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April 20, 2022

Topo Pal’s DevOps Metrics & Measurements Playlist

By Tapabrata "Topo" Pal
Topo Pal's DevOps Metrics & Measurements Playlist

What to Measure?

After more than a decade into the DevOps movement, “what to measure?” still remains a question. This is a topic that interests me a whole lot. There are some videos from DevOps Enterprise Summit that I have watched over and over again to get new ideas.

This is my “DevOps Metrics & Measurements Playlist”.

Whether you have a mature DevOps organization in place already or are just starting out on your DevOps journey, I believe you will find these videos to be very inspiring.

DevOps Research and Assessment (DORA)

There are a few books that are must-reads for any DevOps practitioner. Accelerate is one of them. Dr. Nicole Forsgren’s plenary talk “The Key to High Performance: What the Data Says” is a much condensed version of the actual book.

This is the talk where Nicole talked about measuring the technology aspect of software delivery performance that became the “DORA Metrics”. However, I would like to strongly encourage you to watch this video first before you start measuring and using DORA Metrics. And of course, definitely read the whole book.

The Key to High Performance: What the Data Says (San Francisco 2017)
Dr. Nicole Forsgren, CEO and Chief Scientist, DORA

Once you have watched the above video, please go ahead and watch the sequel to it: “The Data Behind DevOps – Becoming a High Performer” – Jez Humble and Dr. Nicole Forsgren present some additional indicators for high performers, such as Cloud Adoption, Open Source usage, Outsourcing, Observerbality, Culture etc.

WATCH: The Data Behind DevOps – Becoming a High Performer (Las Vegas 2018)
Dr. Nicole Forsgren, CEO and Chief Scientist, DORA
Jez Humble, CTO, DORA

Flow Framework

Dr. Mik Kersten has been in this field for a long time. His book Project to Product: How to Survive and Thrive in the Age of Digital Disruption with the Flow Framework has been a huge success.

His DevOps Enterprise Summit Las Vegas 2019 talk, “Project To Product – Beyond the Turning Point” is a must watch! I love the way he poses the question, “What flows in Software Delivery?” and then nicely presents the flow metrics and maps them to business results.

WATCH: Project To Product – Beyond the Turning Point (Las Vegas 2019)
Dr. Mik Kersten, Founder and CEO, Tasktop

Business Value

“DevOps Transformation – Metrics That Show Business Value” – David Rizzo and David Kennedy’s talk during DevOps Enterprise Summit Las Vegas 2019 is another one that I like a lot. They described a simple way to measure and track business value to drive Compuware’s DevOps transformation.

WATCH: DevOps Transformation – Metrics That Show Business Value (Las Vegas 2019)
David Rizzo, Vice President of Product Engineering, Compuware
David Kennedy, Solutions Architect, Compuware

Objectives and Key Results (OKR)

Jon Smart, in his unique style, presented this nice talk that can be very useful if you are into measuring OKRs – “OK NOTOK OKRs — 3Ms: Mindset, Mission and Measurement”. This one is not about DevOps measurements per se, but very much applicable in this context.

WATCH: OK NOTOK OKRs — 3Ms: Mindset, Mission and Measurement (Europe 2021)
Jon Smart, Founder, Business Agility Coach and Leader, Sooner Safer Happier

Misusing Metrics

Bryan Finster, Distinguished Engineer, USAF Platform 1, presented an interesting side of using DORA Metrics in his talk, “How to Misuse and Abuse DORA Metrics”. He made a good argument that the well-known “Four DORA Metrics” present an incomplete view. You must watch this talk if you are already tracking your DORA Metrics or thinking about doing it.

WATCH: How to Misuse and Abuse DORA Metrics (US 2021)
Bryan Finster, Distinguished Engineer & Value Stream Architect, USAF Platform 1

- About The Authors
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Tapabrata "Topo" Pal

Dr. Tapabrata "Topo" Pal is a thought leader, keynote speaker, evangelist in the areas of DevSecOps, Continuous Delivery, Cloud Computing, Open Source Adoption and Digital Transformation. He is a hands-on developer and Open Source contributor. Topo has been leading and contributing to industry initiatives around automated governance in DevOps practices. Topo resides Richmond, Virginia with his wife and two children.

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