Blog Feed Post

The five phases of performance maturity

In my last post I discussed the importance of building a performance culture and the common traits of first-class teams to drive that culture across the organization.

The first step in reaching any destination is to understand your starting point. This post establishes a framework for assessing the state of your organization’s commitment to performance. The goal is to help you determine the gap between your current state and reaching your performance goals.

See if you recognize your company in any of the following categories. Obviously, the characteristics below are not hard and fast, and some companies might be further ahead in specific areas. That said, Howard Chorney*, director of solutions architecture here at SOASTA, and his team have found these groupings of capabilities pretty consistent across organizations.

Phase 1: Reactive

In this phase, there is a limited awareness of end user experience and application performance. You find yourself constantly reacting to application performance issues in the production environment. There is little to no front-end monitoring and you find out about site issues from your customer base. Ad hoc “war rooms” are being formed, but there is no formal application performance testing process.

Phase 2: Aware

You have a basic awareness of application performance and can identify issues. However, the ability to mitigate those issues is limited and time consuming. While there is an understanding of a performance baseline and you can track performance trends, you’re still primarily reactive to issues in production. There is a performance testing team in place, however mapping test cases to real business scenarios is limited.

Phase 3: Efficient

Good visibility exists into front-end and back-end application performance. Effective problem resolution is in place, with deep dive diagnostics. Problems are identified and prioritized by business impact and a high percentage of problems are discovered and mitigated in a pre-production environment. More realistic testing scenarios have been created, however testing is still limited to behind the firewall. Basic level key performance indicators (KPIs) have been established.

Phase 4: Advanced

There is broad visibility and deep-dive diagnostics for front-end and back-end performance. Automation exists for problem identification, analysis and diagnosis. The majority of issues are identified during the application performance testing process, testing is being pushed left, and there is active testing of third-party services to understand the impact on end users. Initiatives are prioritized based upon the business impact, actively, testing in their production environment. Advanced level KPIs lead to actionable insights from the data.

Phase 5: Proactive

At this phase, your capabilities checklist, in addition to having many of the positive traits of the previous phases, also includes these:

  • Active management of front-end and back-end performance, leveraging realtime visibility to meet and exceed robust KPIs that are mapped to business impact.
  • Collective intelligence from across the organization is used to achieve business agility and competitive advantage.
  • Active continuous application performance testing is executed throughout the entire software development life cycle, including comprehensive production testing processes.
  • C-level leadership takes an active role, supporting the performance team in driving a culture where everyone takes ownership and pride in performance as a key attribute of every web and mobile property.

Next step: Assess your organization’s performance maturity

Ultimately, the goal is to drive a continuous cycle of improvement by measuring, testing and optimizing performance. This means the right people (as described in my previous post), tools, and processes are in place, and these are constantly under evaluation for opportunities to enhance performance.

Given the ever-changing nature of applications and technology — as well as the clear connection between performance and business impact — the opportunity and need for performance improvement will never end.

Did you recognize your company in any of the above categories?

Take this short survey and find out your Organizational Performance Maturity Score (OPMI).

*Howard also runs the PerfBytes podcast, which I strongly recommend you check out.

Related reading

Complete Guide to Performance Testing Retail Websites and Apps

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By SOASTA Blog

The SOASTA platform enables digital business owners to gain unprecedented and continuous performance insights into their real user experience on mobile and web devices in real time and at scale.

