The Science of Lean Software and DevOps: Building and Scaling High Performing Technology Organizations

Winner of the Shingo Publication Award
Accelerate measures software delivery performance—and what drives it—using four years of groundbreaking research and rigorous statistical methods.

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Four Areas Where Organizations Must Accelerate

Speed to Market

Delivery of goods and services to delight customers

Future-Oriented Outlook

Engagement with the market to detect and understand customer demand

Regulation & Compliance

Anticipation of compliance and regulatory changes that impact their systems


Response to potential risks, such as security threats or changes in the economy

Additional Book Info

  • Winner of the Shingo Publication Award

    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 software delivery performance—and what drives it—using rigorous statistical methods. This book presents both the findings and the science behind that research.

    Readers will discover how to measure the performance of their teams, and what capabilities they should invest in to drive higher performance.


    “Excellent! As well as conclusively showing that DevOps outcomes are faster, cheaper AND safer, this book is an excellent case study for robust survey design and analysis.”

    —Adrian Cockroft

    “This is the kind of foresight that CEOs, CFOs, and CIOs desperately need if their company is going to survive in this new software-centric world.

    Anyone that doesn’t read this book will be replaced by someone that has.”

    —Thomas A. Limoncelli, Co-Author of The Practice of Cloud System Administration

    “’Here, do this!’ The evidence presented in Accelerate is a triumph of research, tenacity and insight, proving not just correlation but a causal link between good technical and management behaviours and business performance. It also exposes the myth of “maturity models” and offers a realistic, actionable alternative. As an independent consultant working at the intersection of people, technology, process, and organisation design this is manna from heaven!

    As chapter 3 concludes: ‘You can act your way to a better culture through implementing these practices in technology organizations [emphasis mine].’ There is no mystical culture magic, just 24 concrete, specific capabilities that will lead not only to better business results, but more importantly to happier, healthier, more motivated people and an organisation people want to work at. I will be giving copies of this book to all my clients.”

    —Dan North, Independent Technology and Organisation Consultant

    “Whether they recognize it or not, most organizations today are in the business of software development in one way, shape, or form. And most are being dragged down by slow lead times, buggy output, and complicated features that add expense and frustrate users. It doesn’t need to be this way. Forsgren, Humble and Kim shine a compelling light on the what, why, and how of DevOps so you, too, can experience what outstanding looks and feels like.”

    —Karen Martin, Author, Clarity First and The Outstanding Organization

    “The organizations that thrive in the future will be those that leverage digital technologies to improve their offerings and operations. Accelerate summarizes the best metrics, practices, and principles to use for improving software delivery and digital product performance, based on years of well-documented research. We strongly recommend this book to anyone involved in a digital transformation for solid guidance about what works, what doesn’t work, and what doesn’t matter.”

    —Tom Poppendieck & Mary Poppendieck, Authors of the Lean Software Development Series of Books

    “The ‘art’ of constructing a building is a well understood engineering practise nowadays. However, in the software world, we have been been looking for patterns and practices that can deliver the same predictable and reliable results whilst minimising waste and producing the increasingly high performance our businesses demand.

    Accelerate provides research backed, quantifiable and real world principles to create world class, high performing IT teams enabling amazing business outcomes.

    Backed by the two leading thought leaders (Kim and Humble) in the DevOps community and world class research from PHD Forsgren, this book is a highly recommended asset!”

    —Jonathan Fletcher, Group CTO, Hiscox

    “In their book Accelerate, Nicole Forsgren, Jez Humble and Gene Kim don’t break any new conceptual ground regarding agile, lean and DevOps. Instead, they provide something that might be even more valuable which is a look inside the methodological rigor of their data collection and analysis approach which lead them to their earlier conclusions on the key capabilities that make IT organizations better contributors to the business. This is a book that I will gladly be placing on my bookshelf next to the other great works by the authors.”

    —Cameron Haight, VP & CTO, Americas, VMware

    Accelerate does a fantastic job of explaining not only what changes organizations should make to improve their software delivery performance, but also the why, enabling people at all levels to truly understand how to level up their organizations.”

    —Ryn Daniels, Infrastructure Operations Engineer at Travis CI and author of Effective DevOps.

    “With this work, the authors have made a significant contribution to the understanding and application of DevOps. They show that when properly understood, DevOps is more than just a fad or a new name for an old concept. Their work illustrates how DevOps can improve the state of the art in organizational design, software development culture, and systems architecture. And beyond merely showing, they advance the DevOps community’s qualitative findings with research-based insights that I have heard from no other source.”

    —Baron Schwartz, Founder & CEO of VividCortex and Co-Author of High Performance MySQL


  • Pages: 288

    ISBNs: 9781942788331 (paperback), 9781942788355 (ePub), 9781942788362 (Kindle), 9781942788379 (Web PDF)

    Publication Date: March 27, 2018

  • ISBN: 9781942788508

    Publication Date: March 27, 2018

    Runtime: 4 hours, 58 minutes

    Narrator: Nicole Forsgren

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Winner of the Shingo Publication Award
Accelerate measures software delivery performance—and what drives it—using four years of groundbreaking research and rigorous statistical methods.

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