Key Metrics for DevOps Teams: DORA and MTTx

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Key Metrics for DevOps Teams: DORA and MTTx

On average, minimizing this metric will lead to improvements in all of your other metrics. MTTR can be measured by calculating the time between when the incident occurrs and when it gets resolved. To resolve incidents, operations teams should be equipped with the right tools, protocols, and permissions. Value stream mapping is one of the techniques that Sourced can use for your organisation to get a baseline for DORA metrics.

what are the 4 dora metrics for devops

Feature flags allow teams to control the deployment of new features or changes to their product. When properly implemented they help teams iterate on new features faster and with less risk when features are deployed behind feature flags. DORA metrics are a great way to get a snapshot of your team’s overall software delivery performance, but with any form of measurement, there are caveats to keep in mind. The deployment frequency metric measures the number of deployments your team makes.

Strategies to improve DORA metrics

Watch Nik’s talk below, or scroll on to read the about the highlights and bonus insights. To dig into the topic of DORA further, Nik LeBlanc, Director of Engineering at DevCycle and Taplytics recently gave a talk on DORA metrics at DevCycle. It’s a good idea to start with an honest assessment of your DevOps capabilities.

what are the 4 dora metrics for devops

These additional views helps appraise leading indicators of your ability to deploy to production. We will only be “elite” once our metrics show a healthy flow of work across all of the products we’re responsible for, as a team. Our team uses feature flags to improve the four key DORA metrics by… That’s how long it will take them to actually get their commits deployed to production. Following this is engineering shipping it, which is Step Deployment Frequency aka how frequently you can ship.

CI mean time to recovery (MTTR)

Software Deployment Fix deployment problems using modern strategies and best practices. Codefresh Platform Automate your deployments in minutes using our managed enterprise platform powered by Argo. In the next sections below, you will learn more about the four DORA metrics and why they are so useful in value stream management.

A summary of the four key metrics taken from the DORA 2018 State of DevOps Report is listed in the table below. DevOps teams must focus on change failure rate instead of the number of failures. This axes the false convention that the failures reduce with the number of releases. So, teams must push releases more often, and in small batches, to fix the defects easily and quickly. To improve the time to restore, businesses have to implement robust monitoring processes and swift recovery practices. This enables teams to deploy a go-to action plan for an immediate response to a failure.

If deploying features or resolving incidents takes time on one product, it keeps us from the other product. The first key challenge is asking why you’re considering implementing DORA and what benefits your organization and customers will reap. How often do deployments lead to outages or impact the user experience? Yet, measuring this metric over time can be a good idea if you experience such issues.

High performers turn around changes somewhere between one day and one week. Medium performers fall between one week and one month, while low performers take between one and six months. Targets feature enables users to set custom targets for their developers, teams, and organizations. You can check in on your goals and see how much progress has been made.

The team’s goal should be to reduce Lead Time for Changes and react to issues in a timely manner. The metrics reflect key areas that influence performance and equip engineers with detailed insights. DORA metrics show what level of performance is needed to achieve desired business objectives. The trickiest piece for most teams is in defining what a failure is for the organization. Too broad or too limiting of a definition and you will encourage the wrong behaviors. In the end, the definition of failure is and needs to be unique to each organization, service, or even team.

Having above-average use of these capabilities would contribute to higher DORA metrics scores. The DORA 2022 report suggests Site Reliability Engineering adoption plays an important role in organizational success. SRE is an approach to operations that uses observed learning, cross-functional collaboration, automation and measurement. This is the mantra that businesses must live by in the DevOps ecosystem.

It measures how quickly your team can respond to needs and fixes, which is crucial in the development world. Your team can better plan how much to commit to with an understanding of how long it takes to get your changes in production. And perhaps most importantly, this metric is essential for helping your customers. If your customer has an urgent bug that requires fixing, they likely won’t want to work with a team that will take weeks to deliver a fix versus a team that can get them back up and running within hours.

what are the 4 dora metrics for devops

You can swiftly diagnose the failures and view the RCA for faster troubleshooting. This ability helps you improve the time to recovery and time to deploy. How many of your deployments did you eventually have to roll back, patch or otherwise manipulate as a result of that deployment causing a production issue? Obviously, the goal for this is zero, but strangely enough, a zero percent failure rate may mean you’re being a little too conservative in your development practice.

How to measure, use, and improve DevOps metrics

Once you have an easy and often used deployment pipeline in place, it has a positive impact on Lead Time for Changes and Mean Time to Recover. Ideally, high-performing companies tend to ship smaller and more frequent deployments. To build an application, engineers would launch Ansible on a local machine.

what are the 4 dora metrics for devops

The Four Keys project aggregates data and compiles it into a dashboard using four key metrics. You can track the progress over time without the need of using extra tools or creating solutions on your own. A low Change Failure Rate shows that a team identifies infrastructure errors and bugs before the code is deployed.

