November 21, 2022

Image showing the DevOps infinity symbol overlaid on a graphic of some graphs

CALMS is a well-liked framework for assessing a company’s implementation of DevOps-based working practices. The mannequin was first printed inside The Devops Handbook.

Making use of the CALMS mindset to your work helps to set you up for DevOps success. You should utilize it to evaluate efficiency, id enchancment alternatives, and set up benchmarks towards neighboring groups and the broader trade. On this article you’ll be taught what the CALMS rules are and the way they will elevate your DevOps technique.

What Is CALMS?

CALMS units out five focus areas that high-achieving DevOps groups excel in:

  • Tradition – DevOps ought to be deeply ingrained in your group with sturdy assist in any respect ranges, from particular person builders to enterprise executives. Non-tech groups want to acknowledge the advantages of fast iteration and steady supply earlier than engineers can set up optimum workflows.
  • Automation – Handbook processes are labor-intensive, pricey, and error-prone. Utilizing automation to handle infrastructure and create deployments frees up groups to make extra significant enhancements to your merchandise.
  • Lean – DevOps and Lean methodologies go properly collectively. Eliminating bottlenecks, embracing fast failures, and counting on iteration as a substitute of prescriptive launch schedules will increase throughput whereas preserving high quality.
  • Measurement – Enhancements aren’t pulled from skinny air. The very best groups regularly measure and analyze information to examine what’s working and determine new alternatives. Adopting the DevOps philosophy inside present groups typically takes a number of makes an attempt to get proper. Common efficiency critiques permit ineffective practices to be terminated earlier than they sap sources.
  • Sharing – DevOps encourages collaboration between groups and disciplines. Engineers and operators ought to share insights from their actions, together with successes similar to new automation instruments and failures like shifting too quick and breaking an surroundings. Proactive sharing lessens the dangers of group suppose, siloed info, and perpetuated inefficiencies.

These 5 rules foster sturdy DevOps practices inside your workforce. They information you in direction of embracing the DevOps methodology by singling out particular attributes which might be attribute of fine implementations.

CALMS supplies a helpful mnemonic of areas to focus on for DevOps enhancements. In case your course of isn’t fairly proper, “hold calm” and begin automating, iterating, and measuring.

CALMing Your Processes

To CALM your processes, first deal with any blockers that forestall folks from embracing the DevOps tradition. Subsequent determine alternatives to improve inefficient workflows by eradicating them altogether, breaking steps into lean iterations, or incorporating automated instruments that carry out repetitive duties for you.

After you’ve utilized your enhancements, measure their results to know whether or not they’re working. Use the insights out of your information to make additional changes that concentrate on particular issues. Proceed iterating in adjust-measure-improve cycles till your information confirms the meant impact has materialized.

Share what you’ve realized with these round you as your course of develops. This might be throughout a retrospective nevertheless it’s typically extra helpful to disseminate info because it’s amassed. This retains everybody knowledgeable of what’s occurring, the place you’re headed, and the the explanation why explicit approaches are being favored.

What Ought to You Measure?

Making the precise measurements is a crucial a part of DevOps success. With out information you don’t know the way properly you’re performing. You may need a way that you just’re succeeding or falling behind however this might be exaggerated or an entire reversal of what’s really occurring.

The four DORA metrics are a great start line for DevOps efficiency measurement. These monitor Deployment Frequency, Change Lead Time, Change Failure Charge, and the Time to Restore Service after an incident. Combining DORA evaluation with the CALMS framework provides you tangible information and a framework for enhancing your outcomes.

You may discover your deployment frequency trending downwards over time, for instance. This can be a unhealthy signal – it’s taking longer for code to succeed in prospects, however you may not know why. The CALMS framework supplies solutions for resolving the issue. It might be that there’s too many steps to launch new adjustments, one thing that’s resolvable by automation. Alternatively, revisions is perhaps getting blocked as they transfer between groups, indicating a loosening of lean rules and a degrading DevOps tradition. This may demand extra cross-discipline dialogue to repair.

How CALMS Allows DevOps Success

CALMS isn’t one other empty buzzword. It helps solidify and consolidate DevOps greatest practices, making the sometimes imprecise idea extra approachable. There’s a couple of option to do DevOps however one of the best implementations might be constructed on the 5 CALMS rules.

You should utilize CALMS to identify each issues and alternatives. There is perhaps rules that you just’re lacking or ones that are being underutilized. It’s frequent for organizations to automate components of processes however lack a cohesive DevOps tradition, for instance. Different companies may enthusiastically advocate the DevOps mindset however lack the info factors to measure their success. Referring to CALMS reveals the lacking pillar in every case.

CALMS showcases how good DevOps hybridizes environment friendly engineering with the mindset and workforce tradition that helps it. That you must implement sensible steps – principally automation and evaluation – whereas adopting a piece ethic that favors iterative collaboration. Usually appraising the extent of every CALM precept, then making small adjustments to enhance, will step by step progress your DevOps maturity and allow you to attain the overarching purpose of transport high quality code extra shortly.


DevOps is greater than instruments and know-how. The CALMS model acknowledges this by additionally emphasizing collaboration and tradition. These could be seen as DevOps’ human aspect. Evaluating your group’s adoption of the CALMS rules signifies whether or not tradition and know-how are optimally balanced to provide DevOps success.

Whereas CALMS is a helpful framework for detecting your strengths and weaknesses, it doesn’t assure you’ll grow to be a DevOps high-performer. DevOps is inherently subjective and customizable: the CALMS rules are relevant to most groups, however you’ll be able to tweak them to align together with your surroundings. Adhering to the framework shouldn’t overtake your sense of the best DevOps implementation in your state of affairs.

Some giant organizations may discover it impractical to rollout one set of DevOps practices throughout all their cohorts, for instance. Small inter-team workflow variances aren’t essentially an issue, particularly when supported by sharing mechanisms – the “s” in CALMS – that permit groups to be taught from one another and step by step unify their strategies.

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