Many of you may already know that Gene Kim, Jez Humble and Dr. Nicole Forsgren launched a new company called DORA. DORA stands for DevOps Research and Assessment.
Some of you probably also know that DORA and the individuals behind it have been providing a lot of the science and analysis behind the State of DevOps survey and report for a number of years now. But beyond the 3 rock star founders, what is DORA really about? What is the business model to generate revenue? I had a chance to sit down with DORA CEO Dr. Nicole Forsgren and find out for myself.
I actually caught up with Nicole when she made a pilgrimage to the DevOps Mecca of Miami. Well OK, Miami may not be a DevOps Mecca, but we do have good Cuban food. It was the Cuban food that got her. Over a delicious lunch on Calle Ocho in Little Havana, Nicole explained to me what DORA is all about.
Dr. Forsgren is CEO of the company and currently wearing multiple hats (you have to love the smell of startup in the morning). Jez Humble is now also full-time with DORA and is working away building out the backend here. Gene is also very involved, but as you can imagine, his time is pretty tight these days.
While developing the annual State of DevOps Survey and then analyzing the data is a job in and of itself, that is really just the jumping off point for DORA. By taking the data from something like 25,000 responses over the past years, DORA has been able to create baselines and models from which they can compare how your organization compares to others who have taken the survey. They can pinpoint where you are lacking or not performing up to par, as well as where you are over performing. The entire process is built on rock solid statistical modeling and has already proven itself with several large enterprises.
DORA’s business is in providing assessments and surveys of organizations to see if you are a high performing IT organization or where you might need help and attention to become even better. When should you consider a DORA assessment?
Consider a DORA Assessment if you have problems:
• Improving technology and organizational performance
• Prioritizing improvement efforts
• Attracting and retaining talent
• Establishing your brand as a high-performing organization
How it works:
Running a DORA Assessment follows four stages:
- Decompose an Organization
- Identify the Lines of Business and teams to be assessed
- Prepare for Assessment
- Socialize the survey and prepare email distribution lists
- Take the Assessment
- Everyone takes a 15- to 20-min survey
- Generate and Deliver Reports
- Team capabilities and outcomes benchmarked against the organization
Team capabilities and outcomes benchmarked against the industry
- Prioritization analysis, with capabilities arranged by impact to Technology Performance
As I mentioned earlier, the results have been pretty impressive to date. For good reason too. DORA is sitting on a treasure trove of data and Dr. Forsgren has the chops to perform the analysis that makes it invaluable. With Gene Kim and Jez Humble, this analysis can be and will be turned to helping others improve their business performance by utilizing the insights gleaned from all of that data.
It is only a matter of time until their benchmarks and modeling become the industry standard.
But wait. there’s more. Dr. Nicole also told me about some white paper and book projects on the boards at DORA. Again, analyzing the data of all of the State of DevOps reports they are going to shine a light on the ROI of DevOps (I can’t wait for that one), as well as a book by all three DORA co-founders due out this summer further explaining the science and findings behind their research.
Best of all, because Dr. Forsgren is a PHD professor, most of their work has been collaborated and peer reviewed by some of the leading people in our DevOps community.
Right now DORA maybe the best kept secret in DevOps, but I suspect before long it will be a household name for those who are striving to be part of high performing IT teams.