When it comes to keeping software projects on track, reporting from Jira has a less than stellar reputation. Agile team leaders and project managers often say that Jira is too messy to glean any actionable insights — “Garbage in, garbage out.” From projects, dashboards, issue types, custom screens to priority and permission schemes, it’s easy to see how teams might be using Jira for low-level project management.
Some common complaints about the quality of data in Jira are:
- Keeping fields such as status, labels, and priority up to date is time-consuming for developers though it does not serve them in their work.
- Different product teams have different processes. Jira usage is inconsistent across teams, making knowledge sharing difficult.
Because of inconsistencies and bad habits, the ability for engineering and product leaders to aggregate and understand what is happening across all the teams is nearly impossible. This results in a domino effect — missed deadlines, project shifts, or frequent miscommunication results in decreased revenue, fewer shipped features, and increased mistrust with customers.
And those are just the impacts on the business—cultural issues also spread throughout the org:
- The “business” — Sales, Marketing, and Customer Success comes to expect features to slip or there to be issues.
- Agile team leaders and product managers that serve as the go-between with the business and engineering cannot answer the status of a particular project and cannot diagnose what went wrong.
- When agile and product managers push for more consistency in the data (i.e., force Jira updates or process changes), engineers get frustrated because manually updating Jira takes them out of their workflow and impacts their productivity.
Jira can be great at managing your team’s day-to-day, but as you start to zoom out, it begins to fall short. What if Jira could provide more — but without changing the current behavior or team process? What if the wealth of data available in Jira -could be easily aggregated with other data about software delivery and used as a treasure trove to elevate a product team’s insights about sprints, releases, and builds? What if Jira wasn’t the only tool you could mine for better insights? If data could be extracted as-is without first cleaning up the data, the panacea would give you gold from the garbage.
Finding Gold Amongst the Garbage
Finding the right solution to help make sense of the messy output can be a game-changer. Jira, Github, Jenkins, Azure, and other dev tools need to work in concert to quickly communicate the current state of a build to the rest of the business. While all the inputs from an outsider looking in might appear messy and incomprehensible, some insights and data are gold for understanding what is happening in engineering.
This gold is exactly what we set out to create with Allstacks. Allstacks learns and extracts patterns by taking the decentralized inputs and information from Jira and other tools and intelligently surfacing details to Engineering and Product teams. Simply put, Allstacks connects with data from several sources in its current form to find the average baseline for engineering and product teams, and then we build on that. Allstacks’ customers spend zero time on data clean-up or significant process changes. Instead, within 48 hours, Allstacks can show risk alerts, project updates, project accurate forecasting, and other details that enable scrum masters and product managers to triage work in progress or prepare teams for the next phase in development.
Allstacks works beyond Jira. Integrations across your technology stack are possible, so you can continuously gather real-time data continuously from all sources and discover ways to improve delivery timelines and efficiency continually – that is what Allstacks unlocks.
Not only do we help you make sense of your data in all its forms, but by leveraging everything else we look at, you get a picture that you were not able to see before. We use information like builds, pull/merge requests, commits, and over a dozen other types of events and activities in the development process across multiple tools so you can glean information in a centralized location built to surface insights. Allstacks isn’t used for simple point-in-time reporting. Allstacks uses an unsupervised learning model to track historical data and identify issues that are blocking a project. With AI/ML models like this, Allstacks allows organizations to see analytics on all the tasks at any given moment. Armed with these insights in real-time, teams can improve communication, take action where it’s most impactful, and leverage seemingly “messy” inputs into powerful data insights.
Getting a Major Project Back on Track
When our client ndustrial.io could not track multiple software development efforts or report accurate timelines to stakeholders, team leaders were not happy. When the company started to miss crucial company-wide delivery goals, they came to us for solutions.
One of the significant problems they presented was this: their in-house processes for working with Jira were not delivering the insights they wanted, culminating in a missed deadline for a relaunch of a core product. It was a big disappointment they did not wish ever to repeat.
To solve the problem, we showed them how Allstacks could integrate with Jira and other project development tools like GitHub and Jenkins to examine work patterns, identify risks, and deliver a solid forecast for delivery, even with a sub-par Jira process and utilization.
Using Allstacks in this way, ndustrial.io teams found QA bottlenecks and low participation in code review, among other issues. They started tracking metrics like Epic Focus and Pull Request Cycle Time to continuously monitor these issues, which fixed the slowing things down. They were determined not to miss the new date.
Here were ndustrial.io’s results of using Allstacks to gather and integrate critical data:
- Saved 120 hrs or $12k quarterly on reporting
- Company-wide alignment on when this release would be delivered
- Accelerated development velocity by 3x
- Increased development throughput by 14% while transitioning to a remote workforce
Get started with Allstacks for 30-days free. No Jira updates, organization, or clean-up are required to get started. Allstacks knows you will find gold in what seemingly feels like garbage.