The Role of Deployment Time in DevOps Metrics

Authored by: Karl Rubin, COO at Orasi Software

Collaboration is a catalyst for speed. So, no matter how well once-miles-apart teams, like Dev and Ops, come together, the actual value of this collaboration is seen only when it culminates in the enhanced pace of application launch. When communication gets faster, automated, and streamlined, it is only natural that the rate at which an enterprise churns out applications is substantially improved. And of the many ways to measure that pace is deployment time.

Deployment Time – The Need

Through this metric, one can measure how long it takes to do an actual deployment. It is where we find out implementation time or deployment lead time. This helps an organization ascertain how long it takes to deploy a release into a development, testing, or production environment. In addition, it is an excellent way of determining where deployment and delivery methods, processes, and tools may need improvement.

Deployment time also relates to the change-failure rate, which tracks how often deployment failures that require immediate remedy occur in production. The beauty of deployment time is that it ticks all the boxes of a good metric. It is measurable and is based on standardized values that are consistent over time. Further, it is hugely relevant – because everything it indicates connects directly back to the business. It is also a reliable metric as one which cannot be manipulated. It is also actionable, as it suggests simple and plausible improvements in systems, workflows, strategies, and more. Finally, the deployment time metric is traceable and can easily and specifically tied to a root cause, eliminating vague problem-flagging.

Deployment Time – The Approach

There are many rigorous but straightforward routes to take in tracking deployment. For example, one can inject automation at the right places and with the proper incremental emphasis, or start optimizing test integration and automation. It is also possible to identify issues and barriers proactively, thereby enhancing the agility of operations infrastructure. When Ops teams can give Dev teams good visibility into deployment issues, this can aid in further improving the metric. Overall, it offers a significant jump in an organization’s accomplishments with DevOps.

Deployment Time – The DevOps Assurance

DevOps is here to stay, and it’s showing results. It is encouraging to see that less than two percent of high-evolution organizations report resistance to DevOps from the executive level, according to Puppet’s 2021 State of DevOps Report. About three percent of mid-evolution organizations report resistance, but half as many (30 percent) in that cohort report that DevOps is actively promoted, compared to 60 percent of high-evolution organizations.

Further, 83 percent of IT decision-makers share that their organizations are implementing DevOps practices to unlock higher business value through better quality software. They are also enjoying faster delivery times, more secure systems, and principles’ codification. Within that 83 percent are distinct cohorts of organizations whose success with DevOps is contingent upon several factors. About 90 percent of high-evolution teams have automated their most repetitive tasks, while67 percent of mid-level and 25 percent of low-evolution teams have done so. The Puppet report also found that 91 percent of highly evolved teams clearly understand their responsibilities to other teams compared to only 32 percent of low-evolution teams. In Nagarro’s State of DevOps Report 2021, it was indicated that 49 percent have not yet started their DevOps evolution.

In other words, flipping the DevOps switch is a transformative decision that has a massive connotation for enterprises in today’s competitive and digital world. But organizations still have a long way to go. Various metrics are signals that there are brackets of high performers and low performers, even with enterprises that have taken the bold step of change by embracing DevOps.

Smart enterprises ensure they have a good understanding of the fundamental elements and keep track of progress with the right metrics when they do move to the realm of DevOps. They make sure that collaboration is more than a documentation exercise. Only then do these organizations reap the real fruits of collaboration. And they do so consistently.