Measuring DevOps success with DORA metrics

In the software development world, the benefits of DevOps in terms of improving velocity, reliability, and shared ownership among all stakeholders are well documented and established. Approaches such as those described under the CAMS model (Culture, Automation, Measurement, and Sharing), help organizations define their DevOps strategy. Following such approaches, many organizations have transformed their software development practices, improving the culture and technology elements. Still, DevOps implementations can differ significantly due to varying business, development, and compliance objectives. Further, different organizations, or at times even dispersed teams in the same organization, end up using different proprietary and open-source DevOps toolchains. Due to these variations, organizations often lack a standard to measure the success of their DevOps implementations. Eventually, measuring the success of DevOps implementations becomes a big question mark with no definite answers.

Needless to say, measurement is the secret sauce for the success of any business process. And, in the absence of a unified view of performance indicators or metrics across the DevOps lifecycle, gauging the health and progress of DevOps implementations becomes near impossible. By continuous tracking of DevOps metrics, teams can make small improvements to achieve large gains over a period. Further, DevOps metrics can help organizations get early warnings to make course corrections, prevent large scale failures, and avoid reputational and commercial losses. However, the world of metrics is ‘highly populated,’ and the information overload can make it difficult for delivery leaders to get actionable insights, quickly. Identifying which metrics are most critical, and how to analyze them isn’t straightforward. This is where DORA metrics offer a way forward to organizations.

Change Lead Time vs. Cycle Time – Differences and importance in software development

Today, DORA metrics have become the de facto standard for measuring software development performance. The metrics provide a standard framework that helps teams measure their software delivery velocity and stability, compare their performance with peers and industry leaders, and take corrective actions. Mean lead time for changes (or change lead time) is one of these four key DORA metrics that help teams get a sense of their CI/CD efficiency.