The authors of Accelerate have researched and provided what they call ‘the key capabilities that make software organizations better’.

Types of organizations

The four key metrics for a software delivery organization

What defines high performance in technology organizations. It comes down to four key metrics:

  • Speed

      • Delivery Lead Time: shorter is better - Code commit to production from requirement

      • Deployment Frequency: higher is better - How often is code pushed to production

  • Stability

      • Mean Time To Restore (MTTR): shorter is better - Mean time to recovery when service is down

      • Change Fail Percentage: Lower Is Better - Rate of deployment failures in production that requires a rollback

There are 24 key capabilities that have a proven impact on the performance of software delivery. These are divided into 5 categories:

  1. Continuous delivery

  2. Architecture

  3. Product and process

  4. Lean management and monitoring

  5. Culture

There are 24 capabilities that have an impact on the organization

Continuous delivery

1 Version control: application code as well as infrastructure configuration

2 Deployment automation

3 Continuous integration

4 Trunk-based development over long-lived feature branches

5 Test automation: reliable, easy to act on, and executed frequently

6 Test data management: better test automation with adequate data

7 Shift left on security

8 Continuous delivery implementation by adapting teams, processes, and architecture


9 Loosely-coupled architecture

10 Autonomous teams with decision-making authority (empowered teams)

Product and process

11 Seek customer feedback and incorporate that in the design of products

12 Value stream: understand the flow of work from business to customer

13 Working in small batches including the use of minimum viable products

14 Experiments and having authority to make changes without approval

Lean management and monitoring

15 Lightweight change approval process (a heavy process is worse than having no process at all)

16 Monitoring

17 Pro-active notifications

18 Limit the amount of work-in-progress

19 Visualise work


20 A generative culture of joint performance and transparency

21 Encourage learning

22 Strong collaboration between teams

23 High employee satisfaction

24 Leadership that is strong in the transformation