How DORA and SPACE are related

Nicole Forsgren (who created both) and I were recently discussing how to best address the question of how DORA and SPACE are related, when she mentioned to me that “DORA is an implementation of SPACE”. I really like this answer.

Before explaining further, it’s important to remember that DORA and SPACE are completely separate things. DORA was created in 2018 as a way to measure system performance and guide organizations toward continuous delivery practices. SPACE was created during the COVID pandemic — when leaders were scrutinizing the impact of remote work on productivity — to suggest broader ways of measuring productivity than metrics like lines of code written.

But back to the point Nicole was making: although DORA and SPACE focus on different things, one way to relate them is to think of DORA as an implementation of SPACE. That is, the SPACE framework defines an array of dimensions through which to understand productivity, and DORA is an application of SPACE for the specific purpose of measuring system performance.

I hope this helps with thinking about how these two approaches relate.

November 7, 2023

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