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Accelerate: Building and Scaling High-Performing Technology Organizations

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4.09  ·  Rating details ·  2,871 ratings  ·  309 reviews
Does technology actually matter? And how can we apply technology to drive business value? For years, we've been told that the performance of software delivery teams doesn't matter--that it can't provide a competitive advantage to our companies. Through four years of groundbreaking research, Dr. Nicole Forsgren, Jez Humble, and Gene Kim set out to find a way to measure soft ...more
Paperback, 257 pages
Published March 7th 2018 by It Revolution Press
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Mark Seemann
May 11, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: software
Accelerate presents original research into how to organise effective software development organisations. This is direly needed.

The results indicate that DevOps and lean software development is the most effective ways to deliver software. Not only that, but loosely coupled architecture and fast feedback loops, among many other things, turn out to be highly predictive of high-performance software delivery. Given how I've written and talked about these topics for more than a decade, I can only be p
...more
Sandro Mancuso
Sep 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is a good book. It’s great to have actual data to validate our assumptions or disprove certain pre-conceived ideas.

For people who are immersed in the Agile and Software Craftsmanship worlds and are already sold on the benefits of continuous delivery, this book won’t say anything they don’t already know or experienced but will certainly give them more ammunition (data) to make their case.
Kirill
May 25, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: product
The first part of the book - with the results of survey-based research - is very nice. Although it is almost common practice nowadays to pursue such technical practices like continuous delivery, or organisational - like generative culture, it is always nice to see scientific correct proof for that.

Second part is devoted to the general guidance on how to perform statistically correct surveys. Not sure why it is included here, since it is a completely different topic, that should rather be covered
...more
Bjoern Rochel
Mar 11, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: eng-mgmt, 2019
This book is probably a good present for the typical unconvinced top level manager. It's short enough that he might actually read it, well researched enough to fend of the obligatory wave of refutation and it offers a glimpse into what the future will have in store for those companies that don't understand the role technology is playing in the overall competitiveness of the company going into the 2020s.

The findings in the book match-up with what I've seen in the small with a high performance tea
...more
Mike Gunderloy
May 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book tries to take a rigorous, data-driven approach to teasing out the impact of DevOps practices on organizational productivity. The authors come to conclusions like "lean product development causes less burnout" and offer their survey-based research as evidence for their conclusions.

I desperately *want* to believe this book, because their conclusions accord with my own prejudices: that lean, agile, and transformational practices contribute to organizational improvement. Unfortunately, I j
...more
Thomas
May 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
Although I'm not in a position to judge this well and I have a bias towards the content of the book, the research seems solid enough to recommend this book to everyone interested in IT!

On personal experience I would also recommend to think about implementing the capabilities described in the book.

My only small concern (maybe someone with more background in scientific research will have more concerns?) about the science is about the data collection and sample groups. I wonder if by having a group
...more
Arturas
Aug 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book is a must read for any leader in tech organisation. This book will scientifically proof that Continuous Delivery and Lean Management practices are significant contributors to IT and organisational performance.

Book is split in two parts firs one is going through all the findings from 4 years of DevOps report research. Second all the science behind the research, to eradicate any doubt of validity of findings and insights.
Jeff Mousty
Dec 16, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-work
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Ivan Zarea
Sep 10, 2018 rated it it was ok
On the surface, it seems to be an easy-to-read book that advocates lean practices and backs them up with data. Unfortunately, it doesn't deliver in implementation. It's an amalgamation of the excellent, yet difficult to read Lean Enterprise: How High Performance Organizations Innovate at Scale or any of Gene Kim's keynotes from the DevOps Enterprise Summit.

