A few years before I left Microsoft UK to join RippleRock, I remember having a conversation with one of my future colleagues about RippleRock’s value proposition and their response was simply this:
“We will make your Agile project successful”
Now, of course they went on to caveat that this requires buy-in from the business among other things but RippleRock’s specialism in both Lean/Agile process and ALM/DevOps tooling give them a unique position among the Microsoft UK Partners.
Since I joined the team, RippleRock have continued to deliver on that statement but there is one thing that comes up project after project and that is the difficulty and inaccuracy teams encounter with gaining usable insight into their development process . On top of that, most organisations insist on reporting on metrics that will only drive the wrong behaviour and cause dissatisfaction in the team.
Some examples include:
- How accurate are the team’s initial estimates?
- How many bugs have the testers raised?
- How many lines of code have been written?
- Comparing velocity across teams
- Cost per team/Story Point
This type of behaviour and the difficulty in authoring reporting (initially in TFS/VSTS but also in Jira etc.) caused RippleRock to develop SenseAdapt. The name obviously comes from the tool’s aim which is to allow teams to ‘sense’ what is going on in their project and ‘adapt’ their process in order to improve things.
Some examples of what SenseAdapt is visualising for your team:
- When will this project complete?
- Based on real historical data and using Monte Carlo simulation to predict the likely range of completion dates.
- How healthy is our backlog?
- Are we working on the right things? Have we given the team all the information they need to do their jobs?
- How much ‘sludge’ is in our backlog?
- Typically, there is lots. This is work that never makes its way to the top of the backlog and will never be addressed, it just sits there, growing and demoralising the team
- Where are the bottlenecks in our process?
- How can we improve the flow of value to users
Figure 1: Currently available charts in SenseAdapt
Our clients have been using SenseAdapt for five months and the insights that it brings to teams and management is leading to real change in both process and project scope as they rely less on the current subjective reporting and groupthink.
Recently we came up with what I think is the perfect description of what RippleRock are enabling with SenseAdapt:
Whilst we use tools such as Application Insights and Dynatrace to monitor a running application or website, SenseAdapt monitors your development process and helps you to see and then take action to improve the system.
If you are interested in a demo or a trial of SenseAdapt or want to discuss what it could offer you then contact us.
If you are UK based then come along to our free event at Microsoft Campus in Reading on 6th May where we will talk about all this and much more.
More details and signup here:
Engaging the Business with Team Foundation Server: From Idea to Live – Microsoft Campus, Reading (Friday 6th May 2016)
More information on SenseAdapt available on http://www.senseadapt.com