Delivering valuable and high-quality products and changes defines the success of IT. This can only be realized by the effectiveness and efficiency of the entire product delivery pipeline. Organizations often turn to automation to increase throughput. However, lack of attention and upkeep on the entire delivery pipeline has led many organizations to see poor product quality and slow delivery to stakeholders. Organizations want to improve their throughput but are struggling to identify the appropriate solutions to address it.
Throughput is the delivery of valuable and quality products through the software development lifecycle (SDLC) over a given period. Since there is no objective standard for measuring throughput across different delivery methodologies (e.g. Agile and Waterfall) and from one project to the next, your throughput assessment should account for the delivery capabilities required to successfully deliver each feature and change. This will give you the necessary data to analyze throughput over time and across projects and products.
Manual tasks and rework are commonly blamed for poor throughput. However, the actual culprit may be something unrelated, buried beneath assumptions and biases, or rooted in misunderstandings:
Throughput optimization is multifaceted. Improvements will involve the consideration, accommodation, and involvement of good people, process, technology, and management practices across all IT functions and business stakeholders:
Figure: Info-Tech’s Delivery Throughput Framework
Team motivation should be multidimensional. While compensation is important, autonomy, project interests, and business vision can all factor into motivating teams to do better.
Creative, flexible, and empowering environments have more positive impact on productivity than long hours. Teams will begin to burn out after continuous periods of long hours, which poses risk to quality and task completion rate.
Use a realistic allocation of resources from the beginning of delivery work. Staffing up at the last minute will not speed your project up.
Use good practices intelligently and be cognizant of situational needs. Discipline, continuous improvement, and adaptation are key to higher throughput.
How to Measure Throughput and Win the Business’ Trust – Adopt the right measures to gauge your team’s throughput.
Lay the Strategic Foundations of Your Applications Teams – Craft a strategy for your applications teams that balances stakeholder and team priorities and values.
Modernize Your SDLC – Build an effective software development lifecycle centered on value delivery and quality assurance.
Traditional accounting practices are tailor made for waterfall project management. Organizations that have transitioned to the use of standing product teams using Agile and DevOps need to transform their accounting practices as well or they will leave valuable capital expenditure dollars on the table.
IBM is changing the terms of its ubiquitous Passport Advantage agreement to remove entitled discounts on over 5,000 on-premises software products, resulting in an immediate price increase for IBM Software & Support (S&S) across its vast customer landscape.
So you’ve gone Agile. You do daily scrums, retrospectives, and all the “right” Agile ceremonies. But still your organization isn’t quite convinced. It is now critical to balance the drivers and goals of both Agile and traditional thinking in order to achieve organizational success.
Do you feel like your Agile teams are treading water – going through the motions but never going anywhere? It’s a risk, and practices such as daily standups, retrospectives, and demonstrations need to be used wisely or you risk losing discipline to meeting fatigue.
Stakeholders expect the speed and responsiveness of product delivery does not come at the expense of quality. QA tools offer retailers the ability to continuously ensure both business and technical quality standards are upheld, but these tools should not be viewed as a silver bullet.
No matter how good your product roadmap and backlog are, they are only as good as your audience’s ability to understand your vision and priority.
The scrum master is like the conductor of an orchestra, ensuring that every piece fits together at the right time to create something greater than the sum of the parts. You don’t have to know how to play each instrument, but you do have to understand what each part contributes to the overall masterpiece.
Tools are important to product teams, but only when they support solid people and processes.
Aha! introduces scenario planning to give product owners the ability to create and compare multiple release approaches based on team capacity and backlog priority.