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Key DevOps Metrics To Measure Impact in 2023

Cyrus Choy
Sep 7th, 2023
Blog
devops metrics dashboard

What is DevOps?

Apart from being a buzzword bingo between the word development and operations, DevOps can be a set of practices, a methodology, or a job role. However, DevOps is commonly described as a cultural and organizational philosophy that aims to bridge the traditional gap between software development (Dev) and IT operations (Ops). 

The concept of DevOps originated from the Agile approach and gained recognition in the early 2000s. At its core, DevOps is about bringing together development and operations into a single team. Allowing for a smooth, ongoing process of learning, sharing knowledge, and jointly taking on responsibilities.

Dashboards, charts, reports, and widgets play an important role in DevOps by providing clear and visual representations of critical data. These tools are essential for teams to monitor and analyze various aspects of the software development cycle. Together, these elements help DevOps teams make informed decisions, detect issues early, and optimize their processes for more efficient and reliable software delivery.

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The 4 Key Principles of DevOps

In DevOps, several key principles guide how teams work together. Collaboration is fundamental, promoting the idea that different departments, including developers, operations staff, and others, should collaborate closely at every stage of the software development process. This ensures that everyone is on the same page and that their combined expertise contributes to a smoother workflow.

Automation is another cornerstone of DevOps. It involves using technology to automate repetitive and time-consuming tasks, such as deploying code, running tests, and setting up the necessary infrastructure. This automation saves time and reduces the chances of human error, making processes faster and more dependable.

CI/CD is another closely related concept to DevOps.

Continuous Integration (CI) is about continuously merging code changes into a shared repository. This practice ensures that code is consistently checked for errors and is always ready for deployment. Building upon CI, Continuous Delivery (CD) takes things a step further by automating the actual deployment of code changes. This means that new features and updates can be released more frequently and reliably.

Lastly, DevOps places a strong emphasis on monitoring and feedback. Teams actively monitor the performance of applications and infrastructure in real time, allowing them to spot issues as they arise. This feedback loop ensures that problems are identified early, enabling swift responses to incidents and leading to a more resilient system overall.

A survey by Gitlab shows that when DevOps is implemented correctly, 60% of developers agree that they were releasing code at least 2x faster, thanks to implementing DevOps practices


Important DevOps Metric to Know

DevOps metrics are essentially measurements used to gauge the effectiveness and efficiency of the DevOps processes within an organization. These metrics provide valuable insights into various aspects of software development and delivery, such as how quickly new features are deployed, the frequency of software releases, and the reliability of these releases. 

By tracking these metrics, teams can identify areas for improvement, make data-driven decisions, and ultimately work towards optimizing their DevOps practices. In simpler terms, DevOps metrics help teams understand how well their development and operations processes are working together to deliver software more efficiently and reliably.

Here’s a comprehensive list of DevOps metrics for measuring the impact of the team:

MetricDescription
Deployment FrequencyFrequency of code changes deployed to production.
Lead Time for ChangesTime from code commit to production deployment.
Change Failure RatePercentage of code changes resulting in failures.
Mean Time to Recovery (MTTR)Time taken to recover from production incidents.
Deployment Success RatePercentage of successful error-free deployments.
Code ChurnThe rate of code changes over time.
Infrastructure as Code (IaC) UsageAdoption of infrastructure automation tools.
Test Automation CoveragePercentage of automated tests vs. manual tests.
Deployment Lead TimeTime taken for a code change to reach production.
Mean Time Between Failures (MTBF)The average time between system failures.
Cost of DowntimeFinancial impact of incidents and outages.
Customer SatisfactionUser satisfaction through surveys or feedback.
Release BurdenEffort and time spent on manual tasks during releases.
Resource UtilizationMonitoring of resource usage for cost optimization.
Technical DebtAccumulated work required for code improvements.
Security VulnerabilitiesNumber and severity of security vulnerabilities.
Compliance and Audit MetricsMetrics related to industry compliance standards.

While it’s essential to measure the impact of your DevOps team, it’s equally crucial to focus on meaningful metrics that provide valuable insights into the quality and efficiency of your processes. Avoid falling into the trap of relying solely on vanity metrics that emphasize quantity or speed without considering the bigger picture. Here are some examples of vanity metrics to be cautious of:

  1. Number of Lines of Code: Tracking the sheer volume of code written can be misleading. More code doesn’t necessarily mean better functionality or improved quality. It’s essential to emphasize code quality over quantity.
  2. Number of Deployments per Week: While frequent deployments can indicate an agile development process, it should be stable and error-free for it to matter. A high number of deployments with frequent rollbacks may signal issues. That’s why it’s important to monitor deployments per week, as well as rollback frequency.
  3. Number of Bugs Fixed: Fixing a large number of bugs might seem like progress, but it’s essential to consider the severity and impact of these bugs. Focusing on preventing bugs in the first place can be more valuable.
  4. Number of Tests Added: Adding tests is crucial for ensuring code reliability, but the quantity of tests alone doesn’t guarantee software quality. The effectiveness and coverage matter more than their quantity.

Instead, focus on the metrics in the table above, which provide a more comprehensive view of your DevOps impact, including factors like reliability, efficiency, and customer satisfaction. These metrics help in making informed decisions, improving processes, and ultimately delivering higher-quality software products. Remember that the right metrics align with your organization’s goals and objectives, promoting a culture of continuous improvement and excellence in DevOps practices.


Five for DevOps Team – Building a DevOps Metric Dashboard

Now that we’ve explored what DevOps is, why it’s important, its benefits, and some of the key metrics for measurement, let’s dive into the process of building a DevOps Metric Dashboard. We’ll achieve this using a low-code tool like Five.

Five simplifies the process of developing important dashboards with its user-friendly low-code platform. It offers a built-in MySQL database and allows you to incorporate JavaScript, TypeScript, and SQL code to build customized business logic. Plus, Five streamlines the deployment process, handling it seamlessly with a single click.

Before you begin it is important to determine the primary focus of your DevOps Metric Dashboard. Are you primarily concerned with monitoring deployment frequency, lead time, or incident response? Define your key objectives to guide the dashboard’s design.

Example: Our main focus for this DevOps Metric Dashboard is to monitor deployment frequency, as it’s a critical indicator of our release cycle efficiency.

Once that is ready, head over to our sign-up page for a free download. Next, you can either follow our quick start guide on our documentation page or directly dive into our advanced section on forms, charts & dashboards. If you need more assistance check out our community forum at https://five.org.

To conclude, we hope this blog post has given you an idea of some of the key metrics to measure the continued success of your DevOps team and the necessary tools to start building a DevOps metrics dashboard. I’ll leave you with this quote by the father of DevOps.

DevOps is not a goal, but a never-ending journey towards achieving excellence in software development and operations.

The Creator of DevOps – Patrick Debois

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