2021 State of the API Report
API Leadership and Governance
This year, we introduced a new series of questions to understand at a deeper level how organizations approach leadership and governance in their organization’s API practices. We asked questions around five key areas: vision/strategy, communication, improvement, support, and recognizing achievement. Here’s how industry members see API leadership and governance within their organization.
With regard to vision and strategy, more than six out of ten respondents felt that their API leadership and governance teams clearly understood how APIs contribute to business strategy and also clearly understood specific teams’ API contributions. However, the picture looks a little different regarding the vision of where the API practice should be in five years: Only half of respondents indicated that they agree or strongly agree with the idea that their API leadership team has a "clear sense of where their API practice should be in five years."
When it comes to communication, API leadership and governance teams often say positive things about employees’ work, with two-thirds of respondents agreeing or strongly agreeing with the statement that leadership "finds positive things to say about my API work."
To understand how organizations approach improvement, we first asked respondents to tell us whether they were challenged to think about problems in new ways, and more than three-quarters agreed. 60% of respondents also agreed or strongly agreed that their leadership and governance teams have ideas that have forced them to rethink some things they have never questioned before. Slightly less, 55%, stated that they were challenged on basic assumptions about work.
We asked respondents several questions about how they were supported throughout the API lifecycle. More than 60% of respondents felt their API leadership and governance teams demonstrated a "willingness to change" as well as duly considering "the interests and opinions of employees." When it comes to regularly providing feedback and process correction, however, leadership and governance teams didn’t score as well, with only 53% of respondents agreeing or strongly agreeing with that statement.
When it comes to recognizing achievement, more than half of respondents agreed or strongly agreed with the statement that their API leadership and governance team "compliments me when I do outstanding API work" and "regularly celebrates improvements in quality."