When was the last time a significant software development project you were managing went off without a hitch? All stakeholders aligned on requirements, work properly scoped, no backlog of duplicate issues, dates held firm, and Sales and Customer Success didn’t have to ask when features would be done. Sounds dreamy right? Suppose this occurs even once for a development team. In that case, you are in rarefied air because shipping code — especially strategic roadmap initiatives have a lot of dependencies from ideation through go-to-market. Companies have come to accept that software delivery is a moving target.
The best, high-performance engineering and product teams don’t give in to the chaos; they harness it and learn from it to more effectively and proactively manage their workflow and anticipate risks. By using the data available to them, these teams create a culture of continuous learning and optimization.
1. Centralize data for better context and visibility.
Your teams rely on many different tools to build software like Jira, GitHub, Trello, and Slack, creating data and communication silos. No single dev tool will tell you the story. Pulling that data together in one place gives you more context about your teams and work and a clearer picture of progress so you can create better understanding and communication around delivery.
How Allstacks Helps: This is the real power of Allstacks. The more teams you have, the more tools you have, which causes an even more detailed picture for you to look at. Whatever tools they are using to manage time and projects, Allstacks collects that data and uses AI and ML for a 360-degree picture of all your software delivery projects.
2. Establish performance benchmarks.
As an engineering leader, you need to decide on the KPIs that matter the most to your team and fellow product stakeholders. Spending 5 minutes to understand where you are on critical metrics like PR Cycle Time and Velocity can help you set correct and attainable benchmarks for your team that drive continuous improvement. You can read more about the engineering metrics we recommend and how to get started in this blog series.
How Allstacks Helps: We look at your historical data from all the systems used to build software from Slack to GitHub to give you trending insights about your team so you can set measurable targets for continuous improvement. Metrics include things like Team Productivity, Process Health, Work Patterns, and more.
3. Get alerts when a project is slipping.
Timelines are constantly shifting based on capacity, requirements, scope creep, and high-priority bugs. WHEN you find out something will be late is crucial. Setting up alerts when strategic work appears to be running behind forecast will allow you to align with stakeholders on priority proactively.
How Allstacks helps: For any given effort, our constantly updated, AI-powered forecasting enables you to understand when anything in your process might be at risk. Allstacks further let you dig down into why it’s going off the rails without hours of manual investigation and meetings, as well as avoiding the game of telephone that can hide these issues in the first place.
4. Proactively resolve blockers and avoid inefficiencies.
Looking at trends in how your teams work will help you identify common work patterns that may be causing inefficiencies. By identifying these sticking points in your process, you can start to build a culture of continuous improvement.
How Allstacks helps: Use a Pull Request (PR) Cycle Time Report or Work In Progress (WIP) Report to not only catch problems as they happen but to track whether the fixes you put in place are effective, so you don’t repeat old habits. Our own Work In Progress report shows that an issue that is estimated to take 16 hours hasn’t started. We can drill down into the history of this and see what we need to do clear the way for this work to start.
5. Create transparency and accountability with leadership and product stakeholders using shareable reports.
A common challenge for engineering is misalignment with the rest of the business that relies on your ability to hit milestones on time to take the product to market. So when things get off track, friction is created between stakeholders. By aligning with stakeholders on what metrics and reports would be helpful for them and then making that data easily accessible to them in real-time will create a culture of transparency and accountability while helping to set expectations and adjust plans accordingly.
How Allstacks helps: Allstacks gives product and engineering teams better forecasting tools to keep the project on track and cross-functional stakeholders informed. Using the Allstacks Portfolio Report to track how specific issues or projects roll up to larger company goals will help improve that communication and set expectations with other product stakeholders.
Getting started shouldn't mean more work
To improve efficiency and effectiveness at scale like this, you need a single source of truth that brings together all the data in one place and can quickly make sense of it in a way that drives actionable, data-driven improvements. It’s not an easy task because all the data needed to do this lives across all your teams (who probably all have different methodologies and workflows) and in disconnected tools.
No matter the current state of your engineering and product teams, it’s never more important to have the most valuable data at your fingertips and keep software projects on track. With Allstacks, we make tracking the details and forecasting work easy.
Learn more about how All stacks can help your engineering team deliver the roadmap with confidence: