Factors of Organisational and Digital Transformation


  • Line of business
  • Risk register / immediate risks
  • Risk appetite
  • Public / private / shareholding / equity holding
  • Impediments and current challenge
  • Tracking up or tracking down
  • Industry volatility and disruption
  • Competitors
  • Urgency
  • Cost of delays
  • Cost of changes
  • Regulatory compliance needs
  • Locations
  • Time zones
  • Organisation size
  • Organisation age
  • Diversity of business lines/units
  • Purpose and values
  • Mission statement
  • History and folklore
  • Past mergers and acquisitions
  • Organisation identity in the world
  • Public or private
  • Short term pressure / long term pressure
  • Heterogeneity of leadership / board
  • Finances – cash, P&L, share price, turnover, EBITDA
  • Cost sensitivity
  • Preference for opex vs capex
  • Exit strategy



  • Organisational culture
  • Heterogeneity of culture across the organisation
  • Leadership buy-in to transformation
  • Key stakeholders
  • Prior transformation attempts
  • Psychological safety (org-wide / in-team)
  • Customer expectations
  • Customer base (business, consumer, public, other)
  • Ease of customer feedback
  • Diversity
  • Equality, gender pay gap visibility
  • National identity and culture
  • Survival anxiety
  • Team member churn rate / length of tenure
  • Organisational structure, reporting lines, matrix, hierarchies
  • Geographical distribution
  • Permanent teams vs outsourced teams
  • Skill and mastery level
  • Tacit knowledge in the organisation
  • Capabilities and gaps
  • Promotions, recognitions and awards
  • Pay scales
  • Orthodoxies
  • Defined roles
  • Cross-teaming
  • Training, coaching, mentoring, support
  • Career paths
  • Physical working environment
  • Communities of Practice
  • Remote vs on-prem (degrees of remoteness)
  • Longevity of teams
  • Centres of Excellence / Enablement
  • Stream aligned teams / function-aligned teams / hybrid
  • Known rituals
  • Facilities, office design, open vs closed offices, physical space
  • Exposure to “business” information such as cashflow, profit, turnover, and granularity.




  • Operating model
  • Policies
  • Standards
  • Processes
  • Regulation of process
  • Standardisation appetite
  • Finance process
  • Budget cycle
  • Business case requirement
  • Hiring process
  • Procurement process and duration
  • Adherence to frameworks
  • International & national standards
  • Audit frequency and type
  • Governance, risk, compliance processes
  • Product vs project
  • ITIL / COBIT / other frameworks
  • Environment provisioning
  • Preference for waterfall vs agile
  • Handoffs
  • WIP limits
  • Communications cadences and expectations
  • Current methodologies and practices
  • Security clearances
  • Natural / habitual cadences
  • Agile adoption
  • Scrum adoption
  • Methodologies at scale (SAFe, LESS, etc)
  • Statistical Process Control – level of automation and adoption


Data and Tools

  • Wall space or digital tools – information radiators
  • Data-driven insights capability
  • Communication tools – asynchronous vs synchronous
  • Silos of information
  • Data feedback loops
  • Dataviz and analytic tools
  • Degree of tool integration
  • SSO
  • “Shadow” IT
  • Degree of autonomy / lockdown of machines
  • AI/ML
  • Volume of data
  • Information availability, default to open/closed
  • Data treated as asset or liability
  • Default information openness
  • Dashboarding and reporting



  • Number and characteristics of key products
  • Criticality (life/death or just for fun)
  • Cost of delay for features
  • Level of planning expectation
  • Estimates and deadlines required
  • Risk appetite
  • Reliability requirements
  • Scaling requirements
  • Quality requirements
  • Degree of coupling
  • Degree of cohesion
  • Current lead time
  • Current flow / wait time
  • Current quality
  • Internal regulation
  • Unplanned vs planned work
  • Product lifespan
  • Feature lifespan
  • Marketing approach and capabilities



