Developer Velocity: empower developers to drive business outcomes

29 Jan, 2021
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Because technology underpins everything from how a business runs to the products and services it sells, organizations from every industry must learn to excel first and foremost at developing software. Driving business performance from software development comes down to increasing Developer Velocity: creating the right environment and removing points of friction for developers to innovate. The more you enable developers to build on their terms, collaborate globally and securely—whether remotely or collocated—and scale what they invent, the better outcomes you’ll see in financial performance, innovation, customer experience, brand, and talent.

The Developer Velocity Index (DVI) exposes how well you are equipped to take an idea into production at the speed required in today’s high-paced digital world. Research from McKinsey & Company reveals that “top-quartile DVI scores correlate with 2014–18 revenue growth that is four to five times faster than bottom-quartile DVI scores. Top-quartile companies also have 60 percent higher total shareholder returns and 20 percent higher operating margins. In addition, top-quartile players appear to be more innovative, scoring 55 percent higher on innovation than bottom-quartile companies. These businesses also score higher on customer satisfaction, brand perception, and talent management.” Also, Developer Velocity was named as one of the main trends in 2021 in the Xebia Digital Transformation Trends Report. These results underline that technology and Developer Velocity are becoming more and more significant parts of any business.

Tools, product management, culture, and talent management have the greatest impact on Developer Velocity and business performance. But organizations have grown accustomed to their way of work, the tools used and changing the culture is something that takes significant effort to accomplish. You need an overarching strategy to move to a new target operating model that requires significant restructuring of a traditional organization. Tools are often seen as a remediation of the problem, while they only make a small part of the effort. You need to fully embrace the current new technology, and organizational and leadership trends to come to a full circle transformation.

To do so, you have to assess the current developer velocity in your organization and create a program on improving the developer velocity on the areas that make most impact. One crucial part in such a program is the willingness of senior management to re-imagine their way of running the business. Our metrics show that in companies where we work with senior leadership in the organization to drive change, we can reduce the time it takes to transform from years to months. All it takes is the boldness of senior leadership to drive the change together with our guidance.

Marcel de Vries
Marcel is a key figure in the technology sector, serving as the co-founder and Global MD & CTO of Xebia Microsoft Services. He is deeply involved in advancing organizational capabilities to deploy software swiftly and securely, emphasizing the importance of innovation and productivity while maintaining compliance. Marcel is passionate about technology and continuous learning, often sharing his insights at leading industry events and through online courses on Pluralsight. Recognized for his contributions, Marcel has been honored with the Microsoft MVP award for over 17 consecutive years and is a Microsoft Regional Director since 2008. His expertise spans across Cloud Adoption Strategies, DevOps, and various cloud computing frameworks, making him a respected voice in the tech community.

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