5 Ways to Use People Analytics in Development Resource Planning
Using people analytics with Jira and Github data, development team leads can improve resource planning to build successful, high-performing teams.
In software development, we have tried and true processes for tracking and managing project progress, but resource planning remains a challenge for many development team leads. Epics, sprints, and backlog grooming are paramount for defining and managing scopes of work and enabling teams to work with agility, but the impact of individual contributors (ICs) often gets lost. The data is there, but the insights are buried.
The ripple effects of the pandemic and the Great Resignation brought the employee into focus for organizations, making the impact that people make on work more clear and pronounced. For managers, keeping a pulse on their employees, identifying burnout risk, and providing ICs with skills and learning opportunities has become more important than ever. People analytics provide the actionable insights companies need to make sound decisions related to their employees, including how to get work done efficiently.
Here are five ways you can use people analytics in your software development lifecycle to build successful and high-performing teams, using data sources like Github and Jira.
1. Prioritize the right things
The ability to prioritize and focus on the right things is critical to the success or failure of any team. With the diversity of demands placed on software development teams, that can be a tough task. But with more granular insight into what teams and ICs are working on, alignment can be more manageable for leadership.
This starts with assessing team output, including understanding any seasonal effects, the progress of company-wide goals, and impacts from turnover. Once this analysis is complete, apply a simple benchmark of compensation costs to the task outputs of teams and individuals. The result: A better understanding of how much labor power is supporting maintenance, bug fixes, new builds, and experiments compared to the whole team’s output. With Visier Analytics for Jira, you can see the costs of your R&D investment. By comparing this information to the business outcomes, you can better inform what to build in the future.
2. Identify learning and development opportunities
Learning and development are critically important to employees today—in fact, it tops the list of LinkedIn’s 2022 Learning Report, where “opportunities to learn and grow” was identified as the number one factor that employees say leads to “an exceptional work environment.”
Software team leads can use people analytics to see how tasks are dispersed across developers and the variations that exist based on tenure, skills, and other factors. You can use this people data to identify high performers that might be targeted for stretch assignments and additional development projects, as well as teammates who may be struggling and could benefit from reskilling or upskilling with skills gap analysis.
3. Improve employee retention and succession planning
Do you know which developers on your team are at risk of leaving? Do you have a pulse on how projects and team output will be impacted if they do leave? Development team leads can use people analytics to understand individual impacts across development projects and within teams. When considering retention risk, data can help you look objectively at high performers—and the projects that might be severely impacted by their turnover.
Retention efforts can be prioritized not only to keep the right talent, but also to impact what can be accomplished across the organization by individual departments and teams. When considering new project assignments or shifts in responsibilities, use Visier Analytics for Jira to generate a list of peers based on attributes about ICs and their project deliverables. You can use this to take an objective look at team members to consider for career progression opportunities.
4. Refine employee onboarding programs to accelerate ramp time
The onboarding process is a critical part of every employee’s experience—a moment of truth for retention, employee engagement, and overall team effectiveness. With the increasing stress in delivering projects on schedule, having an effective onboarding process for new developers will greatly improve team performance and reduce the cost of turnover.
In addition to creating a well-planned onboarding program and matching new developers with dedicated mentors, you can use Visier Analytics for Jira to learn meaningful insights about how quickly each software developer reaches full productivity. Use this information to make changes to the onboarding program to accelerate ramp time.
5. Connect people data, employee recognition, and performance
Employee recognition is important to individual employees and business success, and it’s a critical tool available to development team leads. According to Gallup, employee recognition is linked to increased productivity, individual employee engagement, and higher retention.
By leveraging people analytics, you can gain a 360-degree view of individual developers to understand their work contributions more deeply. Using a combination of people insights and feedback from peers and stakeholders, you can recognize your employees and their individual milestones and key contributions.
People insights enable you to provide informed employee performance feedback and make smarter compensation decisions to align individual performance to the desired outcomes for the company. You can also use it to make compensation allocation decisions for departments and teams. Soon, you’ll be able to use Visier with Github to incorporate pull request data for a more informed view of team output.
Leverage people data in development resource planning
By gaining deeper insights into individual and team performance, you can become more efficient at development project execution and build more skilled and agile development teams to continually improve performance in measurable ways.
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