What is the Mean Time to Recover (MTTR) in DORA Metrics?

The Mean Time to Recover (MTTR) is a crucial measurement within DORA (DevOps Research and Assessment) metrics. It provides insights into how fast an organization can recover from disruptions. In this blog post, we will discuss the importance of MTTR in DevOps and its role in improving system reliability while reducing downtime.

What is the Mean Time to Recover (MTTR)?

MTTR, which stands for Mean Time to Recover, is a valuable metric that calculates the average duration taken by a system or application to recover from a failure or incident. It is an essential component of the DORA metrics and concentrates on determining the efficiency and effectiveness of an organization's incident response and resolution procedures.

Importance of MTTR

It is a useful metric to measure for various reasons:

  • Minimizing MTTR enhances user satisfaction by reducing downtime and resolution times.
  • Reducing MTTR mitigates the negative impacts of downtime on business operations, including financial losses, missed opportunities, and reputational damage.
  • Helps meet service level agreements (SLAs) that are vital for upholding client trust and fulfilling contractual commitments.

Essence of Mean Time to Recover in DevOps

Efficient incident resolution is crucial for maintaining seamless operations and meeting user expectations. MTTR plays a pivotal role in the following aspects:

Rapid Incident Response

MTTR is directly related to an organization's ability to respond quickly to incidents. A lower MTTR indicates a DevOps team that is more agile and responsive and can promptly address issues.

Minimizing Downtime

Organizations' key goal is to minimize downtime. MTTR quantifies the time it takes to restore normalcy, reducing the impact on users and businesses. software delivery software development software development

Enhancing User Experience

A fast recovery time leads to a better user experience. Users appreciate services that have minimal disruptions, and a low MTTR shows a commitment to user satisfaction.

Calculating Mean Time to Recover (MTTR)

It is a key metric that encourages DevOps teams to build more robust systems. Besides this, it is completely different from the other three DORA metrics.

MTTR metric measures the severity of the impact. It indicates how quickly DevOps can acknowledge unplanned breakdowns and repair them, providing valuable insights into incident response time.

To calculate this, add up the total downtime and divide it by the total number of incidents that occurred within a particular period. For example, the time spent on unplanned maintenance is 60 hours. The total number of incidents that occurred is 10 times. Hence, the mean time to recover would be 6 hours.


Mean time to recover

Elite performers

Less than 1 hour

High performers

Less than 1 day

Medium performers

1 day to 1 week

Low performers

1 month to 6 months

The response time should be as short as possible. 24 hours is considered to be a good rule of thumb.

High Mttr means the product will be unavailable to end users for a longer time period. This further results in lost revenue, productivity, and customer dissatisfaction. DevOps needs to ensure continuous monitoring and prioritize recovery when a failure occurs.

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  • With pre-built integrations in your dev tool stack, get all the relevant data flowing in within minutes and see it configured as per your processes.
  • Gain visibility beyond DORA by diving deep and correlating different metrics to identify real-time bottlenecks, sprint delays, blocked PRs, deployment efficiency, and much more from a single dashboard.
  • Set custom improvement goals for each team and track their success in real time. Also, stay updated with nudges and alerts in Slack.

Use Cases

Downtime can be detrimental, impacting revenue and customer trust. MTTR measures the time taken to recover from a failure. A high MTTR indicates inefficiencies in issue identification and resolution. Investing in automation, refining monitoring systems, and bolstering incident response protocols minimizes downtime, ensuring uninterrupted services.

Quality Deployments

Metrics: Change Failure Rate and Mean Time to Recovery (MTTR)

Low Change Failure Rate, Swift MTTR

Low deployment failures and a short recovery time exemplify quality deployments and efficient incident response. Robust testing and a prepared incident response strategy minimize downtime, ensuring high-quality releases and exceptional user experiences.

High Change Failure Rate, Rapid MTTR

A high failure rate alongside swift recovery signifies a team adept at identifying and rectifying deployment issues promptly. Rapid responses minimize impact, allowing quick recovery and valuable learning from failures, strengthening the team’s resilience.

Mean Time to Recover and its Importance with Organization Performance

MTTR is more than just a metric; it reflects engineering teams' commitment to resilience, customer satisfaction, and continuous improvement. A low MTTR signifies:

Robust Incident Management

Having an efficient incident response process indicates a well-structured incident management system capable of handling diverse challenges.

Proactive Problem Solving

Proactively identifying and addressing underlying issues can prevent recurrent incidents and result in low MTTR values.

Building Trust

Trust plays a crucial role in service-oriented industries. A low mean time to resolve (MTTR) builds trust among users, stakeholders, and customers by showcasing reliability and a commitment to service quality.

Operational Efficiency

Efficient incident recovery ensures prompt resolution without workflow disruption, leading to operational efficiency.

User Satisfaction

User satisfaction is directly proportional to the reliability of the system. A low Mean Time To Repair (MTTR) results in a positive user experience, which enhances overall satisfaction.

Business Continuity

Minimizing downtime is crucial to maintain business continuity and ensure critical systems are consistently available.

Strategies for Improving Mean Time to Recover (MTTR)

Optimizing MTTR involves implementing strategic practices to enhance incident response and recovery. Key strategies include:


Leveraging automation for incident detection, diagnosis, and recovery can significantly reduce manual intervention, accelerating recovery times.

Collaborative Practices

Fostering collaboration among development, operations, and support teams ensures a unified response to incidents, improving overall efficiency.

Continuous Monitoring

Implement continuous monitoring for real-time issue detection and resolution. Monitoring tools provide insights into system health, enabling proactive incident management.

Training and Skill Development

Investing in team members' training and skill development can improve incident efficiency and reduce MTTR.

Incident Response Team

Establishing a dedicated incident response team with defined roles and responsibilities contributes to effective incident resolution. This further enhances overall incident response capabilities.

Building Resilience with MTTR in DevOps

The Mean Time to Recover (MTTR) is a crucial measure in the DORA framework that reflects engineering teams' ability to bounce back from incidents, work efficiently, and provide dependable services. To improve incident response times, minimize downtime, and contribute to their overall success, organizations should recognize the importance of MTTR, implement strategic improvements, and foster a culture of continuous enhancement. Key Performance Indicator considerations play a pivotal role in this process.

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