Benchmarks are important

Measuring DevOps: The key metrics that matter

Anders Wallgren
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What are some of the key KPIs and best practices for determining the business value of your DevOps transformation? Where should you focus on next on your path of Continuous Improvement? In this post, JAX London speaker Anders Wallgren explains why measurement and metrics are a key tenant of any DevOps transformation.

DevOps is essentially a journey of Continuous Improvement

Organizations that become better at delivering software are better equipped to compete and win in today’s economy. The maturity, speed and quality of your software releases have become a key differentiator and a competitive advantage for the business.

Enterprises across the board are adopting DevOps to optimize their software delivery pipeline – allowing for greater speed and agility while mitigating the risk of failed releases.

DevOps is essentially a journey of Continuous Improvement – and you cannot improve what you cannot measure. Measurement and metrics (as well as testing and experimentation) are thus a key tenant of any DevOps transformation.

But are you measuring the right things? Are you measuring too little (or too late)? Or are you drowning in disparate data points that make it hard for you to get to the bottom-line:

  • Where should you be focusing on next as you optimize your software delivery?
  • How is your DevOps transformation improving your business goals?

Answering these questions relies on a thorough understanding of not just the key axes of DevOps – People, Technology, and Processes – but also of the different stages along your delivery pipeline. You need to understand the path your code takes on its way to your end users, and the effect each process has on cycle times, productivity, and service reliability. Applying metrics throughout the pipeline enables end-to-end visibility and tightening of feedback loops, as well as clear indication of the bottlenecks and the areas of improvement that would yield the biggest bang for your buck.

So how do you measure Agility? Reliability? Efficiency? Quality? Culture? Success?!

Which metrics are the best indicators to show that you’re on the right track – towards making your pipeline faster, and your software better?

Which are more ‘vanity’ KPIs, which could be misleading and may distract you from what’s actually going on in our DevOps adoption?

These are some of the things I’ll be discussing on my upcoming talk at Jax London. I’m excited to take on this topic of DevOps metrics at Jax to help attendees understand the best practices and effective measurement strategies to support DevOps efforts and improve overall software delivery performance.

SEE ALSO: “In 10 years, DevOps will probably experience a midlife crisis” [Interview with Simon Wardley]

Having the right goals, asking the right questions, and learning by doing are paramount to achieving success with DevOps. Having specific milestones and shared KPIs play a critical role in guiding your DevOps adoption throughout your organization.

Sneak peek into my JAX London talk

What are the KPIs you should pay attention to? How to identify the key metrics that matter for the different stakeholders and for the different stages throughout your pipeline? How do you track your technical progress, as well as gauge your cultural evolution and team dynamics?

As we take a closer look at DevOps metrics, I’ll share practical advice on several key metrics that are backed by research as being the key to high performing organizations. We’ll discuss release frequency, failure rate, Mean Time to Recovery (MTTR), cycle times, lead time, and even some of the more qualitative indicators- such as employee culture and its effect on productivity and retention, and more. I’ll then share some success stories from organizations that have chosen to focus on some of these KPIs, and how the lessons they’ve learned apply to our own journey. To track all these metrics, we’ll also look at automation, and how it can simplify your metrics collection and enable visibility and insight throughout your pipeline.

I look forward to exploring this in more depth with you at JAX London. In a climate where S&P companies are now listed for an average of less than 10 years (when it used to be closer to 30 years), it’s easy to see why a framework and mindset of constant improvement – that is measurable – is critical to your organization’s competitiveness and business success.

See you at JAX London!

Anders Wallgren will be delivering one talk at JAX London in which he explains why having the right goals, asking the right questions and learning by doing are paramount to achieving success with DevOps.



Anders Wallgren

Anders Wallgren is Chief Technology Officer at Electric Cloud. Anders brings with him over 25 years of in-depth experience designing and building commercial software. Prior to joining Electric Cloud, Anders held executive positions at Aceva, Archistra, and Impresse. Anders also held management positions at Macromedia (MACR), Common Ground Software, and Verity (VRTY), where he played critical technical leadership roles in delivering award-winning technologies such as Macromedia’s Director 7 and various Shockwave products. Anders holds a B.SC from MIT.

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