Software development still has a number of stages, steps, tools, platforms and just stuff that needs to be done. This is not getting simpler. In fact as the world of software progresses these things become more complicated through size and scale. We are using a number of tools that did not exist until recently as part of our ecosystems.
The Integration Hub
Along with this we still have a need to understand the state of play for our development and support operations. This state is represented in a number of different tools and processes and can be spread over organisations that number in the hundreds or larger. These projects are scaling and the agile world is also scaling. The questions of how to keep track of events in a way that is manageable and transparent reflects itself in the portfolio layer in the Scaled Agile Framework® (SAFe®), Product Group in LeSS, as well as in DAD. VersionOne acts as an integration hub to bring all these different areas together as shown in the diagram below.
As an integration hub, VersionOne has access to information from tools which truly are across the lifecycle of software development. All of the information from this integration hub can be combined into reports which tell a complete and rich picture of the status of the software development story for any particular value stream or portfolio within the enterprise.
As part of requirements, we can use PPM tools to start programmes and projects with information about a number of main concerns such as:
- Strategy and Investment Funding
- Programme Management
And includes subjects such as:
- Pipeline Management
- Resource Management
- Change Control
- Financial Management
- Risk Management
PPM often is the starting point for work in an enterprise. Work is at hand to make PPM better aligned to agile values, but that may take time. However starting with the big concerns of PPM and moving across the software development landscape we also see:
- Enterprise Tools
- Defect Management
- Sales Knowledge
- Detailed Acceptance Criteria
- TDD Results
- Source Control
- CI (Build)
- Build Numbers
- Build Quality
- Test Results
- Acceptance Tests
- Test Automation Runs and Coverage
- Test Pass/Fail (Not to be confused with Quality)
- CD (Deploy)
- Where is my build now dude
- What is the status of my environments
- Team Tools
- Team Backlogs
- Team Velocity
- Burn Down for Current Sprint
The above is only an example of the information generated by each area of the programme. The challenge to enterprises is to see this at the enterprise level. Each tool provides a view into an aspect of the programme or project and as the diagram show can also share this view with VersionOne, sort of an aspect oriented view of the enterprise.
Analytics and the Data Mart
Information made available through the integrations is placed into the VersionOne data mart. This is available to all of the main tools provided such as:
- Agile Reporting
- Agile Analytics
- Agile Visualisation
- The Data Mart itself
The data mart is populated by data which can be sourced from VersionOne itself or from any of the connected integrations. Once we have access to all of the information shared through the integration hub, what then!
The agile reporting feature has a large number of standard reports that are all available for customization. The usual advice is to find one that is close to what you are looking for and customise a copy of this report. This allows a degree of access to the data held. But there is more!
The visualisations include the scorecard features that allow a fast and intuitive means for grasping the basic health of a programme with drill down capabilities as needed to explore in more detail. This solution provides a scrolling set of scorecards that allow a continuous monitoring of the portfolio to be presented. These can also be customised somewhat. Then what?
The analytics feature can provide a series of customised dashboards for reporting and situational awareness. These dashboards can be customised and user private dashboards can be maintained as desired. These dashboards access the data mart and are good for providing the awareness needed on a daily basis.
Within the analytics you can construct grid views of the data in that data mart, including data items that have been added through the integrations. These views can be exported as spread sheet data for consumption in other places.
In addition reporting features are available to create reports using data in the data mart. These reports can be shared by email in a number of formats such a PDF or Excel. This means that recipients of these reports do not consume VersionOne license counts. This ability to export using external formats is available throughout the Analytics feature.
If these features do not deliver what is needed then the data mart can be accessed by external tools including Business Objects, Crystal Reports, Actuate, Cognos or LogiXML.
VersionOne integrates a wide range of tools and platforms and creates the data mart from these platforms and data managed directly from VersionOne. This data mart can then be accessed by a wide range of tools provided through the VersionOne data mart.
This approach allows an enterprise to exploit the fact that the most complete set of data for its development organisation is in the VersionOne integration hub. The value in this data is through the information that can be derived and shared from it, while supporting decision making throughout the enterprise from board to team.
About the Author
Mike Carew is focused on helping European organizations adopt the VersionOne platform on their agile journeys. Mike has been involved in every aspect of software business including support, development, operations, management and services. At HP he established the EMEA agile practice. Mike has coached teams and corporations from the FTSE 100, non-listed and government. He brings a pragmatic approach to coaching since he sees that there is no such thing as a one size fits all.
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