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Improve Engineering Workflow Management with Pluralsight Flow

Cyberdime
Published: May 3, 2022

In a tech landscape stimulated by unprecedented growth, efficient workflow management has never been more crucial. The pandemic has forced many to accelerate projects—without compromising on quality—in order to address new and often unexpected needs of the business. The shift to remote work has only heightened the need for organizations to keep abreast of entire processes, manage workflows and ensure their team members are set up for success.

So, how can organizations maintain work efficiency in the face of challenging circumstances, both in the short-term as we navigate the effects of the pandemic, and long into the future?

Enter: Pluralsight Flow. 

Chances are, your engineers have strong intuitions about where they could stand to improve—after all, we’ve found that the natural state of an engineer is to be productive and engaged. Flow augments these keen intuitions with objective, data-driven insights, highlighting opportunities for improvement and providing the positive feedback needed to fuel continuous growth. 

In order to more effectively deliver complex projects within short time frames, organizations need to uncover roadblocks, identify improvements, and accurately manage the workflows of both individuals and entire teams. Flow covers all the bases.

The current state of engineering deliveries

Without having insights into each stage of the engineering workflow, many organizations are left to balance the equation with disparate, often inactionable data. When productivity falls, they’re unable to determine the cause—whether their engineers are spending excessive time in meetings, being pulled away from core responsibilities, dealing with late-changing and ambiguous business requests, or trapped by inefficient workflows. As a result, many have no set standard for how to optimize project delivery.

For many engineers and managers alike, it’s become a necessary evil to report issues or learnings back to project leads via email. This is unhelpful, as crucial data is often lost or not measured at all. If engineering teams don’t have visibility into things like code commits, churn, time helping others, responsiveness to pull requests and more, subjective feelings and anecdotes come in to fill the gaps—not reflecting the full engineering story.

Additionally, managers could also be using the wrong metrics to help their engineers thrive. Imagine a scenario where an engineer is deemed to be highly productive because their productivity is measured by how many lines of code they’ve written in a day, when, in fact, it may be far more impactful and efficient for an engineer to have created high-performance code in as few lines as possible. This is an inaccurate measure of an engineer’s impact on a project, and it will skew the overall understanding of how that engineer’s contributing to the team workflow.

Having no central place to collate feedback—and no outlined framework for reporting challenges—causes engineering projects to lack clarity, and engineers find it difficult to visualize and report on progress. It’s easy for workflow changes to spiral out of control and for complaints or performance issues to get lost. This results in confusion, and in the worst case, delays to delivering projects and lost revenue. Beyond this, it may even be impossible to effectively learn from challenges and improve things for next time.

Transparency through Flow reporting

Flow provides a number of robust reports built to overcome these challenges:

  • By offering a comprehensive picture of merged PR activity, the PR Resolution Report reveals the root causes of outliers in productivity. This makes it easy for teams to course-correct as needed, facilitating healthy work patterns for all.  

  • The Project Timeline Report provides clean, accessible data on recent trends in every team member’s work—including commit volume, code churn and a breakdown of different types of tasks.

  • The Review Collaboration Report offers a data-driven snapshot of team collaboration patterns and identifies new opportunities for team members to work together.

Flow enables project leads to visualize how a team’s contributions and work patterns function on a daily basis, decreases project ramp-up time and reduces knowledge silos within engineering departments. In turn, engineers can better understand their own contributions to a project and how to be more productive, improving communications with their teams. This encourages holistic collaboration and, ultimately, more efficient product delivery.

Data for good

Ad-hoc email updates, self-reporting or broad and generic insights shared at the end of a project are not effective ways to understand what is and isn’t working. Flow provides sophisticated engineering insights at a granular level, benefiting everyone involved.

Flow’s ability to identify specific inefficiencies and areas for improvement equips entire teams with key insights into the engineering process. This level of visibility can also improve team morale, as it helps managers to become true advocates for their engineers—helping them to perform to the best of their ability while removing cultures of blame or deflection.

There’s a present need to be able to map the entire engineering workflow. It enables companies to remain productive and profitable—particularly as we navigate a pandemic—and to better support customers through increased product delivery speeds. 

The ability to standardize processes across engineering teams, and continue to learn iteratively from each project, will aid in delivering greater value to clients, cementing their business goals and fending off ever-encroaching competition. Perhaps more importantly, it will help to instill cohesion among teams, helping you retain your engineering talent. 

The end result? Teams that predictably ship reliable, scalable and secure products, ultimately benefiting the wider business.

Source: www.pluralsight.com