Sure, software’s getting delivered, but how well are your DevOps teams really performing? And what changes could they make to deliver more value to your customers?
End-to-end visibility and a data-driven approach gives your teams the information they need to analyse their performance. It also empowers them to improve, boosting productivity and aligning their efforts towards common organisational goals.
Metrics are central to this, enabling managers to work effectively, track value, and drive change to increase it. And tools, like Plandek, that offer excellent oversight and powerful insights help you achieve this. The first step is defining which metrics are best for evaluating your teams, improving processes, and impacting your value stream.
Remember, it’s not just about shipping more software, faster, although speed and scale are important. Some metrics help you identify bottlenecks as they evolve, for example, accelerating your pipeline. It’s important that you think about outcomes and take measurements that align with your organisational goals.
To help your teams deliver value and achieve those wider business objectives, here are five key metrics you won’t want to miss.
5 metrics for software delivery success
Measuring flow efficiency is a great first step to improve delivery efficiency. It represents the total time a ticket is actively worked on as a percentage of your total time or ‘lead time’. It analyses the movement of work across your end-to-end delivery lifecycle to compare when the team is working on a ticket with when it was held up in a queue. It’s a powerful metric, helping you identify bottlenecks, alleviate where process waste exists, and reduce bug resolution time, so you can speed up your time to market without necessarily expanding your team.
Delivery lead time
Delivery lead time and cycle time (see below) are two North Star metrics that keep track of your organisation’s ability to deliver software early and often. Your lead time is the overall time it takes to deliver an increment of software—such as a story, task, or bug—from idea through to it going live. Lead time analysis lets delivery managers see where tickets are getting stuck and encourages teams to remain focused on delivery value to customers quickly and efficiently.
Cycle time is a subset of your overall delivery lead time. Traditionally it’s measured as the time from when development starts on a piece of work to when it goes live. You might also choose to measure code cycle time—this is the time from code commit to production. The latter tracks the efficiency of your pull request (PR) process, analysing completed PRs, and the average time they take to complete. Cycle time is great for helping delivery teams understand where bottlenecks lie.
As a core DevOps and agile delivery metric, deployment frequency tracks how often increments of code are deployed to staging, testing, and production. It’s key to ensuring that software is being delivered early and often. While measuring cycle time, for example, can improve development efficiency, deployment frequency helps ensure that your engineering teams regularly deploy to live environments—where value can be realised for users or customers.
This metric keeps tabs on the number of defects that were identified after a release—in other words, by customers using your product. These defects are those that have made it past your testing process, so tracking them enables your teams to understand why and how they’ve got through the net. It’s important to look at escaped defects alongside other metrics, like cycle time, to figure out if an increase in velocity is impacting quality.
Putting Plandek into action
Defining and mapping key metrics that align with your business objectives is key to delivering value and effective value stream management. To do it successfully, you need tools designed with this at their core. At Adaptavist, we’re proud partners of Plandek—a platform that puts end-to-end analytics at your fingertips, embedding metrics into the process and empowering you to improve your overall delivery performance.
We combine our consulting support alongside Plandek to drive data-led decision-making at the team level and help you achieve wider business objectives through continuous improvement—at any point in your pipeline and whatever tools you use.
Value stream management explained
Find out how effective value stream management can make a real difference to your organisation’s DevOps transformation.
Get more out of DevOps with value stream management
This eBook offers a detailed look at value stream management – what it is, how it works, and the benefits it can bring to your organisation’s DevOps transformation.