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4 Key DevOps Metrics: A Practical Guide to DevOps Transformation

Sharyl Jones

DevOps Service and Customer Success Manager

Office two people working at laptops with a stack of documents

Most organizations today realize the benefits of DevOps practices and feel a need to begin their DevOps journey, however, the challenge is to know where to start. The data shows that increasing Software Delivery and Operational (SDO) Performance has a direct increase on organizational performance as a whole, which is to say that – ALL organizations, regardless of size and field, should invest in their SDO / DevOps processes.

The 4 Key DevOps Development and Delivery Metrics

If you understand this and you’re not sure where to start, here’s a summary of 4 key DevOps Development and Delivery Metrics to measure that will arm you with the information you need to begin to increase your performance.  By focusing on measuring what matters,  you will more easily identify the areas that require improvements and thus your DevOps journey charter will flow from there.

  1. Lead Time
  2. Deployment Frequency
  3. Mean Time to Restore (MTTR)
  4. Change Fail Percentage
Source: DORA State of DevOps Report (2019)

From the DORA State of DevOps Report (2019), here’s a graphical representation of these 4 key metrics that provide a reference to where these metrics fit in the software development cycle .

1. Lead Time for Changes

Lead time for Changes (or ‘Lead Time’) is the time from when code is committed to the time that committed code is running in Production.

2. Deployment Frequency

Deployment Frequency measures the frequency at which new code is deployed to Production.

3. Time to Restore Service

This metric is a measure of the amount of time is takes to restore service in production in the event of a full outage, partial outage or the resolution of a defect that impacted your end users.

4. Change Failure Rate

Change Failure Rate measures the percentage of changes to production that caused degradation of service which required remediation.

Where to Start? Measure what Matters

Are you currently measuring one, a few, or all these 4  key DevOps metrics?  If the answer is none, the first step is to select which one (or ones) you will start measuring.  It is best to choose metrics that matter most to your organization.  For example, if you’re primarily a retail business, ‘Time to Restore Service’ is most likely your #1 priority. 

Once you have been measuring one or all these metrics for a period, it’s imperative that the data that has been captured is analyzed by all stakeholders in order to achieve buy-in for the next steps. DevOps transformations involve tools, processes, people, and culture.  Note that tools and processes are only half of the full story.  People and culture make up the other half.  Without stakeholder buy-in at all levels of your organization, any change is at risk of undue delay or failure. 

So, what’s next?

Once you have some data to give you insights into the current state and you’ve determined your priorities, you can formulate your next steps. You can begin to define your objectives and align your teams and budgets accordingly. The objectives you define are to be driven by the metrics, where you are now and where you want to go.  What tools and resources do you need to get there?  What processes need to evolve?

Need Help with your DevOps Strategy or Implementation?

As experts in the DevOps Services space, we can help you formulate your DevOps strategy based on all the information you now have in hand.  You can confidently move forward, one step at a time, and measure your progress along with way using the 4 key DevOps metrics mentioned above.

Indellient is a Software Development Company that specializes in Data AnalyticsCloud Application Development, Managed IT SolutionsDevOps Services, and Document Process Automation.

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About The Author

As DevOps Service and Customer Success Manager at Indellient, Sharyl has first-hand knowledge of the business drivers and technical challenges clients face when implementing DevOps projects. Sharyl's focus is on helping clients adapt their people, process and tech stack to benefit from modernizing their application delivery processes.