New Research: Salesforce Delivery Teams Excel in Speed but at the Expense of Quality

New Research: Salesforce Delivery Teams Excel in Speed but at the Expense of Quality

Last Updated on April 5, 2021 by Rakesh Gupta

Salesforce is the bridge that connects end-users and developers, including citizen developers, which make up a large portion of Salesforce’s developers. This explosion of Trailblazers have bypassed the challenges of traditional application development and led to the creation of millions of Salesforce applications over the last fifteen years.

Naturally, there are limitations to application development because of the intricacies of complexity and talent. Because of this, the Salesforce realm has begun borrowing from DevOps practices pioneered by IT teams.

To get to the root of best practices, challenges, and accomplishments of teams dealing with these complexities, Copado recently released it’s second annual The State of Salesforce DevOps Report, executed and analyzed by Beagle Research. Copado sought to find out how teams innovating on the Salesforce platform can benchmark themselves against other players in the industry.

The key finding: speed > quality

This was a pivotal year in digital transformations. The last 12 months were tumultuous, and this report can give key insights for opportunities to improve and meet new goals for 2021. One of the major findings of this report is that digital transformation accelerated and software delivery teams moved faster in 2020 but at the expense of quality.

The report borrows methods used by the State of DevOps Reports led by DevOps Research and Assessment over the last seven years to understand the unique state and challenges of Salesforce development teams.

Adopting key principles from the long-standing and widely regarded
Accelerate State of DevOps Report, Copado and Beagle analyzed performance across Salesforce teams in terms of the dual goals of innovation velocity and release quality and security. More than 230 executives, managers, and members of Salesforce delivery teams were surveyed in Q4 2020. Here’s a good rundown of interesting findings:
  • 4 out of 5 organizations increased their budget or effort toward digital transformation
  • 4 out of 5 organizations expect System Integrators to help define DevOps processes for their company as part of the engagement
  • Salesforce DevOps talent is easier to find, but command high salaries ($90-140k on average but up to $200k)
  • Change fail rate jumped 10 points in 2020
  • Time to recover surged from just over 100 hours in 2019 to nearly 200 hours in 2020

Where were we at before?

The 2021 survey builds on the previous year’s findings. In the inaugural State of Salesforce DevOps Report released in 2019, findings showed that a number of the trends identified in the broader IT community also pertain to Salesforce. These were the principal three trends:

  • Contrary to the concern that there might be a tradeoff between speed and stability, high-performing teams excelled in both.
  • Low-performing teams struggled with both speed and stability. There is also a strong correlation between company performance and software delivery performance for companies that relied on 25 or more Salesforce developers and admins.
  • The report also found that larger teams struggled to move faster, especially with long lead times resulting in increasing difficulty of coordinating work in large teams.

Where we go from here

Unsurprisingly, the global pandemic had a notable impact on development teams. Overall, software delivery performance has somewhat declined. Teams were adjusting to new remote working environments, economic disruptions, political turbulence, and with any of the above taking a toll on mental health. Essentially, people had much bigger problems on their minds this last year. Thus, the digital imperative is clear. The report illustrates a few trends that teams may want to consider for their practices:

Companies are increasingly relying on consulting partners to guide their DevOps practices. And the job opportunities for people with Salesforce DevOps skills continue to increase.

There’s a strong association between software delivery and the value teams can deliver. Poor feature adoption is concerning since it implies a high substantial wasted effort. Reducing the lead time for delivering features is an important way to increase adoption and reduce waste.

The struggles this year are largely in the area of system stability. Quality and testing will be an important area of focus as organizations look at how to drive increasing value in the years to come.

Formative Assessment:

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