Culture outperforms AI in software team performance, reveals a Google-sponsored survey

software team performance

Over the years, we’ve closely monitored Uptime’s software team performance. It’s been evident that despite the inherently technical nature of IT and software development, the human element remains constant. Our experiences have taught us that the most effective way to achieve high-level team performance is through a blend of nurturing a strong team culture and adhering to specific processes. 

These observations are further reinforced by the insights in the Google-sponsored survey, The Accelerate State of DevOps 2023 report. The data, collected from nearly 3,000 professionals, supports what we’ve witnessed in Uptime’s software team performance. One notable trend highlighted in the survey pertains to the growing gap between high-performing and low-performing software development teams. Now, let’s delve into these crucial insights from the survey to explore how to cultivate high-performance teams:

  1. Elite vs. low-performing teams: 

The report identifies an elite tier of software teams (18% of respondents) characterised by rapid change lead times and quick recovery from failures, while low-performing teams take longer to deploy changes and have a high change failure rate.

  1. Key success factors: 

High-performing teams focus on user-centric development, foster a low-blame, high-trust culture, prioritise rapid code reviews, and maintain loosely coupled software architectures.

  1. Documentation is essential: 

Documentation improves technical capabilities on organisational productivity. For instance, with high-quality documentation overall team performance can improve up to 25%.

  1. AI’s impact: 

While there is enthusiasm for AI in development, the report indicates that AI is currently having a limited effect on productivity. It may improve an individual well-being but has a neutral or potentially negative impact on team and software delivery performance.

  1. Cloud adoption: 

Public cloud adoption may decrease software and operational performance unless teams use flexible infrastructure. Simply “lifting and shifting” to the cloud may not result in any benefits.

  1. Culture above all: 

A positive organisational culture and team have the biggest influence on technical capabilities, employee well-being and other success indicators. A healthy culture leads to reduced burnout, greater productivity, and job satisfaction. 

In a rapidly evolving technological landscape, the report serves as a valuable resource for organisations looking to navigate the complexities of software development. By focusing on these key takeaways, following processes and cultivating team culture, businesses can create an environment where both employees and software thrive. 

Now that you have gained an understanding on what to keep in mind when building a thriving environment for your software organisation, let’s dive a bit deeper and take it to the individual software project level. Explore the 8 success factors of a sustainable, high-quality software project and join our workshop to discover how to effectively put these principles into practice.

Read more about the workshop on writing a high-quality and sustainable software!

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