Improve release velocity with SaaS-based release orchestration

Written by: Seetharam Param
5 min read

Release velocity is one of the most crucial metrics to focus on for any modern software company. Companies that can iterate quickly, safely releasing better features and new products are more competitive and more successful. But modernizing and scaling software delivery is challenging. DevOps teams need to overcome visibility, management, and intelligence gaps caused by sprawling toolsets, multiple processes, and siloed teams. 

With the new SaaS capabilities enabled by the ReleaseIQ acquisition, the CloudBees Platform meets these challenges by bringing together DevOps teams with complete visibility and control for any application, deployed to any platform – giving them the freedom to use the tools they already know and love. Leaders can address the organizational disconnects exacerbated by disjointed frameworks for CI, CD, Agile, Ops-SRE, and QA by enabling their teams with end-to-end release orchestration, visibility, and data-driven intelligence insights.

With these new capabilities you can build software at a faster pace with higher quality, and you can seamlessly operate all stages of your development operations with full visibility of the entire release process. In this blog, I will explain the three major use cases of this release orchestration product that improve release velocity:

  • Release pipeline orchestration embracing any combination of CI and CD technologies

  • Commit-level visibility across the release workflow

  • DevOps metrics and insights

Release pipeline orchestration embracing any combination of CI and CD technologies

The no-code, drag-and-drop pipeline composer – which seamlessly integrates with third-party tools like Jenkins, Argo CD, GitHub Actions, Bamboo, and CircleCI – flattens your learning curve with a single tool to import, build, extend, and connect all of your pipelines from end to end. It also eliminates manual steps in the release process, speeding your delivery process.

The image below shows the pipeline composer UI and a sample pipeline that connects multiple Jenkins pipelines to orchestrate the release workflow. 

In the image below, you see a sample pipeline which contains a GitHub Actions workflow, Jenkins, and CloudBees CI pipelines. 

Commit-level visibility across the release workflow

One of the main objectives of DevOps is to remove the logical barriers that have traditionally existed between development and operations teams. In legacy environments, development teams often kicked their completed code “over the wall,” leaving operations teams scrambling to integrate and test new features. This often leads to long hours of debugging unexpected behavior and performance issues. CI/CD helped bring down that wall to some degree, but offering commit-based visibility across the entire pipeline environment provides a new level of shared ownership between operations and development.

Being able to identify broken changes across engineering organizations can also provide longer term statistical data for identifying trends. If certain teams or application stacks are more prone to introducing negative change into the environment, additional engineering resources can be dedicated to help improve testing and reliability. Without this level of holistic visibility, it will be much harder for leadership to know where to focus a limited pool of resources. In the case of commit-based visibility, problem areas surface themselves in an easy-to-understand system of visualization and metrics.

The above pictures show how developers can easily view their commits all the way through to production and get relevant logs for test failures. They can also troubleshoot pipelines without leaving the UI, and can get everyone on the same page and collaborate with shared data. With commit-level visibility across the release workflow, software delivery teams can identify bottlenecks and focus resources to improve release velocity.

DevOps with metrics and insights

DORA metrics and Flow metrics provide objective data to measure the performance of software delivery teams and drive improvement.  DORA metrics are used by DevOps teams to measure their performance and find out whether they are “low performers” to “elite performers.” The four metrics used are deployment frequency (DF), lead time for changes (LT), mean time to recovery (MTTR), and change failure rate (CFR). The teams performing at an elite level are twice as likely to meet, or even exceed, performance goals within their organization.

The following figure summarizes the different levels:

The four key DORA metrics are helpful for measuring performance across each stage of the DevOps lifecycle. They also provide insight into where improvements need to be made across each stage to improve overall release velocity and performance across the entire lifecycle. 

For example, if your team is having trouble releasing new features quickly enough, it may be because releases take too long and/or require too much manual intervention before being deployed into production. If so, improving your deployment velocity should be a priority for your team. On the other hand, if problems are found in production after every release, then recovery speed should be a priority instead since these issues could cause significant damage to your company’s reputation or bottom line if they are not addressed quickly enough.

Connect your islands of automation and use objective data to identify bottlenecks to increase release velocity today! Request a demo

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