Use DORA Metrics to Improve DevOps Performance

22 Abr, 2022

You can use filters to define the exact subset of applications you want to measure. You can compare applications from selected runtimes, entire Kubernetes clusters, and specific applications. All these can be viewed for a specific timeframe, and you can select daily, weekly, or monthly granularity.

The attendees were a diverse group of IT leaders from various industries, including eCommerce and software development. Despite their different backgrounds, they all agreed that the measurement of engineering productivity «depends» on various factors, such as the company’s maturity. It represents the time from starting work on a piece of code until it is released to end-users. Aiming to reduce cycle times often leads to less work in progress and higher efficiency in workflows. As your team strives for faster delivery, it will have to utilize automated unit and integration testing.

The Deployment Frequency of a team directly translates into how fast it is in deploying codes or releases to production. This DevOps metric can vary across teams, features, and organizations. It also depends on the product and the internal deployment criteria. For instance, some applications may commit to only a few big releases a year, whereas others can make numerous small deployments in a single quarter.

Companies in virtually any industry can use DORA metrics to measure and improve their software development and delivery performance. A mobile game developer, for example, could use DORA metrics to understand and optimize their response when a game goes offline, minimizing customer dissatisfaction and preserving revenue. A finance company might communicate the positive business impact of DevOps to business stakeholders by translating DORA metrics into dollars saved through increased productivity or decreased downtime. DORA metrics can help by providing an objective way to measure and optimize software delivery performance and validate business value. DORA metrics are a framework of performance metrics that help DevOps teams understand how effectively they develop, deliver and maintain software. They identify elite, high, medium and low performing teams and provide a baseline to help organizations continuously improve their DevOps performance and achieve better business outcomes.

The change failure rate is calculated from two things – the number of attempted deployments and the number of failed deployments. When tracked over time, this metric provides the details on the amount of time the team is spending on resolving issues and on delivering new code. Metrics provide a way to track the health of your application and infrastructure over time.

They had a huge legacy project that was a pain to improve and maintain. How many of your changes led to failure compared to successful deployments? Both hotfixes, failed deployments, and rollbacks will contribute towards this metric . They consistently and regularly publish their findings and insights to evolve and drive DevOps teams. DORA is, without a doubt, a well-known leader in the industry and its expertise is trustworthy and valuable.

How DORA metrics and feature flags work together

Adopting good DevOps practices is becoming standard for most organisations and that’s a good thing. But being able to determine the success or failure of said practices is key to accelerating your delivery. Improving DORA metrics highly depends on the business context and what the software process looks like, but below are several techniques and initiatives that we have implemented with some of our clients.

We must also ensure that the habit of prioritizing the fix of the CI build is ingrained in the team’s culture. We should aim for less than 10 minutes in order to keep developers engaged and code flowing. If your pipelines take too long, check out Semaphore’s test optimization guide. So, before choosing the metrics you want to use to follow your team’s progress, everyone should know that their only purpose is to track progress and identify problems. To track DORA metrics in these cases, you can create a deployment record using the Deployments API. See also the documentation page for Track deployments of an external deployment tool. To retrieve metrics for change failure rate, use the GraphQL or the REST APIs.

what are the 4 dora metrics for devops

These items allow the website to remember choices you make and provide enhanced, more personal features. For example, a website may provide you with local weather reports or traffic news by storing data about your current location. Treat DORA metrics as a set of indicators of what you can do to make a positive impact on the product and its business results. Time to Restore is calculated by tracking the average time between a bug report and the moment the fix is deployed.

Mean time between failures

This is the average time a problem persisted in production before it was detected and assigned to the appropriate team. We can measure it as the time since the problem began until an issue or ticket was raised. Mean time to detection directly correlates to how comprehensive monitoring is and how effective notifications are. For example, a 99.9% uptime amounts to 8 hours and 45 minutes of downtime per year.

When delivering software, we store source code in a repository like Git. Developers make changes to the code by committing code to the repository. Before reaching the production environment, changes must progress through a series of stages.

This article will explain the essential DevOps metrics and how to measure them. When you measure and track DORA metrics over time, you will be able to make well-informed decisions about process changes, team overheads, gaps to be filled, and your team’s strengths. These metrics should never be used as tools for criticism of your team but rather as data points that help you build an elite DevOps organization. Lead Time for Changes indicates how long it takes to go from code committed to code successfully running in production.

what are the 4 dora metrics for devops

To date, DORA is the best way to visualize and measure the performance of engineering and DevOps teams. In order to unleash the full value that software can deliver to the customer, DORA metrics need to be part of all value stream management efforts. Change Failure Rate is calculated by counting the number of deployment failures and then dividing it by the total number of deployments. When tracked over time, this metric provides great insight as to how much time is spent on fixing errors and bugs vs. delivering new code. Needless to say, a DevOps team should always strive for the lowest average possible. We recommend always to keep in mind the ultimate intention behind a measurement and use it to reflect and learn.

