Using DORA Metrics For Successful Delivery

Ruth Hadari
Engineering Intelligence Success

The DevOps Research and Assessment (DORA) metrics is a tool for gauging the performance of software development teams. It provides an objective way to measure the efficiency and effectiveness of an organization’s IT operations, helping pinpoint areas where improvements can be made. 

By taking into account metrics such as deployment frequency, lead time for changes, and mean time to recovery, the DORA metrics allow businesses to effectively benchmark their software development practices against those used by leading organizations in the industry. 

With these powerful insights into IT operations, companies can make more informed decisions about how to improve their processes even further. Let's dive deeper into what DORA metrics encompass and how they can benefit your organization. 

What Are Dora Metrics?

DORA metrics, developed by the DevOps Research and Assessment (DORA) team, is a set of standardized metrics to measure the performance of an organization in terms of its ability to deliver software. The four main metrics used in this evaluation are Deployment Frequency, Mean Lead Time for Changes, Mean Time to Recover from Incidents, and Change Failure Rate. 

Deployment Frequency

Deployment Frequency measures how often a company successfully deploys code for a particular application in order to meet customer needs. 

High-performing DevOps teams typically deliver smaller deployments more frequently than those that batch everything up into larger releases deployed during fixed windows. Teams striving for peak performance ship value to customers multiple times each day and aim to deploy at least once per week. 

While this level of deployment frequency may seem daunting, the reward is that customers receive new features faster and have fewer bugs or issues with their product. The result? Increased customer retention and satisfaction, all thanks to the power of DORA metrics!

Mean Lead Time for Changes

Mean Lead Time for Changes (MLTC) is one of the most crucial metrics that engineering leaders use to understand how their code is being delivered to customers. This metric measures the average time between when a commit was made in a branch and when it successfully runs in production, providing insight into how quickly work will be delivered. 

A team with successful MLTCs usually has an average cycle time of under 24 hours; conversely, teams with less efficient processes may have lead times that stretch up to one week or longer. 

Understanding MLTC can help DevOps assess their cycle time and improve upon it, ensuring faster delivery of code and more efficient deployment of new requests. By keeping track of MLTCs, DevOps teams can gain valuable insight into how they can optimize their development process. 

Mean Time to Recover

Mean Time to Recover (MTTR) is particularly important as it measures the time taken for a service to recover from a failure. High-performing teams strive to reduce recovery time significantly; elite teams even try to reach under an hour. 

MTTR encourages engineers to build more robust systems and helps companies stay competitive in their respective fields. 

Improving the MTR requires DevOps teams to improve observability so that failures can be identified and resolved quickly. Observability includes effective logging systems with automated alerts when an error arises, as well as continuous analysis and monitoring to detect issues quickly. 

Even the most robust systems can experience failure; however, fast recovery time can help reduce downtime and protect against major losses or disruptions. By implementing effective processes, DevOps teams can ensure that they are able to recover from incidents quickly and efficiently. 

This metric is essential in measuring a company's ability to bounce back from failures, and  should therefore be monitored regularly. 

Change Failure Rate

Change Failure Rate (CFR) captures the percentage of changes that were made to a code that then resulted in incidents, rollbacks, or any type of production failure. The Change Failure Rate is calculated by counting the number of deployment failures and dividing it by the total number of deployments. 

This allows DevOps teams to gain insight into how much time is spent on fixing errors and bugs vs. delivering new code, and it should be as low as possible. A good average for this rate is between 0–15%. 

When changes are being frequently deployed to production environments, bugs are all but inevitable. It’s important to track these incidents however, it shouldn’t lead to a blaming war. CFR must be carefully monitored in order to improve the quality of the code shipped. 

The Change Failure Rate gives DevOps teams an overall picture of how much time they spend fixing failures, their rate of successful deployments, and where changes can be made in order to increase productivity and reduce errors.  

By tracking this metric over time, DevOps teams can have a better understanding of the quality of software delivery as well as any areas that need improvement. This will ensure smoother deployments and higher success rates for future projects. 

With DORA metrics, DevOps teams are able to deploy new features with confidence and create applications that users depend on for daily tasks.

Why Should Teams Look at DORA Metrics?

Understanding development and delivery processes is crucial to improving the software value delivered. 

Decision Making

DORA metrics provide DevOps teams with performance insights that allow informed decisions to be taken, which ultimately leads to improved outcomes. With the help of these metrics, teams can observe trends over time, enabling them to identify areas for improvement and potential opportunities that could drive positive change. 

A team's success relies on its ability to understand how well they are doing versus the competition, which makes having access to this data essential in navigating through today's complex IT landscape. 

By continuously monitoring these metrics and adjusting accordingly, teams can ensure they remain competitive in the long run. Ultimately, DORA metrics provide valuable insights for decision-making that positively impact the delivered value of the software. 

Delivering Value

Using DORA metrics is key to creating successful products that customers love, and maximizing value in the development process. With this metric, DevOps teams have a better understanding of what kind of value they are delivering to their customer and what performance level is necessary for desired business outcomes. 

Furthermore, DORA metrics provide visibility into the team's development process which helps identify areas where productivity and quality can be improved, allowing teams to make informed decisions that will boost their performance and help them achieve goals more efficiently. 

Moreover, focusing on high-value activities reduces waste and ensures successful product delivery. Leveraging DORA metrics is essential for DevOps teams who want to deliver maximum value quickly and efficiently. 

Virtuous Cycle

When teams measure the effectiveness of their DevOps performance, it is a good opportunity for them to make improvements and eliminate any inefficiencies. This process, known as the virtuous cycle, means that those responsible for metrics will adjust their behavior to improve the metric on their end. 

By doing this, teams can improve their development processes and reduce waste—something which DORA metrics measures accurately. With DORA metrics, organizations have access to data-driven insights into how well they are performing in terms of deployment frequency and change failure rates. 

These metrics enable organizations to identify areas for improvement and provide direction when making decisions about investments or other initiatives aimed at driving further efficiency gains across the organization. 

How to Start Tracking Dora Metrics

Accurate measurement of DORA metrics requires the use of reliable tools that provide comprehensive data, with clear visualizations to help identify trends and potential improvements or changes needed. 

Finding the right tracking tool can be tricky, but with careful consideration, you can find one that meets all your needs: it should be easy to use and provide meaningful insights in an understandable format. 

With this tool in place, teams can begin continuously monitoring their progress toward their goals and objectives, ensuring everyone stays informed and on track for success. By regularly tracking DORA metrics, teams have an effective way to measure progress toward success, enabling them to optimize processes for maximum efficiency. 


The DORA metrics revolutionize the way we measure software development performance and provide an invaluable tool for developing teams to track their progress. It allows us to gain better insights into developer productivity, code quality, and development cycle time, among other factors. 

At Acumen, we believe that DORA metrics can help measure and evaluate the effectiveness of DevOps practices throughout an organization. Our team is here to provide insights into how organizations can use these metrics to effectively measure their performance and identify areas for improvement. 

We are committed to helping you make informed decisions about how your DevOps initiatives impact your business goals so that you can drive success in the long run. Let us show you how effective DORA metrics can be! Contact us today for more information.

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