The DORA metrics are used to measure the delivery performance of an engineering team.
The four metrics:
- Delivery Lead Time
- Deployment Frequency
- Time To Restore Service
- Change Failure Rate
Lead time is the time needed from a customer making a request to the request being satisfied.
In product development, however, where you have multiple customers, lead time can be divided into two parts:
The time it takes to design and validate a product or feature, and the time to deliver the feature to customers.
We want the product delivery lead times to be short. This allows us to get faster feedback on what we're building and correct our course more frequently. This is also important whenever there is a defect or outage, and we have to deliver a fix with high confidence as quickly as possible.
Deployment frequency is about how often you deploy.
We want to ship as soon as possible in order to get feedback from our customers as soon as possible.
The software should ideally be deployed anytime a change has happened that's been merged to the main branch.
Time To Restore Service
Time to restore service is the time it takes for a team to restore service when an unplanned outage or another incident happens.
Elite performers do this well by having thorough monitoring in place and practicing Progressive Delivery.
Change Failure Rate
Change failure rate is about a team's changes leading to failures in production such as incidents, rollbacks, or failures. The lower the rate here the better. The goal is to decrease the change failure rate over time.