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The science

Agility and reliability
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The empirical evidence behind high-performing organisations.


The DevOps Handbook  authors Jez Humble and Gene Kim describe the data they collected from over 25,000 technology professionals as part of the Puppet Labs State of DevOps report. “The first surprise this data revealed was how much high-performing organisations using DevOps practices were outperforming their non-high performing peers in the following areas:

  • Throughput metrics

  • Code and change deployments (thirty times more frequent)

  • Code and change deployment lead time (two hundred times faster)

  • Reliability metrics

  • Production deployments (sixty time higher change success rate)

  • Mean time to restore service (168 times faster)

  • Organisational performance metrics

  • Productivity, market share, and profitability goals (two times more likely to succeed)

  • Market capitalisation growth (50% higher over three years).” (Kim, Humble, Debois and Willis, 2016, Introduction pg xxxii)

The DORA metrics
An image to represent the DORA metrics

Measuring performance in software development is difficult because much of what we want to measure is invisible. Fortunately Nicole Forsgren, Jez Humble and Gene Kim have cracked the science of lean software and devops in their ground breaking book, Accelerate: Building and Scaling High Performing Technology Organisations.


Accelerate considers organisational performance in terms of profitability, market share and productivity. The winners and losers in were stark when evaluated by four simple metrics:

  • Lead time for changes

  • Deployment frequency

  • Mean time to recovery (MTTR)

  • Change failure rate


“Analysis over several years found high-performing organisations were consistently twice as likely to exceed these goals than low performers. This demonstrates that your organisation’s software delivery capability can in fact provide a competitive advantage to your business”. 

“We found that high-performers were also twice as likely to exceed objectives in quality of goods and services, operating efficiency, customer satisfaction, quality of products or services, and achieving organisation or mission goals.” (Forsgren, Humble and Kim, 2018, pg 24).

At Midnyte City, much of our work is closely aligned to the proven, empirical approach to measuring software delivery performance outlined in Accelerate. 

If you would like help to implement DORA metrics in your team or organisation, get in contact via the contact form for a free and confidential discussion.

What does “good” look like?

High performance technology teams have some fundamental shared characteristics, including but not limited to:


  1. Small poly-skilled, cross-functional teams iteratively delivering features or value

  2. Increasing rates of predictable production deployments. This provides each team with rapid feedback on the immediate effects of their decisions, energy and efforts

  3. On demand infrastructure so the output of the delivery teams is not constrained by a bottleneck for environments 

  4. Automated testing helps us identify our mistakes earlier in the software development process, when they are vastly less expensive to remedy and rectify

  5. Invested, involved, empowered, strategically-aligned product owners making regular critical decisions that guides the work the technology teams prioritise and deliver

  6. A culture of continuous learning and continuous improvement

If you would like help to achieve any of the goals outlined above, or to uplift the technical or devops capability in your team, please get in touch via the contact form for a free and confidential initial conversation.


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