Studies show that DevOps adoption is still a moving target for the vast majority of software development teams, with just 11% reporting full DevOps maturity in 2022. Navigating this transition requires organization-wide metrics that help everyone understand their role. To that end, Google developed the DORA (DevOps Research and Assessment) metrics to give development teams a straightforward way to measure DevOps maturity. 

Fernando Mattos, Director of Product Marketing at low-code test automation platform mabl, put it this way: “DORA metrics capture the productivity and the stability of development pipelines, which can impact a business’ ability to innovate and keep customers happy. If an organization is struggling to balance higher deployment frequency with lowering change failure rates, quality engineering is critical for bridging that gap.”

DORA metrics were created in 2014 to help development organizations understand what t strategies make teams elite, and in turn, help more companies mature their DevOps practices. This, of course, cements the correlation between engineering efficiency and hitting the goals of the business. By delivering new features faster, fixing defects faster, and providing a better customer experience, the result is more business, higher conversion rates, and lower churn from customers. 

Mattos went on to explain that mabl sees test automation as a critical piece in the delivery chain. “Lead time for change and change failure rate are two key metrics we see impacted there,” he said. “Change lead time is the time it takes from committing a piece of code to when it’s released to production. It’s a straightforward metric that captures a complex process.” He gave the example of a team that has streamlined its code review process, automated its entire pipeline, but still needs to do testing before a feature can be released to production. “A thorough software testing strategy can include unit testing, UI testing, API testing, end-to-end testing, and even non-functional tests like accessibility and performance. And these are essential for reducing change failure rates. But if it takes too long, then it extends the lead time for change, which negatively impacts the business. So, all the improvements that they did in other parts of the process just go down the drain.

“So, by integrating quality engineering and test automation specifically,” he continued, “development teams can shorten the time needed for comprehensive testing and  really optimize their outcomes.” 

Mattos went on to stress that it’s critically important to ensure that test coverage is focused on the customer experience, which will lower the change failure rate. “Lots of customers we talk to have high test coverage, but it’s removed from the customer experience. So they feel like they’re testing everything, but when they release (the software) to production, defects still emerge, especially if there’s an integration with third-party tools, which is very difficult to pass using traditional test automation tools.”

Mabl is trying to help teams build end-to-end continuous testing that’s focused on the customer, according to Mattos. “That’s what customers care about when making purchasing decisions, the experience that they go through – functional and non-functional. Connecting to usage, metrics tools, understanding what user journeys  are  most important to  customers.. those flows must have high coverage.” Mabl helps development organizations create and scale a quality engineering practice that supports DORA improvements and high-quality customer experiences, so businesses see a positive impact on their overall goals. “When your team has an automated testing practice that reflects the customer experience, deployments can happen more often without introducing defects. DORA metrics improve and customers are happier.”

Content created by SD Times and Mabl