insights

DevOps – why it pays to demonstrate impact

September 15, 2019

If you’ve been following our series of articles on how to successfully deploy DevOps at scale, you’ll know how important it is to understand your current DevOps capabilities and build a DevOps culture to deliver on your objectives.

But what about demonstrating impact and return on investment. 

Once you’ve implemented and successfully scaled DevOps within your organisation, being able to track impact is not only useful but vital to identifying potential future improvements. 

It allows you to demonstrate return on investment (ROI) in a way that reflects real business priorities, whilst measuring the productivity of your DevOps practice across multiple teams.  

And if you’ve been lobbying the holders of the purse strings for investment in your DevOps capabilities, then this is your chance to demonstrate impact. 

But where should you start?

Pulling together a DevOps capabilities matrix is a good idea and reviews against this should be repeated regularly to assess your team’s progress against several key criteria, such as:   

  1. Lead Time: This is the measure of time it takes from code commit to the time the code is successfully running in production. If you can prove that this is vastly reduced, then you are onto a winner. 
  2. Deployment Frequency: This is the frequency at which deployment to production is completed. Again, if you can demonstrate a drastic reduction in the time it takes to move from deployment to production, this will demonstrate significant ROI.
  3. Mean Time To Recovery (MTTR): This is about logging the average time to restore service after a failure. Often the best way to capture this is by automated tests specifically designed to simulate multiple failure scenarios.  
  4. Change fail percentage: The measure of how often deployments fail and require immediate remedy or rollback in production. This gives us a picture of the quality of the work coming through the pipeline.

When it comes to DevOps capabilities, here’s the view from the DORA 2019 report ¹ on how highly performing businesses compare with those that don’t quite reach the same standard in the below table.

Bearing these statistics in mind, you can start to build a picture of how well your deployment of DevOps is doing. 

Having metrics which you can report against will provide vital insight into improvements you can make across multiple development teams, whilst measuring the productivity of your DevOps practices, which should reflect real business priorities. 

It will get you buy-in with senior leadership, and will enable you to build future business cases for further investment in DevOps. 

In our next article, we’ll take a look at the challenges you will need to overcome to successfully deploy DevOps at scale within your organisation.

6point6 has a wealth of knowledge and experience in helping organisations to develop, embed and scale their DevOps capabilities.

For more information about how we can help kick-start the process with our in-depth capability assessment, get in touch

MARK DEBNEY 

Director, DevOps

[email protected]

¹Dora, “Annual report: a recap of DORA activities in 2018”, 10 September 2019. https://sfdora.org/2019/02/21/annual-report-a-recap-of-dora-activities-in-2018/.

Mark Debney
Director, DevOps