As the software development industry shifts and moves, more and more organizations are adopting and practicing DevOps. By following this methodology closely, companies can see great strides in their throughput, system stability, and team sustainability. However, it’s impossible to say if DevOps is producing the desired effect without directly measuring these outcomes. In this article, we share quantitative and qualitative metrics that can be used to measure the success and impact of your DevOps initiatives.
Throughput determines how much work your team can complete. One way to measure this is by looking at how frequently they deploy to production - ideally, right after a feature is completed. Another part of throughput is lead time - the time it takes your team to bring a feature from concept to deployment. It's important to have a clear definition of when work begins and ends in order for teams to accurately measure lead time. High-performing DevOps teams will go from concept to deployment without any process delays.
Stability metrics provide an essential counterpoint to speed, highlighting the availability and quality of the product delivered. Mean Time to Recovery (MTTR) measures how long it takes the team to recover to a nominal state after an application failure by taking into account your technical processes and efficiency at resolving issues. Your team should be able to recover quickly without significant disruption to service. Change fail rate is the percentage of deployments causing failure in production. While an increase in deployments is typically positive, you’ll need to re-evaluate if they are causing an increase in failures.
Sustainability evaluates pains and areas of friction that happen during deployments. Some common things to watch out for are team members being hesitant to frequently deploy, wait states, and delays due to approvals. These can be overcome by having robust automation for builds and deployments and a clear understanding of the software lifecycle and the business approvals process.
Team confidence requires clear responsibilities, clarity of purpose, and autonomy to create strong team identities necessary for success. Without team buy-in, confidence in the deployment process and the system, all reasonable efforts face an uphill battle. Team confidence can be increased by making deployments as easy as possible through automation and a proper Application Performance Monitoring (APM) system. A simplified deployment process will minimize team member stress and improve CI/CD.
It’s impossible to measure progress without the correct data. When beginning your DevOps journey, understanding your baseline and measuring the right metrics is essential for success. To get started, reach out to the experts at DragonSpears.