Now we’re more than halfway through 2023, businesses across the board are reviewing their progress from the first half of the year and assessing how to make the most of the next few months. You should approach your Salesforce development lifecycle in the same way.
In this article, we’ll look at the what, why, and how of assessing your DevOps maturity. We’ll also share some key ways you can supercharge your Salesforce DevOps processes by 2024.
What Is DevOps Maturity?
DevOps includes a broad variety of new processes and practices; from version control through to CI/CD, backup, and culture. It’s not recommended that you implement every element of a DevOps process in one go (known as a ‘big bang’ approach), as it’ll likely lead to complex errors and a confused team. The best way to gain value from DevOps adoption is to implement new processes and tools gradually, building up to a full DevOps process over time.
As a result, ‘DevOps maturity’ has become a key metric for Salesforce teams. DevOps maturity takes into account not only the tools and processes a team has in place but also how effectively those tools are used, to identify where a team is on their journey towards robust Salesforce DevOps.
How to Measure DevOps Maturity
The industry standard for measuring the maturity of your DevOps process is through Google’s DORA metrics.
DORA is made up of four metrics:
- Deployment frequency: How often you release to production successfully.
- Lead time for changes: How long it takes for a new change to reach production.
- Change failure rate: The percentage of deployments that cause a failure in production.
- Time to restore: How long it takes to get production back to a usable state after a failure.
These four metrics assess two key aspects of your release pipeline: speed and security. Ideally, you’d aim to have an equal balance of both speed and security, but it’s possible to have a mature DevOps process without a perfect balance between the two.
In fact, most teams need to place more focus on one over the other due to their unique business requirements.
If you’re looking for an easy way to apply the DORA metrics to your Salesforce release process, there are Salesforce DevOps assessments available online. They should show you a personalized report with tailored next steps for you to accelerate your journey towards DevOps maturity.
Why Should You Measure Your DevOps Maturity?
Keeping tabs on your DevOps maturity might feel low priority on your to-do list. But investing the time to take stock and thoroughly evaluate your process will set your team up for continued success in two important ways:
- Identify areas for improvement: Without fully understanding the effectiveness of your DevOps workflow, you can end up having all the tools needed for a mature DevOps process, but still be working ineffectively. Assessing your DevOps maturity is the best way to ensure that you’re optimizing your existing workflow before progressing to the next stage. This will build stronger foundations for a more robust DevOps process.
- Show ROI to stakeholders: Whilst the best approach to adopting DevOps is gradually implementing new processes and tools, this approach may not be what other stakeholders in the business want – they may see a ‘big bang’ approach as the quickest way to see ROI. Being able to demonstrate that the time spent on a gradual implementation will improve your DevOps maturity and increase the ROI delivered by your Salesforce team will help maintain key stakeholder buy-in. Without that confirmation, taking the slow but steady (and most effective) approach to adopting DevOps could mean the project gets abandoned due to stakeholder pressure.
Analyzing these metrics isn’t just for vanity – it’s the key to unlocking maximum DevOps maturity and keeping stakeholders bought in whilst you progress through the different stages of implementation and adoption.
Three Key Stumbling Blocks (and How to Overcome Them)
Taking an online maturity assessment will provide you with tailored advice but if you’re looking for some quick fixes here are three issues that we regularly see holding teams back across the ecosystem and how to address them.
1. Having multiple workflows in the same team
It can be tempting to have different workflows for different roles in your team. For example, we often see admins using change sets while devs have been migrated over to source control. Not only is this an auditing nightmare, a divided setup often leads to overwritten changes and a breakdown in communication.
Both of these outcomes are contrary to the key principles of DevOps. Instead, it’s best to find tools and platforms that can enable all members of the team to adopt DevOps processes regardless of their experience level.
2. Being unable to recover environments
As a faulty deployment could put production out of action for hours, or even make it unrecoverable, teams tend to move slowly and prioritize perfection over delivery. This seriously delays how quickly end users (and stakeholders) see value from development.
Mature DevOps teams have robust testing procedures in place, but are also able to release quickly, knowing that any failures in production can be resolved easily. Finding a ready-made backup solution (for data and metadata) and agreeing a disaster recovery plan in advance can give your team the peace of mind needed to release at higher speed.
3. Adopting DevOps tools without a DevOps culture
Tools and processes alone aren’t enough to make DevOps work. There needs to be a cultural shift to align with and see the value in DevOps. It only takes one person who isn’t bought in to derail the implementation for the whole team.
Ensuring everyone completes thorough training on the new processes, including the benefits that these processes are expected to bring, will help avoid disengagement or frustration in the team and be a great step towards building a true DevOps culture.
DevOps maturity is a key metric that you should nail down in 2023 for success in 2024. By considering the tools and processes you have in place and how effectively those tools are used, you can grasp where your team is on your journey towards robust Salesforce DevOps.
If you’re experiencing issues at the moment, addressing them is a great starting point to supercharge your DevOps by 2024.
Here are some more resources if you’re keen to dive further into Salesforce DevOps: