Sunnyvale, CA , March 16, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Repetitive work for software teams comes in two flavors. The first type is the kind of work that can easily be digitized. This includes processes such as CI-CD (continuous integration, continuous delivery) workflows i.e part of the SDLC (Software Development Life Cycle) that actually deploys the code on various environments. The problem of automating such processes has largely already been solved by most engineering teams.
However, the real gap in the market persists when it comes to solving the second type, and this has been a greater source of inefficiency. This is because of the simple reason that these are tasks that require interaction between teams, processes, or tools. Such situations where proper handoffs need to occur and sign offs are needed are known as Human In The Loop (HITL) interactions. These have been difficult to automate since disparate tools are used across different teams and tying the data together in the context of the engineering processes and the business has its own complexities. This is where Propelo has made a breakthrough.
With the help of its cutting-edge technology, Propelo’s Engineering Excellence platform correlates and analyzes data from 40+ DevOps tools that run the modern software factory (such as Jira, Githubs, Jenkins, Azure, DevOps, Salesforce, and PagerDuty, etc) to provide a common data fabric across the software factory. This technology has proved to be a true game-changer as this forms the basis for Propelo’s AI Driver insights that identifies and drives smart automation to propel the engineering organization forward.
In a rising remote-first/hybrid work culture, here’s how the platform automates work for software teams-
1. Smart Analytics and automation of alerts to avoid cognitive overload-
One challenge that many engineering leaders across industries face is that there can be hundreds and thousands of build jobs running each day. Identifying errors, filling tickets, and routing them to the appropriate teams can be a cumbersome, repetitive, and even impossible task on days with more than usual queries coming in. As a result, when there are issues, alerts go out simultaneously to multiple teams/engineers, many of whom might not even have anything to do with the issue in question. This is where the problem escalates because multiple such alerts can cause cognitive overload and eventually, developers start ignoring such error messages, causing delays in the process. This is a clear and concise example of a human in the loop translating and relaying information between tools and teams.
Propels, the automation playbooks provided by Propelo, automate the roles and responsibilities of the human in the loop in such cases. The advanced technology enables errors to be clustered by type and automatically directs them to the right person in the organization based on clearly outlined parameters such as severity, defect type, ownership, etc. This results in faster resolution of problems, since only the relevant alerts are sent out and are sent only to the right individual/team designated to address them. The information and insights to accomplish this at the backend are drawn from the data-fabric stitched by Propelo.
2. “Nudging” to reduce idle wait times across teams
Propelo’s no-code automation playbooks, known as Propels, also help improve communications between development and other teams such as Security or CI/CD by sending reminders to the relevant people when there are dependencies causing delays. This helps reduce avoidable wait times and improve the velocity of the team, directly boosting the overall productivity.
Each of the above is otherwise a manual step, which has to be repeated often. Thanks to Propelo’s no-code RPA, now automating such repetitive tasks for software teams is easier than ever.
3. Automating manual survey and input process for Software Capitalization
Notably, the government provides significant tax incentives for R&D work. However, companies must track and prove the amount of work/investment that they have done for R&D and not routine activity. To achieve this, companies go through significant effort polling their development teams on what percentage of their effort has been dedicated to R&D, vs other work. This is highly time consuming and error prone.
The Software Capitalization by Propel automates this task from end-to-end. In a traditional framework, the output is categorized by individuals and teams and sent out in the form of neatly packaged reports for validation and approval to various stakeholders in the organization. This process used to take a lot of effort and even weeks to complete. With Propelo, the turn around time to accomplish these tasks has been reduced to hours. An upshot of this approach is that the team has much greater confidence in the data and auditors can more readily accept this number because it is backed by hard, unbiased evidence, leaving no scope for human error.
Each of these examples demonstrates the power and endless possibilities of combining contextual data with smart automation. Propelo customers run thousands of these Propels each day, thereby automating tens and thousands of error prone manual interactions and actions.
Propel has emerged to be the go-to platform for organizations that want to keep up with changing technology and thrive in a Remote-first culture that has become the norm for many companies, moving forward. Not only tech giants, companies across all industries, and even many different functions are going to continue to work remotely. In these conditions, it is critical to have advanced processes in place to achieve business goals in a smart and sustainable way. In this transformed work culture, Propel empowers organizations to deploy best practices and build the right culture coupled with better measurements on how remote work is panning out.
To make remote work successful in the long term, software organizations need a data-informed approach to identify challenges and overcome them. Some aspects and issues that used to be handled in a chat in the hallway or a casual conversation are harder to achieve in a remote setting, and that’s where data-led insights can significantly help. Here’s how-
1. Improve Collaboration
In a large team setting, team members can be waiting for other team members before proceeding- for e.g. a developer who has submitted a Pull Request (PR) might be waiting for the PR to be reviewed so that it can be merged. The problem is that they are unlikely to pick up other tasks till the review is complete, since the review might require a couple of cycles back and forth to fix issues before it is ready for final submission. Such “idle” wait times reduce the overall output of the team.
Similarly, developers could be waiting for other teams like CI-CD or security teams for certain tasks, which can cause potential delays.
Fortunately, Propels help improve collaboration between various teams. The AI-driven platform maps repos and tasks to the relevant people and can send alerts and reminders strategically. Thus, regardless of the developer’s location or time zones, these playbooks are conditionally triggered and land in the tool that developers are already familiar with. This enables bridging the gap introduced by remote work.
2. Measure and manage productivity blockers
With distributed teams working remotely, managers need a data-informed way to measure and manage the productivity of their teams.
Propelo provides 150+ different metrics and insights to measure the velocity, quality, security and other aspects of engineering teams. The data can be rolled up to org levels, broken down to team levels, compared side by side, and analyzed using different facets such as seniority, team types, etc.
This helps engineering teams get a heatmap of the different teams to determine teams that need help. For example, for distributed teams, the data can be viewed by various locations to see if certain locations are more impacted by remote work. This can also prove to be helpful in the case of offshoring and contracting. Data can be compared to see how certain teams are doing as compared to the others. Using various metrics, the cause of issues can be determined, to set a roadmap for improvement.
Additionally, the process of collecting data and sending it as regular reports to various stakeholders can also be automated using “Propels”.
3. Maintain Developer Morale and Happiness via recognition-
Propelo also acts as the missing piece required to ensure Employee Engagement. People working remotely often end up working for longer hours and putting in a lot of effort than required. However, the effort is not necessarily visible to everyone, especially in the case of introverted engineers who may not communicate as often with their peers or reporting managers.
Propelo’s exciting new features around team recognition and kudos provide a way to give a voice to everyone, not only to those who speak the loudest. As tasks are completed, the status and accomplishments are visible to everyone so others can give kudos as well. This way, Propelo helps companies build a culture of collaboration and appreciation.
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