6. Second-order (determinant) metrics to accelerate value delivery
All of the metrics described above are our first-order (high-level) metrics to track and accelerate value delivery. For best results, each first-order metric requires further investigation. We suggest supplementing them with second-order (determinant) metrics to enable a richer understanding and tracking.
For example, Deployment Frequency is a first-order DevOps metric that requires many ‘levers to be pulled’ to improve it. There are many second-order (determinant) metrics associated with Deployment Frequency that benefit from attention to make a lasting improvement. ‘Number of deployments’, ‘Number of builds’, ‘Build frequency’, ‘Mean build time’, ‘Mean build failure time’, ‘Build failure rate’, ‘Mean time to recover from failures’, and ‘Flakiest files’ are all metrics which support the core objective of deploying often by better managing the continuous integration and deployment process.
This is why it is hard to stimulate a culture of metrics-led continuous improvement to accelerate roadmap delivery unless there is an analytics and performance improvement platform like Plandek in place to track and drive an integrated set of first-order and second-order metrics.