In the DevOps book “Accelerate”, the authors note that the four core metrics listed above are supported by 24 capabilities that high-performing software teams adopt. Mean time to recovery measures how long it takes to recover from a partial service interruption or total failure. This is an important metric to track, regardless of whether the interruption is the result of a recent deployment or an isolated system failure. One of the critical DevOps metrics to track is lead time for changes. Not to be confused with cycle time , lead time for changes is the length of time between when a code change is committed to the trunk branch and when it is in a deployable state.

Why a powerful DORA metrics dashboard is the first step to improving your DevOps productivity

Frequency matters, but you also want to deliver value to your users. Change Failure Rate measures the percentage of deployments causing a failure in production. Teams use change lead time (not to be confused with cycle time/lead time) to determine how efficient their development process is.

what are the 4 dora metrics for devops

Using these metrics helps improve DevOps efficiency and communicate performance to business stakeholders, which can accelerate business results. For example, monthly lead time for changes can provide helpful context for board meetings, whereas weekly overviews might be more helpful for sprint reviews. In other words, DORA’s founders—Nicole Forsgren, Jez Humble, and Gene Kim—took the guesswork out of which productivity metrics were actually worth tracking for engineering leaders. Both non-technical board members and highly-technical contributors should be able to understand and use the same language to assess the engineering team’s productivity.

Why should you measure Time to Recover?

Flow velocity measures the number of flow items completed over a period to determine if value is accelerating. There is no better time than now to start measuring as the chasm between medium and high performers grows. In order to get a rough metric for Lead Time for Changes, we can add up the event and wait times of the stream. Below is a small example of how an organisation can start generating a VSM to measure what their Lead Time for Changes roughly is where they have no metrics.

  • Bad things happen when you try to turn the measurements around to assess and improve the performance of individuals.
  • So, teams must push releases more often, and in small batches, to fix the defects easily and quickly.
  • We even open sourced a CloudWatch Dashboard for deployment pipelines that use CodePipeline that captures some of these metrics along with some others.
  • A fast MTTI for infrastructure teams reduces overall MTTR and also helps the team members on those teams spend less time firefighting.
  • Data-backed decisions are essential for driving better software delivery performance.
  • Again, your goal is to minimize the batch size as much as possible to reduce your overall risk and increase your deployment frequency.

At a certain threshold, SRE yields tangible improvements to reliability as the curve trends upwards. The goal of your DevOps metrics is to measure and improve the performance of the whole system. Bad things happen when you try to turn the measurements around to assess and improve the performance of individuals. In DevOps, you measure success by the impact on organizational goals. In order to calculate the mean time to restore, you need to know the time when the incident occurred and when it was addressed. You also need the time when the incident occurred and when a deployment addressed the issue.

Lead Time for Changes

In fact, it’s usually the first place teams start with DORA metrics. What you’re doing is you’re measuring how many times you change production. The goal of delivering code quickly to production is to ship as many times as possible. In order to make that work, you need to change the batch size to be as small as possible. In other words, ship as few changes to production at a time as you can. From a product management perspective, they offer a view into how and when development teams can meet customer needs.

The Challenges of DORA metrics: Digging Deeper in the Devops Performance Process

The team that defined the metrics surveyed over 31,000 engineering professionals on DevOps practices, over the course of 6 years, making DORA the longest-running academic project in the field. The project’s findings and evolution were compiled in the State of DevOps report. While setting the improvement goals, focus on your product and its growth, as well as the growth of your team and improvement of the processes. Change Failure Rate shows how well a team guarantees the security of changes made into code and how it manages deployments. By spotting specific periods when deployment is delayed, you can identify problems in a workflow ﹣ unnecessary steps or issues with tools. You can also recognize problems like staff shortage or the need for longer testing time.

Lead time for changes

Of course, the standard number of deployments differentiate by product. Digital transformation has turned every company into a software company, regardless of the industry they are part of. Companies are required to react faster to changing customer needs but on the other hand, deliver stable services to their customers. In order to meet these requirements, DevOps teams and lean practitioners constantly need to improve themselves. While we have captured some of these and other metrics with some of our customers, we’ve not acquired them in a consistent manner over the years. We even open sourced a CloudWatch Dashboard for deployment pipelines that use CodePipeline that captures some of these metrics along with some others.

Lower-performing teams are often limited to deploying weekly or monthly. Understanding the frequency of how often new code is deployed into production is critical to understanding DevOps success. Many practitioners use the term “delivery” to mean code changes that are released into a pre-production staging environment, and reserve “deployment” to refer to code changes that are what are the 4 dora metrics for devops released into production. This metric is an important counterpoint to the DF and MLTC metrics. Your team may be moving quickly, but you also want to ensure they’re delivering quality code — both stability and throughput are important to successful, high-performing DevOps teams. There is a need for a clear framework to define and measure the performance of DevOps teams.

DORA Metrics – How to Measure DevOps Performance

It was comprehensive research that spanned thousands of organizations and tens of thousands of people. Stelligent, we’ve used many metrics and have debated on which are best for our customers. Focusing on only these metrics also empower organizations by having objective measures of determining if the changes they’re making have an actual impact on enterprises.


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