Introducing Service Maturity from OpsLevel

Over the last decade, shrinking feedback loops have been a core part of building and delivering software. Across every phase of development and delivery, software engineering organizations are getting faster answers to questions like:

  • Does this code produce the expected results?
  • Is this software secure from malicious actors?
  • Is this service falling short of, meeting, or exceeding end-user expectations?

Teams that have thrived in this environment reap the rewards from delighting their end-users. They also raise the expectations bar for organizations that haven’t figured out how to work in the new paradigm yet.

The result? A need for companies to iterate and ship software quickly in order to satisfy customers, without sacrificing service quality, reliability or security. The shift to microservice architectures is intertwined with shrinking feedback loops. They let teams be autonomous and fast-moving. But at what cost?

How can organizations adopt a microservice architecture and still safeguard operational excellence over the long run?

Service Maturity, One Level at a Time

Service Maturity provides a custom answer to what’s next? for each of your services, so teams can continuously improve them.

With Service Maturity, systematically measure all your services against your engineering standards, at any scale. And with our service catalog and integrations, these automated Checks can cover service metadata, as well as data from anywhere else in your development or operational toolchains.

On their own, Checks–the individual tests or building blocks of Service Maturity–are useful, especially if you’re evaluating all services on a single domain or issue. But at OpsLevel we’ve recognized that Checks, or even lengthy checklists, don’t accurately reflect how the best engineering teams want to work.

Engineering leaders who care about reliability and operational excellence want to simultaneously evaluate services across many domains and emphasize sustainable, ongoing service maturity efforts–not one-off quick fixes. To support these organizations, we’ve incorporated our Checks into a robust Service Maturity Model.

A birds-eye view of the maturity levels of all the services tracked in OpsLevel
A birds-eye view of the maturity level of all services, including a per-category breakdown.

In practice, a Service Maturity Model is a Rubric for evaluating services against. Importantly, our Rubric is not one size fits all. Instead, Checks are bucketed by Category, Level, and (optionally) Filter.

This gives engineering management, SREs, and platform teams the flexibility to lay out their preferred standards in a rubric that has segmentation, prioritization, and continuous improvement built-in.

Continuous, Targeted Improvement

OpsLevel’s Service Maturity capability makes it straightforward for development teams to know:

  • where their services stand today (the service scorecard)
  • which activities should be prioritized and completed next (the unpassed checks at the next level)
  • what the organization’s aspirations are for service maturity (the full model and each check’s notes which explain its importance)

The lower levels in a rubric (e.g. Bronze) will often map to checks that either need smaller investment to complete or are mission-critical tasks that are worthy of stopping product development work for. Ultimately, though, Service Maturity is flexibly designed to support whatever priorities and best practices a company wants.

This service needs to pass one more check to reach the next level
This service needs to pass one more check to reach the next level

We believe this makes striking the balance between agility and adherence to your engineering best practices possible for all software teams. With OpsLevel’s Service Maturity integrated into your engineering organization, teams can work independently and iteratively review (and level up) their services’ maturity. In parallel, engineering management and platform teams have complete, automatic visibility into the status of each service.

Solving Service Maturity for our Customers

Whether the emphasis is on ensuring the quality of new services as your application grows and evolves or on up-leveling existing services, Service Maturity from OpsLevel can help your organization break down daunting problems into manageable pieces and solve them efficiently and sustainably.

One OpsLevel customer, Convoy, drives operational excellence and delivers first-class solutions to their customers thanks to a focus on Service Maturity.

With their Service Maturity Model in OpsLevel, expectations and priorities are crystal clear, letting teams work more autonomously as they progress through checks and up levels in the rubric.

An example Service Maturity Rubric
An example Service Maturity Rubric, with checks organized by category and level

Building their Service Maturity Model in OpsLevel has also helped Convoy create leverage and avoid manual or repetitive work. Any new component or service added to their environment is automatically scored against the relevant best practices; no time is wasted tracking down the correct standards doc or manually creating or completing scorecards.

Try it Out Yourself

If you’d like to go deeper on Service Maturity and start thinking through the specifics of what it means for your tech stack in your organization, download our Service Maturity spreadsheet today. Although it’s not automated, it will introduce you to the core concepts of implementing a Service Maturity Model and kickstart your Service Maturity journey.

If you’re ready to bring stability and predictability to your architecture, without sacrificing the agility and autonomy development teams need to do their best work, request your OpsLevel demo today.

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