Methods and habits of the new DevOps elite, according to DORA (I)


Unless you’re a newcomer to the software delivery industries, you should be familiar with DevOps Research and Assessment – also known simply as DORA. This company has been growing a solid reputation, since their reports provide a very useful and informative baseline regarding development operations. 

Their latest 2018 Accelerate State of DevOps Report once again goes above and beyond our expectations. This report involved nearly 2,000 respondents spanning a vast range of fields ranging from data & delivery performance and database management to cloud service and infrastructure, as well as DevOps learning and thought leadership. 

This research highlights many interesting findings about the vigorous state of the industry; most notably, the percentage of interviewees who are currently working in a development operations team is now sitting around 27% – a sizeable increase from the 16% in the original 2014 investigation. 


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Introducing the new elite class performance benchmarks

True to its tradition, the performance benchmarks produced by DORA have been rated as either being low, medium or high performance. The turnout for high performers was very large, comprising 48% of teams – contrasting 37% of medium performers and 15% of low performers. 

To provide a clearer persective, the high performance group now features an elite class (comprising only 7% of this group) whose results has been regarded as outstanding. The elite sub-set dramatically outperformed all other teams – with 46 as many code deployments overall, deployment times up to 2,555 faster, incident recovery times up to 2,604 faster, and an overall change failure rate amounting to only 1/7 of the average. 

This report also sheds light on a crucial matter that should help the worst performers achieve better results; the researchers noticed the poorly rated groups are consistently overly cautious in how they approach software development, which invariably leads to delays and less than adequate delivery. 

Understanding the distinctive focus behind elite performance

The report provides useful insight that should help the lowest performers steadily climb the ranks. An important finding relates to the focus consistently adopted by the best performers. The very best teams spend most of their energy developing innovative solutions, rather than trying to remedy and patch up existing solutions whose effectiveness is less than ideal. 

The researchers also noticed how the leading performers in software delivery put strong emphasis in automating tasks whenever possible. This mindset helps increase the speed and efficiency of a team, as well as allowing its members to focus on finding innovative solutions that ultimately provide the most value. 

It’s clear how the interviewed Elite performers use as much as 50% of their time working towards finding new solutions and only as little as 5% dealing with menial tasks such as customer support. By contrast, Low performers only use 30% of their time to advance the work, and as much as 15% being caught up in customer support. 

A key take-away available in this report is that common challenges for the lowest performers invariably hinge around:

  • poor planning
  • issues around security
  • interruptions and distractions including but not limited to customer support work

Read our next blogpost to know the key findings in the latest Accelerate State of DevOps Report.


Maybe you'll find this ebook interesting:

Key Steps to Adopt DevOps on a Cloud-Native Company

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