“I feel the need – the need for speed.”

The words of Tom Cruise as Pete “Maverick” Mitchell in Top Gun in 1986 rang true for fighter pilots and race car drivers back then. In 2021, the words stand true for the software product development world, where organizations feel the need to go many times faster than they operate today. Delivering software quickly, reliably, and safely is at the heart of technology transformation and organizational performance.

High-performing organizations today are early adopters of DevOps. The proportion of highest performers in the industry has tripled, now comprising 20% of all teams, as highlighted in the State of DevOps 2019 report published by Google. This shows that excellence is possible- those that execute on key capabilities see the benefits. This new whitepaper from Ashita Dhir, Engineering Uplift Initiatives Lead for Digital and Analytics at HCL Software, highlights key constructs from Google’s DevOps Research program (DORA) that helps us in identifying the gears to increase speed and realize returns. DORA is an extensive research program that simplifies the task of gauging an organization’s current performance/maturity level through four key metrics. These four metrics measure an organization’s performance on business agility, quality, and resilience. Download the whitepaper here to use as a guide showcasing the use of DORA metrics to identify levers or gears that can potentially improve productivity, and estimate the potential ROI against each engineering upliftment initiative.

Elite performers realize the highest benefits from superior software delivery, on-demand deployment and experience the most value-add time out of their days and spend the least amount of time doing non-value-add work of all groups.

High performers are deploying code multiple times in a week and manage failures within few hours. They are doing well in stability and throughput yet must continue to improve to match with their Elite counterparts. As per DORA research published in the State of DevOps report 2019, that organizations of all types and sizes, including highly regulated industries such as financial services and government, can achieve high levels of performance.

Medium performers fall behind high performers in terms of speed. They stand to gain the most from automation, by eliminating non-value-added processes and organization redesign based on “Dependency Affinity”, as dependencies are a major killer to achieve speed at enterprise scale. Lean principles and practices like Value Stream Management and WIP limits drive higher software delivery and organizational performance by identifying “non-value-added” work.

Low IT performers operate traditionally, have complex legacy systems, or possibly have just started their journey of DevOps. They have the most opportunities in all areas of people, process, and technology. Focus on burning down technical debt and optimizing for speed and value over cost.

HCL Software’s DORA assessment conducted for clients across various industry domains provide evidence-based guidance that a Low to Medium performing organization can achieve desired speed by driving continuous improvement in engineering practices, cloud adoption, organizational practices (including change approval processes), lean practices, and culture. A path forward stated simplistically will be: Begin with foundations, and then adopt a continuous improvement mindset by identifying and tackling your unique constraint. Once those constraints no longer hold you back, repeat the process.

Click here to download the whitepaper, Becoming a High Performing Organization with an Engineering-First Mindset.

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