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AuthorNicole Forsgren, Jez Humble, Gene Kim
LanguageEnglish language
SubjectSoftware technology delivery
Publication date

Accelerate is a treatise on the benefits of the adoption of modern software development practices in terms of the business outcomes of time to market, reliability of service and profitability. The work is an extension of the annual State of DevOps report, and the DevOps Scorecard from DevOps Research and Assessment LLC (DORA).

The authors were awarded[1] the Shingo Publication Award, from the Shingo Institute program at Utah State University in 2019 and the work is now widely cited[2][3][4][5][6][7][8][9][10][11][12][13][14] in DevOps book lists and discussions.

The company was bought by Google[15] in 2018, however Forsgren has since moved to Github[16]. The success of the book is also reflected in the report editions since, being rebranded as the Accelerate State of DevOps Report[17][2].


The book draws on 6 years of survey data from firms around the world and is split into three parts. The first details the conclusions from the surveys along with the supporting data, while the second part discusses the approaches and constraints required to perform survey-data driven research. The final part is a case study of ING Bank.

Part 1 - Findings

The research outcomes shown are statistically significant correlations between a number of recent practices in software delivery and business outcomes for firms that adopt them. Typically the benefits are greater for those firms who apply more of the techniques discussed showing an additive effect. The firms discussed are clustered into cohorts in the results of low, medium, high and elite performers. Some key findings include positive correlations between:

  • continuous delivery and organisational performance
  • loosely-coupled software architecture (and matching organisational structure, per Conway's law), and continuous delivery performance
  • autonomous teams (tool selection, roadmap control, lack of release gating) and organisational performance

The book details that four key metrics differentiate low,medium and high performers:

  1. lead time
  2. deployment frequency
  3. mean time to restore (MTTR)
  4. change fail percentage

These are increasingly being used and adopted as industry standards[6][18].

Part 2 - Research process

The research techniques used and reasoning behind them are discussed in detail in the second part of the book. The survey's were largely conducted using Likert scale.

Part 3 - Case study

The concluding section of the book covers a case study of the transformation of a number of teams at the bank ING. Overall the conclusion is to avoid slavishly following other firm's organisational structure and to find one that matches the culture and teams at one's own firm.


A heavy focus on the core metrics has been criticised in the past due to the potential to miss the underlying goal:[19]

Focusing on too many metrics. Recognized when the team ignores all metrics. Can be solved by reducing the number of metrics used.


  1. "Accelerate: The Science of Lean Software and DevOps: Building and Scaling High Performance Technology by Nicole Forsgren, PhD, Jez Humble, Gene Kim, Steve Bell, and Karen Whitley Bell Receives Shingo Publication Award". Shingo Institute. 2020-02-04. Retrieved 2021-01-20.
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Reviewing DORA's 2019 Accelerate State of DevOps Report: Key Takeaways for Developers". Diffblue. 2020-01-21. Retrieved 2021-01-20.
  3. "Accelerate your transformation to a digital business". DXC Technology. Retrieved 2021-01-20.
  4. Wieldt, Tori (2019-08-22). "Analyzing DORA's 2019 Accelerate State of DevOps Report". New Relic Blog. Retrieved 2021-01-20.
  5. "Book review of Accelerate: Building and Scaling High-Performing Technology Organizations". Continuous Improvement. 2018-09-28. Retrieved 2021-01-20.
  6. 6.0 6.1 "Measuring DevOps Success with Four Key Metrics". Stelligent. 2018-12-21. Retrieved 2021-01-20.
  7. "Book Review: Accelerate". Retrieved 2021-01-20.
  8. Buehring, Simon. "Top 10 books for learning about DevOps". Knowledge Train. Retrieved 2021-01-20.
  9. Marrocos, Marcello (2020-07-24). "7 Must-Read DevOps Books". Medium. Retrieved 2021-01-20.
  10. "Top 15 DevOps Books For Teaching Yourself". Retrieved 2021-01-20.
  11. Morgan, Jeremy; Morgan, Jeremy (2019-08-08). "The Top 10 Books on DevOps You Need to Read". Retrieved 2021-01-20.
  12. "Top DevOps Books to Read in 2021". BMC Blogs. Retrieved 2021-01-20.
  13. Deploy, Octopus. "The DevOps Reading List: Choosing your next DevOps book". Octopus Deploy. Retrieved 2021-01-20.
  14. "DevOps reading list: top 30 best DevOps books you should read in 2019". Apiumhub. 2018-04-03. Retrieved 2021-01-20.
  15. Narcisi, Gina (2018-12-20). "Google Cloud Buys Digital Transformation, DevOps Research Firm DORA". CRN. Retrieved 2021-01-20.
  16. Chan, Rosalie. "GitHub just hired a top DevOps researcher away from Google Cloud". Business Insider. Retrieved 2021-01-20.
  17. "DORA research program". Retrieved 2021-01-20.
  18. "Four key metrics | Technology Radar | ThoughtWorks". Retrieved 2021-01-21.
  19. "Getting What You Measure". ACM.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)

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