Have you started implementing DevOps in your organization? If so, how can you tell if you are getting tangible results? How do you measure success?
The answer to these questions can be discovered by monitoring some key metrics while using DevOps methodology.
There are several ways to measure the quality of a system or application. However, in this blog, we are going to be talking about the different parameters to measure the quality of the process. This will help you decipher the strong and weak points and better understand the room for improvement in your DevOps practices.
What are DevOps metrics?
DevOps metrics are the exact readings of a development pipeline that denote the performance of both the team and the project they work on. It is healthy to regularly track DevOps metrics as it helps us to find and resolve any kind of problems during development and operations.
In simple terms, DevOps is a practice that brings different teams together for a collaborative and faster approach toward a task. Their metrics are used to achieve DevOps success by tracking processes, pipelines, and tools.
Understanding Agile & DevOps | Can they work together?
On one hand, DevOps is an idea or methodology used to efficiently get people and processes together for better planning, development, delivery, operations, and monitoring. The major task while using the DevOps approach is to constantly test and deliver codes in short durations (everyday /every few hours).
On the other hand, Agile is an approach to manage projects with continuous and repetitive development and testing for evolving needs. People tend to go with Agile to manage complex projects that require regular changes during software development.
While both Agile and DevOps have their own advantages and differences to accomplish the same goal, it is also possible to implement them together. If the goal is to develop and deliver software in shorter spans and address the changing needs of a project, it is better to use them both. Hence it is possible to use DevOps and Agile methodologies in tandem for better and faster development.
Define what DevOps means to your organization
Organizations look to implement DevOps methodology in their projects for several different reasons. It is not necessary for all to take the approach for the same reason. Hence it becomes a key to understand how DevOps is going to help you grow. Only when you are able to define DevOps’ importance for your organization you can use it for the best desired results.
Identify your DevOps challenges
Said that, it is important to know what existing challenges your organization is facing and what challenges are expected to start measuring DevOps metrics. Because, not all companies go through the same set of issues while developing an application or software. By finding out where the organizations’ personal challenges lie before completing a project you can use selective DevOps metrics to better the process.
For example, if a company is weak at deployment frequency and mean time to recovery (MTTR), it can measure the same metrics and concentrate more on them for positive results.
DevOps Research and Assessment (DORA) Metrics
DORA is a team purchased by Google in 2018 that leverages data-driven insights to promote DevOps best practices, with a focus on assisting organizations in reducing the span of the software development lifecycle. DORA works closely with the Google Cloud team to offer the latest studies and reports to improve the efficiency of software delivery.
Listed below are 6 DevOps metrics that organizations can deploy to measure process success.
The number of deployments in a particular timeframe constitutes the deployment frequency. An increase in deployment frequency obviously indicates that new business values are added frequently and in smaller increments.
Frequent deployments also mean that the errors associated with failed deployments are reduced considerably, which in turn increases overall customer satisfaction.
A recent State of DevOps report reveals that elite companies deploy multiple times a day – ranging from one per day to one per hour. The low performers, on the other hand, have a deployment frequency ranging between once a week to once a month.
How to measure deployment frequency?
Collect the number of builds and the number of builds deployed to production successfully and divide. You can collect the data from your pipeline tool (Azure DevOps, Jenkins, etc.). The higher the number, the more successful you are.
Lead Time for Changes
The second DevOps metric is the lead time for changes. One of the main reasons behind implementing DevOps in software development is the ability to reduce the cycle time. So, it’s never a bad idea to measure how long an activity takes from the implementation stage to the production stage. The entire lifecycle includes development, testing, and delivery.
A shorter lead time can be a reality by improving test integration and automation.
How to measure lead time for changes?
Average the lead time for changes across a particular timeframe for multiple commits to calculate the lead time for changes. Since no two modifications are the same, lead times will vary depending on the scope and kind of change, measuring the meantime is crucial.
Mean Time to Recovery (MTTR)
MTTR is an important metric in DevOps to measure the time taken by an organization to recover from a production failure.
As much as organizations try to avoid failures or outages, they are a natural part of any system’s life. Since failures are inevitable, it is important to calculate the recovery time to restore the application.
How to Measure MTTR?
MTTR is calculated by monitoring the average time between when a failure was reported and when the fix was deployed to production. This is a part of the continuous monitoring activities performed by the DevOps teams.
Elite companies have a mean time to recovery of below an hour.
Change Failure Rate
The change failure rate is the number of code changes that had resulted in failures, outages, or incidents. It is essentially the number of deployments that had resulted in failures when released into production.
The motive behind tracking the change failure rate is to automate DevOps operations. Automation efforts result in more consistent and dependable software that is less likely to fail.
To calculate the change failure rate, divide the number of failures by the total number of deployments.
Defect Escape Rate
It is common to have defects while developing software, but what if you can find their frequency before they reach production? The defect escape ratio is a useful metric that helps you track the defects during the development and testing phases. By using this metric, you can avoid defective software with user experience issues or performance issues from reaching the production stage and find the quality of your testing process.
What is a good escaped defect rate?
Delivering software that is mostly defect free is important for an error-free release. Any defect rate that indicates your software is 85% to 90% defect-free is acceptable and ready for release.
Simply, when the defect escape rate is high you would have to concentrate more on implementing better manual testing or automated testing. If you find the defect escape rate to be low, the application or software you built is of high quality.
Customer Ticket Volume (CTV)
User satisfaction is quintessential and a driving element for innovation within the organization. This, in turn, corresponds to an increase in sales. Customer feedbacks are a very good indicator of how well the DevOps implementations have performed.
Where user feedback doesn’t act as quality control by reporting defects and bugs, there is a perfect example of a successful DevOps implementation.
As you know, DevOps is only successful if it’s implemented in the right way. You can’t claim your DevOps implementation is a success unless you measure it. If you are keeping a close eye on the above metrics and continuously improving them, your application’s quality is unmatchable.
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