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

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

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.

Tammy Everts

November 21, 2019
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  1. The 7 Habits
    of Highly Effective
    Performance Teams
    @tameverts
    #perfnow

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  2. @tameverts
    WPOstats.com

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  3. “The largest hurdle to creating
    and maintaining stellar site
    performance is the culture
    of your organization.
    Lara Hogan
    designingforperformance.com

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  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

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  5. Educate
    Incentivize
    Empower

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  6. @tameverts #perfnow

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  7. 2009 Improved average load time from 6s à 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

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  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

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  9. 1. Performance is
    a marathon, not a sprint

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  10. q Having a plan
    q Setting clear goals
    q Rigorous tracking (and fun tools)
    q Building community spirit
    q Celebrating milestones
    Marathon training involves…
    @tameverts #perfnow

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  11. 2. Have a champion
    higher up

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  12. 3. Then build a
    cross-disciplinary team

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  13. Awesome tools

    Enough

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  14. Everyone who touches
    a page should care
    about the performance
    of that page.

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  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

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  16. It’s perilously easy
    to accidentally become
    a gatekeeper.

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  17. 4. Set shared goals

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  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/

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  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/

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  20. Find out what people
    care about

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  21. ❑ bounce rate
    ❑ cart size
    ❑ conversions
    ❑ revenue
    ❑ time on site
    ❑ page views
    ❑ SEO
    ❑ user happiness
    ❑ user retention
    ❑ competitors
    @tameverts #perfnow

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  22. If they care about
    business metrics…

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  23. If they care about
    user engagement…

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  24. If they care about
    SEO…

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  25. If they care about
    third parties…

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  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

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  27. 5. Make everyone
    accountable

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  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)

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  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

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  30. https://www.zillow.com/tech/bigger-faster-more-engaging-budget/

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  31. https://www.zillow.com/tech/bigger-faster-more-engaging-budget/

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  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

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  33. Give people ownership

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  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/

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  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/

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  36. 6. Communicate

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  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/

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  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

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  39. 7. Don’t forget to celebrate!

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  40. medium.com/the-telegraph-engineering

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  41. Score some easy wins

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  42. “The dull boring stuff”
    ~Andy Davies
    Scripts (especially third parties)
    Images
    Extraneous code
    Defer assets where possible

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  43. Shaved 15KB off logo
    Ran A/B test
    Increased bookings
    chasingwaterfalls.io/episodes/episode-one-with-malek-hakim/

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  44. In summary…

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  45. 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

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  46. There’s no magic.
    Show up with a plan.
    Do the work.
    (Be patient.)

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  47. Thanks!
    @tameverts
    speedcurve.com/blog

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