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C2C News, DevOps & SRE

Cloud Usage, Positive Team Culture and Good Documentation Among Key Findings from State of DevOps Report

By Sabina Bhasin | October 7, 2021

Earlier this year C2C and DORA collaborated to bring the C2C Community a potential answer to the question every manager asks: "how do I build a high-performing team?" 

The State of DevOps Report by the DevOps Research and Assessment (DORA) team at Google Cloud represents seven years of research and data from more than 32,000 professionals worldwide, according to the research team. Their research "examines the capabilities and practices that drive software delivery, operational, and organizational performance," according to the research team.

The team uses rigorous statistical techniques to "understand the practices that lead to excellence in technology delivery and to powerful business outcomes." Their data-driven insights detail the most effective and efficient ways to develop and deliver technology.

Our research continues to show that excellence in software delivery and operational performance drives organizational performance in technology transformations. To allow teams to benchmark themselves against the industry, we use a cluster analysis to form meaningful performance categories (such as low, medium, high, or elite performers). After your teams have a sense of their current performance relative to the industry, you can use the findings from our predictive analysis to target practices and capabilities to improve key outcomes, and eventually your relative position. This year we emphasize the importance of meeting reliability targets, integrating security throughout the software supply chain, creating quality internal documentation, and leveraging the cloud to its fullest potential. We also explore whether a positive team culture can mitigate the effects of working remotely as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. To make meaningful improvements, teams must adopt a philosophy of continuous improvement. Use the benchmarks to measure your current state, identify constraints based on the capabilities investigated by the research, and experiment with improvements to relieve those constraints. Experimentation will involve a mix of victories and failures, but in both scenarios teams can take meaningful actions as a result of lessons learned.

Key Findings

The report is lengthy but it details six key areas that help ensure strong, efficient and effective software delivery teams. Please note, these findings re-published courtesy the DORA team's research report.  

  1. The highest performers are growing and continue to raise the bar. Elite performers now make up 26% of teams in our study, and have decreased their lead times for changes to production. The industry continues to accelerate, and teams see meaningful benefits from doing so.
  2. SRE and DevOps are complementary philosophies. Teams that leverage modern operational practices outlined by our Site Reliability Engineering (SRE) friends report higher operational performance. Teams that prioritize both delivery and operational excellence report the highest organizational performance.
  3. More teams are leveraging the cloud and see significant benefits from doing so. Teams continue to move workloads to the cloud and those that leverage all five capabilities of cloud see increases in software delivery and operational (SDO) performance, and in organizational performance. Multi-cloud adoption is also on the rise so that teams can leverage the unique capabilities of each provider.
  4. A secure software supply chain is both essential and drives performance. Given the significant increase in malicious attacks in recent years, organizations must shift from reactive practices to proactive and diagnostic measures. Teams that integrate security practices throughout their software supply chain deliver software quickly, reliably, and safely.
  5. Good documentation is foundational for successfully implementing DevOps capabilities. For the first time, we measured the quality of internal documentation and practices that contribute to this quality. Teams with high quality documentation are better able to implement technical practices and perform better as a whole.
  6. A positive team culture mitigates burnout during challenging circumstances. Team culture makes a large difference to a team's ability to deliver software and meet or exceed their organizational goals. Inclusive teams with a generative1,2 culture experienced less burnout during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Read the article on the Google Cloud Blog, but if you want the full report, here is the PDF


New to DORA and this insight? We got you covered! Check out the links to previous DORA articles, videos and more from C2C.


Extra Credit


First event with  @nathenharvey   explaining DORA to the C2C Community and previous findings:

Second event with  @nathenharvey  discussing results and how to use them: 

The C2C final call to the community to participate with more details about what DORA is, and why it's valuable:

Hey, you should check out DORA, you can learn more about it in this article: 


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