For example, if your QA isn’t responding to requests, or your alerting system holds off for weekly round-ups, a tool dedicated to identifying MTTR can’t piece together the nuances of a slower MTTR time. Calculating mean time to recovery is fairly straightforward; sum up all the downtime over a specific period and divide it by what are the 4 dora metrics for devops the number of incidents. For example, your system went down for four hours over ten incidents in a week. 240 divided by ten is 24, so your mean time to recovery is 24 minutes over that week time period. Other useful views from this DORA software include commit frequency, merged pull request velocity, and velocity by team.

Work Management

Whether you’re measuring your deployments by months, weeks, days, or hours, deployment frequency provides insight into how continuous your organization actually is. The mean time to recover metric measures the amount of time it takes to restore service to your users after a failure. The truth is simple – you can’t improve something you don’t measure. Deployment frequency, lead time for changes, MTTR, and change failure rate are the most important metrics measured by DevOps. Together, they provide the foundation to identify any waste in your DevOps processes and improve the whole value stream of the product.

  • For larger teams, where that’s not an option, you can create release trains, and ship code during fixed intervals throughout the day.
  • By looking at things in buckets, you can see what takes the most amount of time and work on optimizing that.
  • DevOps metrics are data points that directly reveal the performance of a DevOps software development pipeline and help quickly identify and remove any bottlenecks in the process.
  • Then, you track the ratio of successful to unsuccessful deployments to production over time.
  • Activity heatmap report provides a clear map of when your team is most active.
  • The most widely-recognized starting point for measuring DevOps are the DORA metrics, often called the four keys.

Another consideration worth noting is that there’s more to the picture than the DORA metrics alone. Teams who perform in the elite or high category across the four DORA metrics may appear to be successful, but they could be having other issues that aren’t accounted for outside of these metrics. It’s important to remember that there’s a bigger picture beyond these measurements. They aren’t the be-all and end-all, so be sure to keep that in mind. One of the biggest problems is also the assessment speed versus stability. To avoid mistakes, you always need to put singular metrics in context.

DevOps metrics

Releases were unstable and unpredictable, making on-demand delivery a pipe dream. DevOps is a mature philosophy that promises faster time to market and higher product quality. You need to understand what metrics separate high-performing teams from average DevOps practitioners.

Change Failure Rate – failure or rollback rate in percentage for deployments. Derived by dividing the failed/rollback deployments by the total number of deployments. Failed deployments are Argo CD deployments that lead to a sync state of Degraded. This is possibly the most controversial of the DORA metrics, because there is no universal definition of what a successful or failed deployment means. The following image shows the typical values for each of the DORA metrics for Elite vs. High, Medium, and Low-performing DevOps organizations.


This gives leaders insight into the quality of code being shipped and by extension, the amount of time the team spends fixing failures. Most DevOps teams can achieve a change failure rate between 0% and 15%. Engineering teams generally strive to deploy as quickly and frequently as possible, getting new features into the hands of users to improve customer retention and stay ahead of the competition.

Practices to Improve Your DORA Metrics

The key here is to remember it’s really all about your development. Give them the tools they need to succeed because your developers are going to be the ones to be able to make the best changes to help your team reach its goals. Technically, the key here is to get the developer involved in the production ideally doing the deployment. High-performing teams can deploy changes on demand, and often do so many times a day.

In this article, I’ll discuss two of the most common sets of metrics in DevOps, DORA and MTTx. DevSecOps in the Age of ContainersTo reduce opportunities for attackers, DevOps teams need visibility across their entire tech stack — from on-prem infrastructure to cloud environments. Flow load measures the number of flow items in a value stream to identify over- and under-utilization of value streams. Flow time measures how much time has elapsed between the start and finish of a flow item to gauge time to market.

Lead Time for Changes – The amount of time it takes a commit to get into production. According to the DORA 2018 Report, Elite performers have a change failure rate between 0-15% and Low performers have a rate from 46-60%. Plandek integrates across your DevOps toolchain and enables you to surface a wide range of engineering, delivery and DevOps metrics, including the DORA metrics . The Splunk platform removes the barriers between data and action, empowering observability, IT and security teams to ensure their organizations are secure, resilient and innovative. MTTR is calculated by dividing the total downtime in a defined period by the total number of failures. For example, if a system fails three times in a day and each failure results in one hour of downtime, the MTTR would be 20 minutes.


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