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Report: 4 key benchmarks for top-performing engineering teams

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Software delivery has never been as critical — nor as complex — as it is today. Business leaders are starting to connect the dots between better software delivery and business success, putting increased pressure on engineering teams to deliver high-quality software at incredibly fast speeds. At the same time, the landscape of tools, platforms, and architectures continues to evolve. With all this change, how can engineering teams not just keep up, but also continuously improve?  

According to a new report by CircleCI, the top-performing engineering teams regularly meet the same four key benchmarks: they maintain workflow durations between five to ten minutes on average; they recover from any failed runs in under an hour; they have success rates above 90% for the default branch of their application; and, lastly, they focus on being in a state of deploy-readiness and deploy as often as their business requires, at least one time per day. 

Teams that are successfully delivering software at high velocity have a competitive advantage. 

Software delivery has never been a more critical business function than it is today. The most successful engineering teams routinely meet these four benchmarks. 5-10 range for workflow durations, on average. Less than one hour timeline for fixing or reverting any failed run. Greater than 90% success rate for the default branch. 1+ times per day for rate of deployment; higher as the business requires.

In addition, the report uncovers the pandemic’s impact on developer life, the ideal engineering team size and structure, and the most popular programming languages used. The report showed that the three most elite open-source projects on CircleCI have pipelines between ten and eleven minutes. Achieving high performance and product maturity is made possible with code that is well tested in the cloud, meaning that pipelines will take longer to complete.

CircleCI’s report represents the largest collection and evaluation of developer engineering productivity data in the world: more than two years of data sourced from more than a quarter-billion workflows and nearly 50,000 organizations around the world on the CircleCI platform. This report provides insights into the devops practices used by elite software teams globally so that organizations can learn how to thrive in today’s complex software development landscape. 

Read the full report from CircleCI.

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