Don't get me wrong, there are good things in this book. This is a great book to give to a non-tech exec who wants to be in the loop with the
...more
Ahmad hosseini
In the first part of book, authors discussed the results of their research program and outlined why technology is key value driver and differentiator for all organization today. Authoress’s research shows that technical practices of continuous delivery have a huge impact on many aspect of an organizations. Continuous delivery improve both delivery performance and quality, also helps improve culture and reduce burnout and deployment pain.
This book provides research-backed, quantifiable, and real-
...more
Mitchell
Disappointing. And a bit annoying. And repetitive. But not wholly without value. This may actually work better as a reference book. And I'm looking forward to talking to coworkers specifically about the chapter on Leaders and Managers. I'm not sure it would be helpful or reasonable - but I would have liked to have seen the actual questions and answers from the various years - perhaps there is a pointer to this in a digestible fashion online. Reading this straight through felt a bit like a slog. ...more
Arun Sasidharan
Jun 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: startup, tech, leadership
One of the most important books I’ve read on building high performance software teams. Most of it revolves around Continuous Delivery, which isn’t a new concept, but equips you with a lot of data to cherry pick the practices that could work best for you. Martin Fowler dubbed it the best tech book of 2018 and for good reason. Would highly recommend to senior engineers and technical leaders.
Bernd Schiffer
Sep 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
More a research report than a book - and I enjoyed it thoroughly. Not only was I impressed by the research outcome, but by the way the research was conducted as well. Both, outcome and process, are described in the book.
Marco
May 24, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own, dev, kindle
This book feels like a mix of everything: some very good recommendations based on multiple surveys, the scientific explanation about the outcome of the surveys and a case study.
Besides that I really like the message of the book and appreciate the values to create an accelerated environment I wasn't impressed by the book. It often stays very high level and jumps straight into the next topic. Probably a good read for newbies in software development but not so much if you're already familiar with a
...more
Kristjan
Mar 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Well written, full of a study supported arguments. Recommended read.
AJ Bourg
Oct 07, 2018 rated it liked it
The second section is an exhaustive (at least, it was exhausting to read) treatise on how to conduct statistically significant surveys. I nearly rated this book as two stars because of this section. It’s clear the authors are extremely sensitive to questions about the legitimacy of their findings because they spend so much time explaining surveys in general. Personally I found it boring and would have found the rest of the book more compelling if they had left this section as a short appendix.
Tõnu Vahtra
Mar 31, 2020 rated it really liked it
The book provides a good toolbox on DevOps, Agile and Lean principles to follow when building a high-performance team and organization. The 2-page high-performance team, management and leadership practices table summary is particularly useful which I'm planning to use in work improvements, also the questionnaire for measuring organizational culture and the statement that we must consciously "create" time for our teams to deal with improving improving the work (which in long term is supposed to b ...more
Vivify M
May 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book was clear, concise, and packed with value.
Being someone who is more interested in product management than technology, I wasn’t expecting to get as much from this book as I did. I appreciated the academic rigor with which this book was presented. The research findings were clearly described as were the methodologies. And both contained value for me.
Notable takeaways include:
• Culture impacts on performance in a measurable way.
• Continuous delivery has a significant impact on happin
...more
Ioana
May 25, 2019 rated it did not like it
Redundant, boring and old. In all honesty, I am surprised that this book was even published in 2018, because it's so superfluous and recycled. It also does the classic 'you will find out about this in chapter x' all the time! And then you hope that chapter will go into the ideas more in depth, but no.

This book describes the findings of The State of Devops reports during a series of 4 years, but the information just doesn't work well in a prose format, it's one of those cases where pictures say
...more
Sebastian Gebski
Apr 19, 2018 rated it it was ok
Ergh, no.

This book is an attempt to make an extract out of "Lean Enterprise" & prove it using the "scientific" data from annual DevOps Report (that's being assembled by J. Humble & some associates for few years already) - sadly I can't figure out what's the point ... :

1. content itself is repetitive beyond all recognition - it's like re-discovering Scrum & going through it bit-by-bit. This was already described zillion of times, in a far more imaginative way.
2. this is mainstream already - withi
...more
Iaroslav German
Apr 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Very good read to understand how in reality high performing are different to average and low performing organizations in terms of IT delivery. Good angle on measuring the right data and insights from what we believe are the performance metrics. I tend to agree to mostly all aspects of depicted data and the reasoning on top. True story, business is pushing to deliver faster, more often, and only organizations with good investment into automation, high speed CI/CD, trunk based development etc. can ...more
Mindaugas Mozūras
I liked "Accelerate", a book that uses scientific research to show how certain practices and capabilities lead to high performing technology organisations.

