Acceleate - Quotes from the Book

Written on January 5, 2018

Accelrate - Building & Scaling High Performing Technology Organizations is a book by Nicole Forgsen and Jez Humble. It takes on the journey behind the State of DevOps reports.

Accelerate book cover

I had received an early edition at the DOES-San Francisco and managed to read it over the holidays. It is a very well written book that explains the trends and the patterns seen in DevOps for past 3-5 years. I feel that it is very useful for organizations and practitioners who are helping their teams navigate the DevOps transformation. It can help set better goals and hint at the kind of organizational structure and reporting mechanisms needed to achieve the promises of DevOps.

It also satisfies the nerd in me. The detailed explanation of the methodology, the background to clustering and the extended bibliography is pretty intese and exciting read.

Here are a few of the quotes that I wrote down for my reference. And I highly recommend the book!

Quote from the book

Queue theory in math tells us that as utilization approaches 100%, lead time approaches infinity - in other words, once you get to very levels of utilization, it takes exponentially longer to get anything done.

Successful measure should:

  • focus on a global outcome and not on local outcomes
  • focus on outcomes and not outputs (to avoid rewarding people for busywork)

DevOps metrics

  1. Delivery lead time: time it takes to go from code committed to code successfully running in production
  2. Deployment frequency
  3. Mean Time to restore service
  4. Change fail rate

Westrum provides 3 characteristics of good information:

  1. It provides answers to the questions that the receiver needs answered
  2. It is timely
  3. It is presented in such a way that it can be effectively used by the receiver

What gets you to Continuous Delivery?

  • version control
  • deployment automation
  • trunk-based development
  • test automation
  • test data management
  • shift left of security
  • loosely-coupled architecture
  • empowered teams
  • monitoring
  • proactive notifications

Change Approvals

.. approval by an external body simply doesn’t work to increase the stability of production systems.. it certainly slows things down.

Team Experimentation

.. if a development team isn’t allowed to change requirements or specifications in response to what they discover, without authorization from some outside body, their ability to innovate is sharply inhibited.

Failure Modes

Managers should also watch for other contributing factors, and remember that human error is never the root cause of failure in systems.

Successful DevOps Transformation

Though we often hear stories of DevOps and technology-transformation success coming from the grassroots, it is far easier to achieve success when you have leadership support.