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The Role of Continuous Delivery in IT and Organizational Performance

Forsgren, N., J. Humble (2016). "The Role of Continuous Delivery in IT and Organizational Performance." In the Proceedings of the Western Decision Sciences Institute (WDSI) 2016, Las Vegas, NV.

15 Pages Posted: 31 Oct 2015 Last revised: 2 Mar 2016

Nicole Forsgren

Chef Software

Jez Humble

University of California, Berkeley - School of Information

Date Written: October 27, 2015

Abstract

This study investigates the impacts of continuous delivery practices in organizations. Continuous delivery is a set of practices designed to optimize the process of taking changes from version control to production or release to manufacturing. Key elements include comprehensive use of version control, automation of the test and deployment process, and the application of continuous integration to rapidly validate the correctness of every change through running the automated build and test process. When viewed through the lens of organizational capabilities theory, CD is an inside-out spanning process. We propose that the use of CD in organizations affects factors that impact the tech workforce today (e.g., perceived burnout and deployment pain), and software delivery performance (e.g., change fail rates and IT performance). We also propose that it indirectly influences organizational performance through IT performance (which is itself a spanning process). We empirically test our model with survey data collected from 4,976 respondents around the world, and find that our hypotheses are supported. The paper’s implications for research and practice are discussed.

Keywords: DevOps, continuous delivery, test automation, partial least squares, IT performance, capabilities theory, organizational culture, deploy pain, burnout

JEL Classification: C42, D23, L86

Suggested Citation

Forsgren, Nicole and Humble, Jez, The Role of Continuous Delivery in IT and Organizational Performance (October 27, 2015). Forsgren, N., J. Humble (2016). "The Role of Continuous Delivery in IT and Organizational Performance." In the Proceedings of the Western Decision Sciences Institute (WDSI) 2016, Las Vegas, NV. . Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2681909 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2681909

Nicole Forsgren (Contact Author)

Chef Software ( email )

619 Western Ave, Suite 400
Seattle, WA 98104
United States

Jez Humble

University of California, Berkeley - School of Information ( email )

102 South Hall
Berkeley, CA 94720-4600
United States

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