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Top 4 DevOps Metrics You Should Measure

05 May 2023 by Emma Foster 4 minute read

DevOps reporting provides a feedback loop that is the key to understanding how well teams deliver, how fast processes change and how best to help people plan when a company switches to agile. Another advantage of this type of reporting is that it also seeks to be inclusive, bridging the gaps between teams outside of the development organisation.

This enables stakeholders and teams, outside of the loop of development tools such as JIRA, to stay informed. They are then able to plan based on real-time feedback, therefore reducing the ‘Silo’ effect, which can often lead to delays and cost overruns. The following metrics allow businesses to answers the questions: When will we be done? and Do we have the capacity to deliver?

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1. Planning: Remaining Story Points

Teams that adopt DevOps and adapt to the agile ‘short achievable sprints’ method still need to plan for delivery to the customer. This is where we look at the wider organisation when adopting DevOps delivery. It is imperative that expectations are set, progress is tracked and that slippage is spotted early and mitigated. Tracking these metrics will easily help you answer the questions: What have we got left to do? When will we be done? Will we hit the planned release date?

Managing the work in progress, the work left to complete and how these work packages move between teams is what tools like Atlassian’s JIRA are made for. JIRA is a valuable tool, essential for the day to day tracking of work in an agile project. However, long term planning and coordinating across projects or teams involves stepping back from the day to day and looking at the bigger picture, tracking what has happened but also projecting for the future.

Track in real-time the number of story points in outstanding JIRA tasks in one or more projects, in Epics, the ‘current sprint’ or any other custom query. Track backlog by team, component and release. With such knowledge of the WIP and the work remaining, management can understand how far the team have progressed and how much they have left to go. Providing, in real-time, invaluable feedback on when features and fixes will be ready and enabling coordination of other teams.

2. Throughput: Story points completed this week/month

A question often on management’s mind is, if I change a process or a team structure how will it affect productivity? One of the key measures for this, which also indicates a successful DevOps team, is to understand ‘how fast are we going’. Tracking the throughput of your DevOps team enables you to answer practical questions such as: Did increasing the team size increase our velocity or slow us down? It also helps the wider business understand the value of the DevOps delivery.

Team throughput is a key metric that enables more accurate estimates of long term planning. Tracking throughput in real-time can provide the feedback necessary to adjust and plan the next sprint and predict the ultimate delivery date. Task tracking and management tools, like JIRA, can support many different ways of tracking and estimating effort, including story points. Go one step further and track the total number of JIRA story points completed on a daily basis and report on these weekly, monthly and yearly.

3. Quality: Percentage time spent on unplanned tasks

Poor quality of work leads to rework, and time spent working on fixing problems in production is strongly correlated with lost productivity. More than that, we should be clear that racing to hit the current deadlines will impact the next delivery and then the proceeding deliveries after that. IT professionals at the coal face know this to be true and tracking the amount of rework or unplanned work in a DevOps delivery is a measure of product quality. It shines a light on issues that the teams are probably already aware of and are willing to work on. Most importantly, it also enables the organisation to optimise the right thing, the time spent on new work, and on adding value to the bottom line.

Track the time spent on each ask and calculate the percentage time spent on bugs, support and other unplanned work. Calculations can be made daily, and reported upon weekly and monthly. Fundamentally, this allows you to optimise your product quality whilst minimising time wasted.

4. Customer Satisfaction: Percentage reopened tickets

The ultimate measure of success for any IT delivery is the satisfaction of the users. The fact that a customer raises an issue or contacts support is not necessarily a sign of dissatisfaction. A successful interaction with your customer support team should leave a customer satisfied that their question has been answered, their concern has been heard or that their issue will soon be addressed. Handling customer support requests is an opportunity to impress and to take on feedback. When asking if your customers are satisfied you should ask: are we getting support right first time?

Track your issues, by simply including a process stage in your workflow that acknowledges that a once resolved issue has been reopened, you can track work that doesn’t get resolved first time. You can then compare the number of issues against the total volume and thus enables you to track percentage reopened, or your percentage right first time.

 

Anaeko have partnered with Octopus Deploy to provide Multi-Cloud and DevOps Services. Octopus automates complex deployments and seamlessly integrates with your DevOps tools. Anaeko are DevOps specialists, having delivered solutions to a range of sectors with various levels of scale.

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Topics: Data Analytics, Digital Transformation, DevOps, Agile, Remote Agile and DevOps, KPI

Emma Foster
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Emma Foster

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