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The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Performance Teams [PerfNow 2019]

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Over the past year, I've talked with companies of all types – retail, media, travel, software, and more – and all sizes – from SMBs to huge enterprises. I was inspired to see how different organizations approach creating a robust performance culture.

The one thing they all have in common is agreeing that performance culture is the single greatest success variable. Having a strong culture of performance can help:

• Prevent regression
• Reduce gatekeeping
• Increase investment from the business

In this talk at the performance.now() conference in Amsterdam, I shared tips and best practices gleaned from scores of conversations with people and companies who are leading the way down the path to performance.

Published in: Internet
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The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Performance Teams [PerfNow 2019]

  1. 1. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Performance Teams @tameverts #perfnow
  2. 2. @tameverts WPOstats.com
  3. 3. “The largest hurdle to creating and maintaining stellar site performance is the culture of your organization. Lara Hogan designingforperformance.com
  4. 4. “No matter the size or type of team, it can be a challenge to educate, incentivize, and empower those around you. “Performance more often comes down to a cultural challenge, rather than simply a technical one.” Lara Hogan designingforperformance.com
  5. 5. Educate Incentivize Empower
  6. 6. @tameverts #perfnow
  7. 7. 2009 Improved average load time from 6s  1.2s 7-12% increase in conversion rate + 25% increase in PVs Average load time degraded to 5s User feedback: “I will not come back to this site again.” Re-focused on performance 0.4% increase in conversion rate 2010 2011 @tameverts #perfnow
  8. 8. 1. No front-end measurement 2. Constant feature development 3. Badly implemented third-parties 4. Waiting too long to tackle performance problems 5. Relying on performance sprints
  9. 9. 1. Performance is a marathon, not a sprint
  10. 10.  Having a plan  Setting clear goals  Rigorous tracking (and fun tools)  Building community spirit  Celebrating milestones Marathon training involves… @tameverts #perfnow
  11. 11. 2. Have a champion higher up
  12. 12. 3. Then build a cross-disciplinary team
  13. 13. Awesome tools ≠Enough
  14. 14. Everyone who touches a page should care about the performance of that page.
  15. 15. Embrace performance from the ground up. Embed engineers into other teams. Enlist performance ambassadors. Teach people how to use (or at least understand) the monitoring tools you use. #perfnow@tameverts
  16. 16. It’s perilously easy to accidentally become a gatekeeper.
  17. 17. 4. Set shared goals
  18. 18. We first went to the engineering leaders, and then we went to our product leader. Our pitch was totally different... Reefath Rajali // PayPal chasingwaterfalls.io/episodes/episode-two-with-reefath-rajali/
  19. 19. “When we went to our product leaders, we spoke more about the business numbers and the business benefits. “When we spoke to our engineering leaders, it was more about our consumer delight.” Reefath Rajali // PayPal chasingwaterfalls.io/episodes/episode-two-with-reefath-rajali/
  20. 20. Find out what people care about
  21. 21. ❑ bounce rate ❑ cart size ❑ conversions ❑ revenue ❑ time on site ❑ page views ❑ SEO ❑ user happiness ❑ user retention ❑ competitors @tameverts #perfnow
  22. 22. If they care about business metrics…
  23. 23. If they care about user engagement…
  24. 24. If they care about SEO…
  25. 25. If they care about third parties…
  26. 26. Who they are What they care about What to show them Executives Competition Business impact Benchmarks (filmstrips and videos) Correlation charts (perf + KPIs) Marketing Third parties Traffic + engagement SEO Content Third-party performance Correlation charts (perf + bounce rate) Lighthouse SEO audits Image size Devs / engineers Well, lots of stuff, probably Consult with perf team @tameverts #perfnow
  27. 27. 5. Make everyone accountable
  28. 28. Performance budgets addyosmani.com/blog/performance-budgets/ Milestone timings (e.g. start render) Quantity-based (e.g. image weight) Rules-based (e.g. Lighthouse scores)
  29. 29. A good performance budget should show you… What your budget is When you go out of bounds How long you’re out of bounds When you’re back within budget @tameverts #perfnow
  30. 30. https://www.zillow.com/tech/bigger-faster-more-engaging-budget/
  31. 31. https://www.zillow.com/tech/bigger-faster-more-engaging-budget/
  32. 32. Who What Metric Ops Back-end issues TTFB Marketing Most important content Third parties SEO Hero rendering times, LCP Blocking CPU time Lighthouse SEO score Devs / engineers How well pages are built Performance issues Start Render, Speed Index Lighthouse Performance score @tameverts #perfnow
  33. 33. Give people ownership
  34. 34. “One of the original directives of the performance team was we weren’t going to set ourselves up to be performance cops.” Dan Chilton, Vox Media responsivewebdesign.com/podcast/vox-media-performance/
  35. 35. “We weren’t going to go around slapping people on the wrist, saying, ‘You built an article that broke the page size budget! You have to take that down or change that immediately!’ “Our goal setting out was to set up best practices, make recommendations, and be a resource within the company that people can turn to when they have to make performance-related decisions.” Dan Chilton, Vox Media responsivewebdesign.com/podcast/vox-media-performance/
  36. 36. 6. Communicate
  37. 37. “We, as engineers, should learn how to show the impact on anything we do.” Malek Hakim // Priceline chasingwaterfalls.io/episodes/episode-one-with-malek-hakim/
  38. 38. How often is often enough? Wall monitors and dashboards 24/7 Alerts in realtime (to people who can make fixes) Reports no more than 1X week Meetups, hackathons, etc. monthly (if possible) @tameverts #perfnow
  39. 39. 7. Don’t forget to celebrate!
  40. 40. !!!
  41. 41. medium.com/the-telegraph-engineering
  42. 42. Score some easy wins
  43. 43. “The dull boring stuff” ~Andy Davies Scripts (especially third parties) Images Extraneous code Defer assets where possible
  44. 44. Shaved 15KB off logo Ran A/B test Increased bookings chasingwaterfalls.io/episodes/episode-one-with-malek-hakim/
  45. 45. In summary…
  46. 46. 1. Know that performance is a marathon, not a sprint 2. Have a higher-up champion 3. Build cross-disciplinary teams 4. Set shared goals 5. Make everyone accountable 6. Communicate 7. Celebrate! @tameverts #perfnow
  47. 47. There’s no magic. Show up with a plan. Do the work. (Be patient.)
  48. 48. Thanks! @tameverts speedcurve.com/blog

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