Introduction to DORA Metrics

Why should we care about metrics?

Because it tells us whether we are moving forward or backwards.

In the world of DevOps, we use the DORA metrics.

That’s what we will talk about today.

Today you will learn:

  • What are DORA metrics?
  • Why do we need them?
  • The benefits of tracking DORA metrics.
  • The challenges of DORA metrics.

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What are DORA metrics?

DORA metrics are metrics used to measure the performance of DevOps teams.

Temas are ranked from “low performers” to “elite performers”.

It was developed at Google, within a seven-year project that analyzed DevOps practices and capabilities. It has identified four key metrics to measure the performance of software teams.

The four metrics are:

  • Deployment Frequency – The frequency of successful software releases to production.
  • Lead Time for Changes – The time between a commit and its deployment.
  • Mean Time to Recovery – The time between a failure is detected and its full recovery. This is not only related to failures but to any interruptions due to deployment.
  • Change Failure Rate – The rate at which the team’s hotfixes or changes lead to failure after code has been deployed.

This work has revolutionized the DevOps world because it created visibility and delivered actual data that can be used as a base for improvements and data-driven decisions.

How to measure deployment frequency?

Usually, deployment frequencies are the easiest to read, it’s just the number of deployments per day. You can get that from your CD (continuous deployment) pipeline on GitHub.

How to Improve your DORA Metrics

Some general things that will help your metrics include:

  • Implement CI/CD with the best practices.
  • Keep changes modular and small.
  • Reduce technical debt.
  • Automate everything, things such as tests, code reviews and release trains.
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Benefits of DORA Metrics

The three main benefits of measuring DORA metrics are:

  • Decision making — Tracking performance with the help of DORA metrics, lets DevOps teams with making better decisions, this is also called data-driven decision making.
  • Delivering value — DORA metrics play a big role as they show what kind of value is delivered to the customer and what performance level is necessary to reach desired business outcomes. Thus, once DevOps teams use DORA metrics, they usually see an increase in value over time.
  • Virtuous cycle — When performance is measured, there is a big chance it will be gamed. This means that people who feel responsible for a certain metric will adjust their behaviour to improve the metric on their end. aka ownership leads to more quality.

Limitations of DORA Metrics

Measuring DORA metrics is sometimes not that simple.

Challenges can arise which include:

  • Decentralized Data – Data is scattered in different sources.
  • Data extraction – Data is only available in raw format.
  • Data transformation – Data needs to be transformed and combined into suitable units.
  • Speed vs. Stability – Singular metrics should be put into context. A high Change Failure Rate could indicate that there is poor quality control while a high Deployment Frequency does not say anything about the quality of the code or product.

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