By Alex Circei, CEO & co-founder of Waydev.
Technological advancement has turned nearly every business into a software company. Businesses must deliver stable and reliable services to their customers and react faster to ever-changing customer needs. DevOps teams and leaders constantly need to improve themselves to stay in the competitive race.
Explaining DORA Metrics: A Brief Overview
After the insight of six years of research, the DevOps Research and Assessment group published its report that identified the four metrics to measure the performance of DevOps teams. These four key metrics are known as DORA metrics. The DORA metrics use the following factors to find out whether the DevOps teams are performing well or not.
• Deployment frequency: The frequency with which successful software releases to production are made.
• Lead time for changes: The time between committing a code change and making it deployable.
• Change failure rate: The frequency with which a team’s updates or hotfixes cause failures after the code has been released.
• Mean time to recovery: The time it takes between a deployment or system breakdown and complete recovery.
DevOps teams and leaders can improve their performance and effectiveness by optimizing these four DORA metrics. They provide a clear framework to engineering leaders and DevOps teams to measure software delivery through reliability and speed.
DORA metrics enable leaders of software development organizations to report if the teams are working according to the customers’ needs and aspirations.
The Need For DORA Framework
A precise framework is required to establish and measure the performance of DevOps teams. Previously, each company or team chose its measures, making it difficult to assess an organization’s success, compare team performance or detect long-term trends.
The DORA metrics give DevOps and engineering executives a common framework to monitor the throughput (speed) and dependability of software delivery (quality). They help development teams better understand their current performance and take action to build better software faster. These metrics give precise data for software development executives to monitor their organization’s DevOps success, monitor management reports and make changes.
Importance Of DORA Metrics For Software Teams And Leaders
DORA metrics enable software teams and leaders to streamline processes by breaking down abstract processes in software development and delivery. These metrics also make the software development process more visible and tangible. They offer an array of perks to the DevOps teams and leaders, such as:
• Enhanced value. Software development companies rely on the principles of value stream management to design a bridge between business goals and development efforts. DORA metrics measure the effectiveness of your value stream management efforts, enabling you to increase your business values.
• Improved decision-making. DORA metrics provide objective data on the DevOps team’s performance. They enable leaders and STOs to highlight the main aspects, suggest improvements and focus on improving efficiency. They can also help leaders and teams identify the bottlenecks that negatively affect the company’s performance. It lets team leaders establish plans and improvements that can bring positive changes to the workplace.
• Continuous improvement. Companies focusing on the four key DORA metrics have greater velocity and production delivery. These metrics enable teams and leaders to track their performance, identify where they stand and what actions they need to take to reach higher levels.
Considerations To Keep In Mind
While DORA metrics are an excellent approach for DevOps teams to assess and improve performance, the process itself is fraught with difficulties. Moreover, for most businesses, the four metrics are just a starting point that must be tailored to the setting of each application rather than the team or company. Nevertheless, here are five DORA metrics considerations to be aware of.
• Decentralized environment and data: Data is dispersed throughout the IT landscape in many sources, making it very difficult to approach the DORA metrics. Your DORA metrics should be pulled into one place to clearly visualize data.
• Data extraction: Only raw data is accessible. The leaders of development companies must collect and tag data in a way that is best for your team.
• Data transfer: Data transformation entails transforming and combining data into calculable units. Improper data collection is a challenge in implementing DORA metrics. The teams and leaders must collect and track data properly and ensure that everything is logged to get accurate results from the DORA metrics.
• Speed vs. stability: Singular measures must be contextualized. Pay attention to what each metric means and how you can improve them.
• High change failure rate: A high CFR may suggest inadequate quality control, but a high deployment frequency says nothing about the quality of the code or product. That’s because CFR is a quality metric, while DF is a velocity metric. While DF doesn’t give context to the quality of the product, when measuring the DORA metrics, it is important to look at all aspects—quality and velocity.
DORA metrics are one of the best ways to measure and visualize the performance of your DevOps teams. Software development companies should link DORA metrics with their value stream management efforts to unleash the full potential of these metrics. You must ensure the proper data collection and tracking for long-term success and a competitive edge.