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Dev Team Performance and Burnout - Everything You Need to Know

Ann McArthur


How DevOps Burnout Affects Team Performance

For the past seven years, over 32,000 professionals have taken part in the Accelerate State of DevOps reports. Year after year, the Accelerate State of DevOps reports highlight what it takes to drive software delivery and organizational performance. The reports include data about capabilities and practices that can help to improve operational efficiency. 

Excellence in software delivery and operational performance is vital for success in tech transformations. It also investigated how security and best practices in software can affect team culture and burnout. For example, the effects of the secure software supply chain decreased the number of open security vulnerabilities. In addition, quality documentation and multicloud have been shown to have a positive effect on team culture and burnout.

Software KPIs

Based on key findings from previous reports, we classified teams as having high, medium, or low performance based on their software delivery: deployment frequency, lead time for changes, average time to restore, and failure rate. Elite performers sped up their software delivery. Elite software delivery teams reduced their lead time from one day to less than one hour.

Elite performers deploy 973x more frequently than low performers, and they do it 3x faster with a 6570x lower change failure rate. Elite performers also recover from incidents three times as fast as those who are not elite performers. You heard it right: the top performers in DevOps make a clear and demonstrable difference.

Increasing Reliability

Reliability is an enormously important component in business. Previously, reliability was measured in terms of availability, but in a new era for software where availability is a subset of reliability, we’ve expanded the measure to include latency, performance, and scalability. When survey respondents rated their ability to meet or exceed their reliability targets, they saw better outcomes when the team also prioritized operational performance.

The Impact of COVID

In this year’s DORA report, the authors discovered that DevOps was not just beneficial for software delivery performance, but that it also impacted other areas.

With a healthy team culture, employees are less likely to burn out during challenging times

The COVID-19 pandemic caused people to experience burnout more at home than in the office. However, inclusive teams with a generative culture were half as likely to experience burnout.

The best performers are always looking for ways to improve

In the 2019 report, low and medium performers accounted for 56% of respondents. This pattern has changed for the better in the 2019 report because high and elite performers increased to make up two-thirds of respondents. Teams are seeing benefits from adopting DevOps principles as the industry continues to accelerate the process.

SRE and DevOps complement each other

Site Reliability Engineering (SRE) takes its core principles and sets minimum standards for service reliability. The framework includes Service Level Indicators and Service Level Objectives. The SRE framework can bring you both delivery and operational excellence. If you want to be the best, prioritize SRE practices and tooling over anything else. Teams who do so report the highest organizational performance.

The survey indicated that teams who excel at modern operational practices are 1.4 times more likely to report greater software delivery and operational (SDO) performance and 1.8 times more likely to report better business outcomes.

Cloud adoption is fueling business performance

With the cloud, teams are able to move workloads easily and without complication. With this, adoption has risen because teams can use the unique features of each provider. Multi-Cloud is also on the rise, which ensures that teams can leverage the capabilities of different cloud providers. Businesses that use hybrid or multi-cloud are 1.6 times more likely to hit or surpass business targets than those that don't.

A secure software supply chain is a necessity to drive performance

Security must be a priority. It needs to be integrated throughout the development of your software so that you can create a secure supply chain. The most elite performers in the industry were twice as likely to meet or exceed their targets for software security. This is because they implemented security earlier on in the development process while still delivering reliable products quickly and safely.

Successful DevOps implementation starts with great documentation

When it comes to DevOps, documentation is the foundation. Teams who have good documentation are 3.8x more likely to implement security best practices and 2.5x more likely to make the most of the cloud.

How feature flags enable elite levels of performance

Giving DevOps teams the tools they need to succeed is crucial to optimize their workflow, minimize burnout and improve overall team performance. Feature flags reduce resolution time allowing for DevOps to have full control in any environment.

Using feature flags to roll back features reduces release complexity and allows DevOps teams to accelerate deployment cadences through continuous integration with gradual rollouts and increasing software reliability to ensure agile software development. 

DevCycle enables DevOps engineers to release new features without impacting the rest of your system. With speed, reliability, instant rollback, and smooth cloud migrations, DevCycle feature flags are the developers’ choice to enable elite levels of performance.

Written By

Ann McArthur