What makes a successful development team?

CircleCI unveiled its report on the state of software delivery, examining two years of data from more than a quarter billion workflows and nearly 50,000 organizations around the world.

state of software delivery

The report shows that the most successful engineering teams routinely meet four key benchmarks. By hitting these benchmarks, high achieving teams are getting the maximum value from their software delivery pipelines:

  • Workflow durations are between five to ten minutes on average
  • Recovery from any failed run is fixed or reverted in under an hour
  • Success rates are above 90% for the default branch of their application
  • They deploy as often as their business requires and at least 1+ times per day

Other key findings on the state of software delivery

  • Holiday season downtime carries more risk to a business than the first year of Covid. By setting up a robust test suite, you can confidently rely on your tooling no matter the time of year, allowing teams to thrive and innovate even when team members are out of office.
  • Prioritizing an optimal team structure is key to success. The peak time of work on the CircleCI platform is done between 6 a.m. and 7 a.m. PT (9 a.m. and 10 a.m. ET) on Wednesdays, meaning that’s when most developers are online building software. Simple tweaks to your day-to-day, like ensuring meetings don’t conflict with peak productivity hours, can significantly benefit your team and your business’s bottom line.
  • Team size does not dictate performance, testing does. Teams that prioritize test-driven development (TDD) can confidently rely on their tooling during market swings, seasonal fluctuations, and times of uncertainty (like the pandemic). TDD is how you compete, no matter team size.
  • Aim for 10-minute pipelines. The goal is not DevOps maturity alone, it’s also product maturity. Achieving high performance and product maturity are only possible with code that is well-tested in the cloud, and that means your pipelines will take longer to complete. The three most elite open source projects on CircleCI have durations between 10 and 11 minutes.

“One of the most important ways to improve an organization’s application development efficiency is to systematically understand which behaviors are beneficial and which lead to inefficiencies,” said Stephen O’Grady, Principal Analyst, RedMonk.




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