The book was divided into three parts. The first part - results of research - was the most interesting and useful one to me. The second part - a general guide on how to perform research - wasn't that interesting as I knew a lot of it already. It felt unneeded. The third part - an example of how the best practices were implemented at one speci
...more
Koen Wellens
Aug 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, 2018
The foreword, written by Martin Fowler, explains the concern I’ve had about many articles over the last years. People tell us what they’ve learnt but not how they’ve learnt it. See it as a form of deliberate partial transparency. This book tries to provide a more open form of the research the authors have provided over the past years.

Read the full review at my blog.
...more
Christopher
Jan 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Christopher by: andy?
three stars for content
five stars for delivery (organization / being well written)

This did in fact end up feeling very much like a magic bullet. The thing is, based on personal experience, and the science and methodology laid out in the book, I guess I'm not convinced that it *isn't* a magic bullet: continuous delivery and lean processes (together with "Transformational Leadership) are big, powerful concepts. I have no doubt that together, they drive performance.

I liked the bits on measuring cul
...more
Jerzy
Apr 02, 2019 rated it liked it
A large part of this book is a summary of the State of Devops research. It lists the devops capabilities and highlights how do they affect the deployment pipeline. I'd say that's the least interesting part of the book that can be summarized as "if you adopt common-sense practices and don't impose on your team a typical corporate bullshit overhead, you'll do well".

Authors claim that the relation between devops practices and company's performance goes beyond the correlation, but I'm sceptical abou
...more
JHughes
Jun 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Heavily highlight this book as there were so many tidbits to take away. The 24 drivers of software delivery performance is a beautifully straightforward list and presented in a way that seems achievable. It's also nice that all the drivers are backed by real data, making the supporting case and rationale behind each stronger than mere intuition.

The transformation story and Management/Leadership behaviours and practices was a nice addition giving some colour and application to the theory.

I also
...more
heidi
Oct 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is an excellent summation of the overall findings of the State of DevOps reports and what the implications are for organizations trying to persuade themselves into DevOps transformation.

When I was reading it, I realized that it was everything you would learn if you went to a couple dozen DevOps days and listened to all the transformation stories, and it can be summarized as:

Go faster, be safer.

This is such a counterintuitive thing to say, but I have an analogy for you: When you are try
...more
Diana Pinchuk
Apr 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: software
Very nice book and I'm very glad that it's fresh and up to date in 2019.
But as I've read it in 3 rounds, I had 3 different opinions about it
1) The first part with recommendations on how to accelerate a company is nice, but sometimes I felt that I miss the details of how actually to implement the needed changes. It reminded me of Anna Karenina's paradox interpretation: all successful projects are successful in the same way, but each unsuccessful one suffers in its own way.
2) The second part with
...more
John MacIntyre
Lots of information on good software process.
Lots of data driven conclusions from their surveys.
Lots of information about exactly what goes into their surveys as well.
Lots of information on how to do a good survey and collecting qualitative data (culture) in a quantitative way.

Throughout the book, there are simple little diagrams. For example, Figure 4.3 is Continuous Delivery leads to Less Deployment Pain and Less Burnout. They're so simple you wonder why even have them? But at the end of the
...more
Karl
Feb 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An important part of the DevOps literature

I am a big fan of Kim's "The Phoenix Project" and "The Unicorn Project" so it was a fair guess that I would find something here worthwhile. So the key question is why should you bother to read this book instead of or in addition to those others?

TPP and TUP tell a great story of facing organizational challenge and move me from the gut. I get angry when I read them and want to make my team better. "Accelerate" adds two vital parts: the research that suppor
...more
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