Best Way To Use the Metrics for DevOps to Achieve Organizational Goals Efficiently

Every company and organization strives for success, creating great products, providing satisfying services, forming happy and dedicated team members, working with efficient processes and effective practices, creating and maintaining pleased customers, and making a profit. DevOps helps to achieve and extend these goals. There are some specific metrics for DevOps that focus on the processes, practices, and methodology that work within an organization or company’s development, functions, and business tasks.

Within an organization, isolated teams may be hindered by impractical expectations, missed targets, delayed deployment, and the complexity of finding problems and their solutions related to the product.

Many companies and organizations follow DevOps for their product launch and management. Businesses may rise or fall depending on their philosophy, tools, and processes of Metrics for DevOps. Unable to find and maintain the right metrics is one of many reasons that cause DevOps to fail. Automated metrics and objective visualization make it easy for a team to understand and maintain and improve its fast workflow.

It is widely well known that many consider the Book “Accelerate” as the bible of DevOps. This book contains the largest DevOps research project yet, which investigates how the most innovative organizations create an ideal example of practices, processes, and principles for others to follow using the Metrics for DevOps.

The authors present four key performance indicators (KPIs) that help quantify delivery performance — using meticulous measuring technique and statistical methods. The quantitative analysis provides applicable insights, for any company, into enabling organizational performance and software delivery performance that is represented by productivity, market share, and profitability.

For a better understanding, let’s explore the four of the Metrics for DevOps described in the book:

Lead Time

The lead time is represented by the time that is required for execution, trial, and deployment of code. To measure the lead time, teams need to have a clear set of definitions of where the work starts and where it ends, such as the time between each final commit and their resultant deployment. The purpose here is to shorten the overall deployment time through automation of redundant tasks and optimize the whole testing process to increase deployment speed. This provides a clear metric for the team and any external customer with which to measure the performance.

Deployment Frequency

Deployment frequency is the number of deployments within a time period. It can be measured in many ways, such as automated deployment pipelines, manual scripts, or API calls. It is more about technical performance than the frequency of delivery. However, increasing deployment also aims to reduce failed deployments and failure related to deployments. This plays a more prominent role in customer satisfaction.

It is recommended that a team should deploy more than one time each day rather than infrequently since deployment frequency is about small increments. An effective strategy could be to strive to make the deployment time half of the previous one, for example, from monthly to bi-monthly, weekly to biweekly, and eventually to many times a day.

Mean Time to Restore (MTTR)

Basically, the meantime to restore is the time needed to recover from a production failure and go back to service. This is the time consumed to restore a disrupted service or a broken database, or a feature breaking a commitment. Measuring the time from when an issue was detected to when it was solved gives us the MTTR. It is not the time that it takes to get a build fixed. MTTR focuses on the DevOps team’s responsiveness towards customer support problems and their potential to resolve and provide solutions.

It may not be beneficial to implement an MTTR approach to all customer support. An alternate method could be to prioritize the level of importance for ensuring that the more trivial issues that are more irritating than troublesome don’t take up too many resources.

Change Fail Percentage

The ratio between unsuccessful and successful changes is known as the change fail percentage. A practical approach is — to target the ratio to be half of the previous deployment. Understanding what makes a change successful and what makes it a failure leads to reducing this percentage, which, in turn, provides highly capable teams. Unsuccessful change encompasses any modification that leads to services being degraded, impaired, or outage. This change then requires solutions such as a hotfix, a patch, a rollback to the previous version, or a fix-forward. In this regard, failure may encompass unplanned failures or anticipated outages but also complex performance degradations.

This provides the DevOps teams a means to quantify and track their progress. It is expected from a higher operating team that their change failure percentage decreases over time as the members develop their experience and also their proficiency. A high failure rate is an indication of an issue within the DevOps processes and procedures. This causes downtime, which in turn hinders the company revenue. However, failure should never be unexpected. The purpose is not to avoid failure. It is to find room for improvement.

Conclusion

DevOps aims to generate value via continuous integration (CI) of changes and continuous deployment (CD) of products and services. Within an organization or a company, the metrics for DevOps metrics can be a convenient way to quantify the DevOps teams’ effectiveness and improvement throughout the cycle of development, deployment, and operation.

The goal should not be to fill all the boxes. A team should know where they are performing well and strive to be better where there is room for improvement. These metrics for DevOps may help make an informed decision to reallocate invested time for better overall performance. Start slow and gradually introduce them as you inspect how DevOps metrics might help you in your organization.

Although these metrics for DevOps offer a way to measure highly functioning teams’ performance, they also ought to be considered one of many organizational goals, such as quality of the product, customer service, profit, and customer number.

Written by

Marketing consultant and Chief executive at SK Online Marketing

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