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Part 1 – Introducing a Performance Engineering Maturity Model

Speed is everything, but not everything is speed! Nobody enjoys slow loading or erroneous applications, and bad user experience has already a significant impact on commercial revenue. I’m still wondering that the average response time of mobile sites is 19 seconds. Personally, speaking I won’t wait more than 5 seconds for a page to load.

I’ll give you now some simple steps you can use right away to identify blind spots in your software development chain which holds you back from providing a better user experience. There are different strategies, but I’ve decided to use a maturity level based method because this allows a tailor-made, step-by-step improvement over time.

Whether you follow a waterfall or agile based development approach, there are three critical touchpoints you need to consider if you want to reach a satisfied user experience. I call this touchpoints domains and the PEMM will allow you to measure your maturity levels within those.


Level 1 – Firefighting

Those businesses which operate on this level completely ignore performance best practices and solve the majority of their issues at production. They have often very frustrated users. Their monitoring approach is reactive and log file based. A majority of performance failures are well known, but it takes very long to solve those. Organizations who operate in this mode are exposing themselves to high risks.

Level 2 – Performance Validation

Companies which reached this level understood that testing of non-functional requirements is necessary. They have processes, and tools in place which allow simulation of production load patterns and they share performance metrics across their organizations. For business critical applications they have a performance monitoring at production in place.

Level 3 – Performance Driven

Organizations which integrated early design and architecture validations in their development process reached the highest level in this discipline. They have a proactive performance monitoring strategy in place and continuously analyze and improve use cases and focus on the end user experience. Their business units understood the value of user experience and application performance metrics.

There is more to come…

According to Forrester Research, most companies operate at level 2 at the moment. With the rise of digital services, user experience and reliability will become more important and therefore it’s a good idea to improve your performance engineering maturity level.

In my next post, I will write about how you can bring this model into play.

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