In order for automation to be successful with DevOps, teams must track quality throughout development and deployment, according to a Forrester study released Monday. Commissioned by continuous testing company Tricentis, the research studied 94 quality metrics placed into four categories, said the press release.

To be successful, DevOps leaders need to understand the business risks associated with both DevOps and Agile use, said the press release. Additionally, DevOps leaders either focus on contextual metrics or counting metrics, and some measure user experience over an end-to-end interaction or on application-specific experiences, said the press release.

SEE: Research: DevOps adoption rates, associated hiring and retraining, and outcomes after implementation (Tech Pro Research)

If DevOps specialists want to remain, or become, experts in the field, then they need to follow these five practices.

  1. Allocate proper testing budgets and focus on upgrading their testing skills
  2. Implement continuous testing to meet the demands of release frequency and support continuous delivery
  3. Include testers as part of their integrated delivery teams;
  4. Automate end-to-end functional testing
  5. Shift-left testing to earlier in the development life cycle.

These practices are meant to improve speed and efficiency, which is a goal with most companies, but especially vital among those implementing DevOps practices.

“Organizations adopt DevOps to accelerate the delivery of innovative software that creates positive user experiences,” Clark Golestani, managing director of C Sensei Group, explained in the press release. “If you start accelerating delivery without also rethinking your approach to quality, you will end up rapidly delivering updates that drive your customers to competitors.

Every automated software delivery carries the risk of negative user experience, but these risks can dissipate through better business testing.

To properly address customer needs, DevOps practitioners should try expanding their skillset. Click here for suggestions on bad habits to break, and then click here to learn how to improve your skills further.

The big takeaways for tech leaders:

  • Successful DevOps leaders must track software development through creation and deployment, while seeking to understand the model’s risks as well — Forrester, 2018
  • Tracking metrics helps to develop software at a faster rate and improve consumer experience. — Forrester, 2018