I recently heard Jesse Robbins (co-founder of opscode) talk about changing culture & devops. During this awesome talk, he said that organisations that get devops right see a massive improvement in the metric “time to value” – I love this metric. Before I elaborate more on this, here’s some context.
Opscode, in addition to making Chef, help organisations implement full infrastructure automation. Drawing from this experience he says organisations generally go through these steps:
- Discovery and visibility
- Automate common tasks (scripts, OS, updates etc)
- Implement automated configuration management
- Implement automated application management
- Continuous Deployment
- Full Infrastructure Automation
The time it takes for the business to realise value from a piece of work e.g. a piece of development work.
On first take this metrics feels a little thin – doesn’t continuous delivery just address this? …but on reflection there’s much more to it.
Why is “time to value” an awesome metric?
- With this metric, teams that focus on “lean” methods win (great way to encourage shipping early)
- It scales – time to value of an individual feature vs time to value from a larger deployment of new hardware
- The metric measures and accounts for business decision making speed as well as technical implementation e.g. do business decisions go through too many committees?
- This metric unites dev and ops working towards shipping things
Anyone who is managing devops should read Jesse’s slides on hacking the culture to improve their time to value.