A Useful View of the SDLC

When a business and organization launches a software product they are executing against the SDLC, a Software Development Life Cycle (or sometimes just generically called “Systems”).

Regardless of how codified the organization’s system might actually be, they still execute against it in gist, the general process of planning, developing, testing, and then deploying software into the wild.

For most organizations, regardless of size and maturity, the SDLC has almost always been easy to model (on a powerpoint presentation) but difficult to actually manage. And the visibility within each of the systems within the larger, capital “S” system is non-existent, or fuzzy at best.

From the product, to development, to quality, to IT / Ops, to Support, and beyond the organization, team, and individual are trying to surface, understand, and then act against a number of signals, things like:

  • Code ownership
  • Test coverage
  • Release content
  • Code traceability
  • Issue Density
  • Incidents
  • Contribution
  • Release traceability
  • Support tickets
  • Code efficiency
  • Release manifest
  • Engagement

And more… the above isn’t even close to a comprehensive list! So, how does a high-performance engineering organization plan, engineer, release, and then support software?

For a lot of companies they just guess (and they would say that if they are completely honest with themselves). They attempt to use “best practice” models and cobble together different apps and tools and services to surface the available data but even then many organizations are not entirely sure how to correlate the data that they now have and then translate it into action.

I know this personally and deeply after having built software for many years. Sadly, I’ve just accepted that I wouldn’t ever have the type of visibility that I need to support and lead my team and to create the types of value that I wanted to create.

A view of the SDLC via Pinpoint

Which is why I’m more than excited to be sharing a bit more about what we’re doing which is essentially creating greater visibility, through data, so that folks can make better, more informed, data-driven decisions instead of decisions based on educated guesses.

As you can see from the above screen, which is our first iteration of many, you can quickly drill down into the code, the builds and deployments, the software tests that you’re using, any pre-production and production-specific signals.

What’s great is that we’re not replacing any systems nor asking for significant behavioral change; in fact, you don’t have to do much at first! But, what we are doing is showing you what is actually happening in your software organization right now and how your business is actually shipping product.

And now, equipped with real data, you can start making better data-driven decisions. Real opportunities for real improvement now can become available. Instead of white water rafting blind you now get a map! Imagine that.

We’re just getting started down this route, but, we’re still looking for some early companies to help test out what we’re putting together. Please let us know if you’re interested and, of course, stay tuned for more.


Also published on Medium.

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