• Josef Mayrhofer

Establishing a Performance-First Mindset

The good old saying, "Don't put what you want to do before what you need to do" is not only valid for our relationships but also crucial for building reliable IT services.


One of our business leaders, John C. Maxwell, wrote in his book:

"If you do the things you need to do when you need to do them, then someday you can do the things you want to do when you want to do them."

But, what does this mean for software development?


In recent years we have seen tons of failed software projects. Many of these projects focused very much on what they have to deliver and ignored all the how's. This feature first mindset is mainly driven by product and business teams. Their mission is to bring the next outstanding feature as soon as possible to the market. Tiny development budgets give them not too much air. Shortcuts are very welcome to deliver in time and within the budget. A major marketing campaign is scheduled, and there is zero chance for any delays. As soon as your users have access to the new product, it becomes evident that something is off the track. Support teams end up in problem analysis, and customers are getting more and more frustrated because the shiny new services are slow like a turtle. Usage rates drop day by day, and your business teams realize that they have wasted all their budget. Such a feature first mindset introduce massive risks and often result in total disasters.


History has shown that reliability issues dramatically impacted businesses around the world. Their customers and internal users experienced a dramatic level of stress. All responsible and forward-thinking organizations should protect their investments by making performance engineering a fundamental value stream element.

What are the performance problem patterns?


#1 Volume: High request or transaction volumes result in slow response times and outages.


#2 Scalability: Vertical or horizontal scaling does not improve performance. Even if you add more hardware or more service instances, response time is not improving.


#3 Speed - Response times are not acceptable, and users abandon using your services


#4 Design: Services are loading endlessly. Users are waiting in front of white screens. No lacy loading or caching is in place.

How do these performance problems impact your business?

  1. Your services are slow.

  2. Your services are not available.

  3. Your teams have to rework the foundation.

  4. Your customers are no longer using your sites.

  5. Your image as a quality service provider suffers.

  6. Your clients will link your brand with pore quality.


I am still wondering why functionality first mindsets are dominating the way how software is getting developed. As mentioned above, too many negative consequences hit heavily, and businesses waste tremendous money if they ignore all performance considerations.


A performance first mindset leads to quick value creation because you tackle performance concerns proactively. The good thing is as well that its implementation is straight forward and includes steps such as:

  • Step 1: Start with performance requirements.

  • Step 2: Enable automatic performance validation in your pipeline

  • Step 3: Integrate Ai-powered performance monitoring.

  • Step 4: Automatic problem analysis and root cause identification

  • Step 5: Establish a site reliability discipline.


If you implement these steps, you can honestly do what you want to do when you want to do it. No performance problem will hold you back or draw a bad light on your image as a high-quality service firm because performance is in your DNA.


Keep in mind that a performance first mindset leads to

  • Robust services

  • Reduced costs

  • Increased time to market

  • Higher quality products

  • Happy customers and employees

  • Better brand image as a quality service firm


We are always here to provide guidance and embed performance into the entire value stream. Keep doing the great work! Happy performance engineering!


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