About 6 months ago we were in conversation with a CTO, who had purchased an industry-leading tool for assessing their digital readiness. He discussed how the tool had actually helped them prepare for the digital journey. We asked him to expand on the topic and he spoke at length about how the tool had introduced rigor to their engineering process, helped them measure their code health on a continuous basis, manage SLA’s for engineering team members and so on.
While the high-level approach recommended and implemented by the tool sounded logical, we were surprised to see that the tool actually did not delve into areas that would have given a true representation of their software engineering process. For example, the tool never looked at the version control system used by the organization but had actually used a set of files from a local computer and published some metrics about code health in eye-catching dashboards about their applications and used that to determine their digital readiness.
The meeting which was scheduled for 30 minutes went on for 2 hours, as we explained why it is important to think and derive answers specific to the organization’s context for questions such as the ones below:
- As an engineering manager, how do I bring rigor to the software development process?
- As an engineering manager, how do I measure codebase health?
- Are we using effective Agile, Continuous Delivery practices?
- Are my software engineers adding technical debt or adding asset value to the codebase?
- What metrics should I track for release engineering?
- What engineering SLA’s should we use and how to ensure that teams comply to them?
- How to determine engineering maturity?
- Is Testing considered a part of engineering efforts?
- Once you identify engineering deficiencies, how do you track and close them
Now one might wonder, are these questions not asked every day by some champion inside the engineering organization? Yes, they are being raised but are handled with either industry-leading tools or addressed using dashboards built by the engineering team which serves no purpose other than becoming a formality over a period of time.
Further to the CTO conversation, as we started discussing this topic with some of our existing clients, the engineering representatives were quick to put us down stating that they knew these questions and …. answers too! But when we dug deeper, only then they had their revelation. We also took cognizance of the need to convert these conversations into action which resulted in us building “HORUS,“ a solution that helps organizations succeed in their digital journey with engineering excellence.
Measuring code effectiveness in the digital transformation era