Whether you are using Agile, Scrum, Waterfall, your own implementation, the last thing you want to be focused on is the collection and aggregation of data as it pertains to your release.
The hallmark of any process you are using is that the data should be easily consumable, aggregated, and rolled up into a view that can easily answer the following questions;
How are we doing?
Who is ahead/falling behind?
What’s our quality level?
And the all important, when will we be ready to release?
If you can’t answer those questions without bringing up some kind of report or dashboard or creating one yourself, then there is a hole in your process that is requiring you to allocate your time and energy to the wrong part of your delivery.
Whether it’s JIRA, GIT, or Azure DevOps, the collection of data should be the easiest thing you are doing. From there, run a few iterations to iron out the bugs, and by the third one, you should have the basis for what is being done in the system.
If you are on your seventh or eighth iteration and still figuring out questions around the data, you’re not providing the value as a Software Manager that your team is so desperately craving – focusing on the Context.
The context is about answering and providing information around the data, such as;
Our capacity dropped because we had an influx of customer issues?
We had an outage that took down one of our development environments?
We are onboarding new team members
We are refactoring code on this particular story which added time and reduced debt.
When it comes to a status update, this is what people want to hear about, the context that surrounds the data.
The focus then, as a Development Manager, then becomes to get the data out as quickly and efficiently as possible so that you have more time to answer the questions about the context and give people the information they need to know that affect other parts of the group.
If you’re spending your time on the data, on why it’s not right, on why it doesn’t make sense, on why someone didn’t update their tickets, etc, etc. You’re spending your time on the wrong part of the release and simply put wasting your time on the task that should be the most easily automated so that you’re providing the value that the team mosts.
Understanding, interpreting, and digesting what the data means.