Latest Stories
SYS-CON Events announced today that Synametrics Technologies will exhibit at SYS-CON's 22nd International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Synametrics Technologies is a privately held company based in Plainsboro, New Jersey that has been providing solutions for the developer community since 1997. Based on the success of its initial product offerings such as WinSQL, Xeams, SynaMan and Syncrify, Synametrics continues to create and hone in...
To get the most out of their data, successful companies are not focusing on queries and data lakes, they are actively integrating analytics into their operations with a data-first application development approach. Real-time adjustments to improve revenues, reduce costs, or mitigate risk rely on applications that minimize latency on a variety of data sources. In his session at @BigDataExpo, Jack Norris, Senior Vice President, Data and Applications at MapR Technologies, reviewed best practices t...
"Evatronix provides design services to companies that need to integrate the IoT technology in their products but they don't necessarily have the expertise, knowledge and design team to do so," explained Adam Morawiec, VP of Business Development at Evatronix, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
DevOps promotes continuous improvement through a culture of collaboration. But in real terms, how do you: Integrate activities across diverse teams and services? Make objective decisions with system-wide visibility? Use feedback loops to enable learning and improvement? With technology insights and real-world examples, in his general session at @DevOpsSummit, at 21st Cloud Expo, Andi Mann, Chief Technology Advocate at Splunk, explored how leading organizations use data-driven DevOps to clos...
"I focus on what we are calling CAST Highlight, which is our SaaS application portfolio analysis tool. It is an extremely lightweight tool that can integrate with pretty much any build process right now," explained Andrew Siegmund, Application Migration Specialist for CAST, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Recently, REAN Cloud built a digital concierge for a North Carolina hospital that had observed that most patient call button questions were repetitive. In addition, the paper-based process used to measure patient health metrics was laborious, not in real-time and sometimes error-prone. In their session at 21st Cloud Expo, Sean Finnerty, Executive Director, Practice Lead, Health Care & Life Science at REAN Cloud, and Dr. S.P.T. Krishnan, Principal Architect at REAN Cloud, discussed how they built...
The dynamic nature of the cloud means that change is a constant when it comes to modern cloud-based infrastructure. Delivering modern applications to end users, therefore, is a constantly shifting challenge. Delivery automation helps IT Ops teams ensure that apps are providing an optimal end user experience over hybrid-cloud and multi-cloud environments, no matter what the current state of the infrastructure is. To employ a delivery automation strategy that reflects your business rules, making r...
As many know, the first generation of Cloud Management Platform (CMP) solutions were designed for managing virtual infrastructure (IaaS) and traditional applications. But that's no longer enough to satisfy evolving and complex business requirements. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Scott Davis, Embotics CTO, explored how next-generation CMPs ensure organizations can manage cloud-native and microservice-based application architectures, while also facilitating agile DevOps methodology. He expla...
The past few years have brought a sea change in the way applications are architected, developed, and consumed—increasing both the complexity of testing and the business impact of software failures. How can software testing professionals keep pace with modern application delivery, given the trends that impact both architectures (cloud, microservices, and APIs) and processes (DevOps, agile, and continuous delivery)? This is where continuous testing comes in. D
Modern software design has fundamentally changed how we manage applications, causing many to turn to containers as the new virtual machine for resource management. As container adoption grows beyond stateless applications to stateful workloads, the need for persistent storage is foundational - something customers routinely cite as a top pain point. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 21st Cloud Expo, Bill Borsari, Head of Systems Engineering at Datera, explored how organizations can reap the bene...
No hype cycles or predictions of a gazillion things here. IoT is here. You get it. You know your business and have great ideas for a business transformation strategy. What comes next? Time to make it happen. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jay Mason, an Associate Partner of Analytics, IoT & Cybersecurity at M&S Consulting, presented a step-by-step plan to develop your technology implementation strategy. He also discussed the evaluation of communication standards and IoT messaging protocols, data...
In a recent survey, Sumo Logic surveyed 1,500 customers who employ cloud services such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform (GCP). According to the survey, a quarter of the respondents have already deployed Docker containers and nearly as many (23 percent) are employing the AWS Lambda serverless computing framework. It’s clear: serverless is here to stay. The adoption does come with some needed changes, within both application development and operations. Tha...
Digital transformation is about embracing digital technologies into a company's culture to better connect with its customers, automate processes, create better tools, enter new markets, etc. Such a transformation requires continuous orchestration across teams and an environment based on open collaboration and daily experiments. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Alex Casalboni, Technical (Cloud) Evangelist at Cloud Academy, explored and discussed the most urgent unsolved challenges to achieve f...
With tough new regulations coming to Europe on data privacy in May 2018, Calligo will explain why in reality the effect is global and transforms how you consider critical data. EU GDPR fundamentally rewrites the rules for cloud, Big Data and IoT. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Adam Ryan, Vice President and General Manager EMEA at Calligo, examined the regulations and provided insight on how it affects technology, challenges the established rules and will usher in new levels of diligence arou...
In his general session at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Dumas, Calligo’s Vice President and G.M. of US operations, discussed the new Global Data Protection Regulation and how Calligo can help business stay compliant in digitally globalized world. Greg Dumas is Calligo's Vice President and G.M. of US operations. Calligo is an established service provider that provides an innovative platform for trusted cloud solutions. Calligo’s customers are typically most concerned about GDPR compliance, application p...