Recipe for a software product development dashboard — Engineering Business Outcomes | Infogain
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Recipe for a software product development dashboard

Recipe for a software product development dashboard

To adapt to an increasingly remote workforce, organizations have overhauled and updated their infrastructure.  Ordered laptops. Strengthened VPN policies. Enabled videoconference at all levels for all departments.

They should also update their information sources so management – and all levels – gets real-time, correct data to make the right decisions and corrections.

For this, software companies need a "metrics dashboard." It’s one of the fundamentals of project management. In most cases, a dedicated PMO does all the tracking and publishing of these metrics. But the right dashboard can help analyze key performance indicators to analyze marketing and business efforts over time and across multiple channels.

Keep these basic principles in mind:

  • Speed in the Agile world, a delay of even a half-day can cost a Sprint delivery.
  • As the list of tools grows -- SFDC, JIRA, Rally, ALM, SONAR, UFT, Selenium, Jenkins, etc. -- there is a need to consolidate and extract information quickly.
  • Room to grow. Product lifecycles have added DevSecOps and expanded, requiring more metrics and data.

Based on that, here are some suggested features to include.

  • Online connectivity that brings in live data.
  • Scalable plug-n-play architecture that can quickly integrate with new tools.
  • User-friendly, customizable UI so individuals can set their information priorities.
  • Personal dashboards set up for a member’s team and role in the project.
  • The ability to “slice and dice” information across multiple parameters.
  • Provide intelligence metrics for the future to handle projects and organizational processes.

Across the product lifecycle, there can be hundreds of KPIs to capture. Here are some of the stages and their common metrics.

There can be hundreds of KPIs. Some popular metric categories, and their KPIs, include:

  • Plan and Design. Scoped stories. Velocity. Requirement volatility. Requirement variation
  • Develop and Commit. Rule compliance. Rule violations. Unit testing status. Lines of code. Technical debt.
  • Compile and Build. Builds per day. Build success / Failure, Build Duration, Build Success Rates
  • Deploy. Deployment successes, failures, types, and frequency.
  • Test. Design and execution productivity. Automation pass percentage. Defect rejection ratio. Defect find rate. Open vs. closed defects. Automation coverage. Tester efficiency
  • Operate. Tickets received vs. Resolved. Priority of unresolved tickets. Ticket resolution rate. Meantime to restore. Meantime between failures.

That’s a lot of potential data. Here are some values to guide you.

  • Keep the number of KPIs to what matters to you most.
  • Restrict information served to appropriate stakeholders.
  • Always have the comparable baselines displayed.
  • Move with the industry. Add new KPIs and don’t stick with obsolete ones.

Infogain can help with the setup and training for your next dashboard. Please email us at info@infogain.com with your questions.

About the Author

Umesh Naik, Software Assurance, Infogain

Umesh Naik

Umesh Naik is the Program Manager at Infogain with nearly 25 years of experience in managing IT operations, development and Manual, System Integration, Database, and Automation Testing. He is a certified SCRUM Master and an experienced project planner with expertise in spearheading numerous projects and ensuring delivery of projects within the time & cost parameters. Umesh has also led various testing projects in technologies like .net, Silverlight, SharePoint, OLAP, Java.