DevOps has grown more popular recently as organizations seek to adopt and support agile processes for their software development efforts. However, DevOps involves a number of large changes from traditional workflows, including opening collaboration opportunities across teams that were once siloed. These types of shifts are what make DevOps so special and critical for keeping up with changing trends across competition and consumer demands.
While we understand the benefits DevOps can bring, successfully implementing it for QA management can be more of a challenge. Metrics can provide a level of insight that shows how well DevOps initiatives are progressing as well as what areas may need more attention and improvement. Here are a few metrics that should be tracked in order to drive change in DevOps teams:
In an agile environment, teams are put under pressure to release deliverables faster and more often than was ever possible in previous development methodologies. Teams have been able to achieve this goal with varying amounts of success, making it a valuable devops metrics to keep track of. According to Datical, the deployment frequency stat should measure how often your team is deploying new code, and should either increase or remain stable on a weekly basis. This can drive change in DevOps as it will indicate response time, developer capabilities, overall efficiency and team cohesiveness. If it trends down at any time, teams may have to make significant adjustments to get their performance back to expected levels.
In parallel to this metric, it would be prudent to track the percentage of failed deployments that have caused an outage or garnered negative feedback. This type of insight will be critical to hold alongside deployment frequency. For example, if your team constantly increases how often they release deliverables, but half of them consistently have issues, this could be a major issue that must be addressed. Perhaps the deployment frequency is simply too high to thoroughly ensure quality. This type of information will be critical to driving DevOps change and enabling the team to work effectively.
Mean Time to Recovery
Defects and failure are simply a part of the development process, but it will be your ability to overcome these issues that will be crucial. Measuring the time from discovering a failure to recovering from the issue will provide a good indicator of team capabilities and how capable it is of handling change, DevOps.com contributor Chris Riley stated. Of course, this statistic should show a decrease over time, but it can be affected by unfamiliar problems, complexity, changes in operating environment and new features being implemented.
MTTR in particular drives change across DevOps because of its ability to demonstrate how well teams cope with changing trends. Agile places value in this capability and it will be crucial to track MTTR over time. This will show if DevOps has truly been able to improve or if their skills are still lacking. If it's the latter, teams can always invest in assets like automation and test management tools to help them better handle a growing workload and easily address issues that appear.
While operational aspects of DevOps are important, the cultural setting is just as crucial to the team's success. AppDynamics contributor Helen Beal noted that cultural metrics like feelings about change, a typical work day, knowledge sharing and team autonomy can be gauged to help better engage and motivate employees. As mentioned earlier, DevOps monitoring requires a number of major changes, and cultural metrics will provide an overall look of how workers are responding to these shifts. With this information, organizations can better provide for their teams and ensure that they have the resources to operate effectively.
"Although cultural metrics are difficult to apply hard dollar value to, DevOps is about resolving conflict in the workplace, eliminating stress and avoiding burnout and they are measurable," Beal wrote. "Happy people are more productive — their health is better, they have more ideas, work more effectively and will put in the extra mile."
DevOps can be a major asset to business operations, but only when implemented successfully. By keeping track of these metrics, organizations will be able to gauge DevOps performance and ensure that their employees have everything they need to perform up to expectations.