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Accelerate: Building and Scaling High-Performing Technology Organizations

4.09  ·  Rating details ·  4,113 ratings  ·  420 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 softw ...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
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.
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
Bjoern Rochel
Mar 11, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2019, eng-mgmt
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
Regis Hattori
The good part of this book is that it is based on evidence and even better: it shows us the methodology they used to avoid some problems.

The bad part is that the reading is a little bit boring because it has a report-like format. Besides that, it didn't bring any new information compared to other materials focused on DevOps, Lean, Leadership, and related.

Instead of focusing only on what "works", I think it could be much better if the book would present practices broadly used that have little or
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
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
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.
Lukas Vermeer
I want to believe the findings presented in this book (in fact, I already believed these things before reading). Unfortunately, the repetitive, drawn-out and vague science-y handwaving does not convince.

It would perhaps have been better to not try to support the findings by repeatedly referring to appendices which explain very little apart from basic scientific method. A list of statistical tests used in a study (e.g. "we used a t-test") does not help to assess the validity of a study. I had exp
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
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
Alex Kondov
Dec 29, 2020 rated it it was ok
I heard a lot of praise about this book but it didn’t live up to my expectations. It’s written in a way that resembles an academic paper and presents a collection of truisms and surface level advice.

The point it tries to get across is that continuous delivery would greatly improve any organisation. It goes into detail of how the authors reached that conclusion and their research methods - that’s about it. The actionable advice seemed shallow to me.
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-
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: tech, leadership, startup
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.
Ernestas Poskus
Mar 02, 2021 rated it really liked it
As former SRE highly recommend this for non technical leads and product managers. It has interesting statistical analysis on development time relation to low, medium and high performers (the faster deployment the more high performers org has), deployment even impacts how engineers feel, advocates the need for SRE/devops.
Rory Lynch
Nov 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: product
Unfortunately I read a physical copy of this book, so my notes are scrawled across 5 pieces of paper instead of neatly categorised in Goodreads, making it much harder to share the gems.

I deeply appreciated the rigour brought by this book. So many books about software and software development are wishy-washy rubbish presenting ideas as best practices with no more than 0 to 2 case studies or examples of high performance; Accelerate brings a level of rigour and research I've rarely seen in softwar
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
Mar 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Well written, full of a study supported arguments. Recommended read.
Simon Hohenadl
Nov 27, 2020 rated it liked it
The great accomplishment of this book is connecting concrete continuous delivery principles to company success based on research. Apart from this, I didn't learn much. ...more
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
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
Miguel Alho
May 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: devops
This book is awesome! It's a great write up on the research done by the team and with very clear conclusions and insights into what distinguishes high and low performing teams and orgs. I feel this can be a good guide for anyone in an organizational transformation. The capabilities listed for high performers are clear, actionable and trackable.

For someone like me, who sometimes has to justify DevOps in debates, I now have a good and reliable (single) source backed by data i can use.

This is a mu
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.
Raphael Donaire
Accelerate is the kind of manual for engineering leaders, and it provides a group of knowledge about how to build high performing teams.
As a researcher, I love the aim of publishing academic work without being tedious.
The book has three parts. The first one presents the results of the survey conducted during four years of investigation.
The authors discussed why software delivery performance (measured by lead time, deployment frequency, meantime to restore, and change fail percentage) matters an
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