  • Satisfaction of technical capability
  • Common platform?
  • Architecture – monolithic vs microservices / APIs
  • Potential fracture planes
  • Team topology
  • Corporate network (MPLS, VPNs, hybrid, SDN, etc)
  • Cloud usage (production) – private/hybrid/public
  • Edge and IoT technology
  • Preferred technologies and codebase
  • Build and Deployment pipelines
  • Deployment strategies – canary, blue/green, rolling, A/B
  • Engineering skills
  • Engineering practices
  • Service Desk?
  • Infra as code
  • Containerisation
  • Test and QA approach
  • Work definition approach – user stories, MoSCoW etc
  • Rate, predictability and volume of work requests
  • Where does work come from?
  • Environments
  • Monitoring and observability
  • Degree of automation
  • Branching strategies
  • Existing reliability
  • Existing rate of change
  • Accelerate metrics
  • Technical debt
  • Pair programming, mob programming practices
  • Ratio of junior to senior engineers
  • Dev workstations and tooling
  • Dev / Ops teams & handovers
  • On-call culture and process
  • Infosec team / function and interactions

Please feel free to use this however you’d like, and if you think something needs adding to this list of organisational transformation factors, please let me know!

All the State of DevOps Reports since 2013

It’s not that easy to find all the annual state of DevOps reports, partly because they forked in 2017 between Puppet and Google/DORA. Below I’ve listed each report by year, and I’m in the process of listing all the key findings from each report. Some reports provide greater insights than others.

Year – Publisher – Key Findings

2013 – Puppet – ***

2014 – Puppet

2015 – Puppet

2016 – Puppet

2017 – Puppet and DORA

2018 – Puppet

  1. DevOps drives business growth – maintaining a robust software delivery and operability function increases productivity, profitability, and market share.
  2. Cloud technology correlates with business performance – this is enabled by reliable and sustainable cloud infrastructure, utilised via cloud native patterns.
  3. Open source software improves performance – high-performing IT teams are 1.75 times more likely to use open-source applications.
  4. Functional outsourcing can be detrimental to software performance, and Elite Performers are rarely using it.
  5. Technical practices such as monitoring and observability, continuous testing, database change management, and the early integration of security in software development all enable organisational performance.
  6. DORA identified high-performing organisations in a range of profit, not-for-profit, regulated, and non-regulated industries. The industry you’re in doesn’t affect your ability to perform.
  7. Diversity in tech is poor, but improving, and teams with improved diversity demonstrate higher performance than those that don’t.

2018 – DORA – I can’t find this anywhere. If you know a link, please let me know!

2019 – Puppet:

  1. Doing DevOps well enables you to do security well.
  2. Integrating security deeply into the software delivery lifecycle makes teams more than twice as confident of their security posture.
  3. Integrating security throughout the software delivery lifecycle leads to positive outcomes.
  4. Security integration is messy, especially in the middle stages of evolution.

2019 – Google:

  1. The industry continues to improve, particularly among the elite performers.
  2. The best strategies for scaling DevOps in organisations focus on structural solutions that build community, including Communities of Practice.
  3. Cloud continues to be a differentiator for elite performers and drives high performance.
  4. To support productivity, organisations can foster a culture of psychological safety and make smart investments in tooling, information search, and reducing technical debt through flexible, extensible, and viewable systems.
  5. Heavyweight change approval processes, such as change approval boards, negatively impact speed and stability. In contrast, having a clearly understood process for changes drives speed and stability, as well as reductions in burnout.

2020 – Puppet:

  1. The industry still has a long way to go and there remain significant areas for improvement across all sectors.
  2. Internal platforms and platform teams are a key enabler of performance, and more organisations are adopting this approach.
  3. Adopting a product approach over project-oriented improves performance and facilitates improved adoption of DevOps cultures and practices.
  4. Lean, automated, and people-oriented change management processes improve velocity and performance.

2021 – Puppet:

  1. Organisational dynamics must be considered crucial to transformation.
  2. Cloud-native approaches are critical. It is no good to simply move traditional workloads to the cloud.
  3. Shift security, compliance and change governance left, and include security stakeholders in all stages of value delivery.
  4. Culture change is key, and must be promoted from the very “top” as well as delivered from the “bottom”. Psychological safety is at the core of digital and cultural transformations.

2021 – Accelerate:

  1. The “highest performers” continue to improve the velocity of delivery.
  2. Adoption of SRE practices improves wider organisational performance.
  3. Adoption of cloud technology accelerates software delivery and organisational performance. Multi-cloud adoption is also on the increase.
  4. Secure Software Supply Chains enable teams to deliver secure software quickly, safely and reliably.
  5. Documentation is important to being able to implement technical practices, make changes, and recover from incidents. 
  6. Inclusive and generative team cultures improve resilience and performance.