6 DSIs to help you with Software Delivery Management
“If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it” – this quote is often repeated in various professional publications, time and time again. Although no one actually knows who said it first, a number of IT specialists find a lot of truth in it.
We are no exception – and that’s why, in our opinion, every solid IT company should have a set of indicators that help measure the effectiveness of software delivery.
The art of software delivery management: a comprehensive guide
Software delivery lifecycle can get pretty complex. That’s why at Future Processing, we’ve put together a guide with ‘6 DSIs to Help You with Software Delivery Management’.
It’s really our way of showing how to improve the entire agile software delivery process, making it more measurable and impactful. You can think of it as a roadmap that will help you measure software delivery performance, making it easier for you to navigate through each step with clarity and confidence.
What are Delivery Success Indicators (DSI)?
Delivery Success Indicators (DSIs) are a set of KPIs that help managers monitor all of their projects with greater efficiency.
Since project evaluation should be based on facts, not gut feelings or instincts, this means that DSIs should be based on the occurrence of certain events and behaviours – things that can be observed, counted and somehow measured in order to show the actual state of software development.
Monitoring Digital Service Indicators (DSIs) is a critical aspect of connecting the dots between the company’s goals and real-time progress in agile software delivery. By aligning these crucial metrics with broader objectives, you can ensure that your projects are advancing and creating a significant impact.
This approach allows you to examine the entire project management scenario, not only concentrating on immediate tasks but also on how they fit into our long-term, agile strategies.
Why are software delivery performance metrics so important?
Having a set of clearly defined DSIs benefits both sides of the cooperation.
For Software Companies: Software delivery metrics offer a clear view of the project’s progress, facilitating better decision-making and resource allocation. They help in identifying and resolving potential issues early, ensuring that projects stay on track.
For Clients: These metrics give clients a clear idea of how the work is progressing, which helps build trust and lets them plan their business strategies in sync with the software delivery timeline.
In short, Delivery Success Indicators:
help define the status of the project so that everyone knows where they stand,
allow an IT partner to draw adequate conclusions and streamline the delivery process,
help build trust, increase transparency and maximise work efficiency.
But that’s not all.
Software delivery performance metrics, particularly deployment frequency and continuous delivery, are crucial for both tech teams and the broader business. Deployment frequency measures how often a team can release new updates or features, reflecting their agility and responsiveness to user needs and market changes.
Continuous delivery, on the other hand, ensures that software can be reliably released at any time, indicating consistent quality and efficiency in the development process.
Learn more about how to develop software projects:
- User-centred software design: why is it so important and how to use it to your advantage?
These metrics are vital for a business’s ability to adapt and compete in a fast-paced market, as they show that a software team is not just keeping up with demands but is also capable of driving innovation and business growth.
What are the biggest challenges related to Delivery Success Indicators in software?
Preparing a proper set of indicators to monitor the effectiveness of any software project successfully takes a lot of time and requires some analysis. Plus, the indicators should be used in the right way in order to receive data that actually reflects the situation.
Here are the most common challenges for companies to overcome:
Applying only the indicators that are measurable and actually relevant to the success of the project.
Setting up DSIs to achieve a common understanding among everyone involved in the evaluation process – those specialists should all see DSIs in the same way.
Managing changes in DSI structure – adding criteria and questions, taking into consideration historical data to enable the organisation’s development.
Implementing DSIs at the right time – because when a project is brand new, your indicators may not be that applicable yet, so it’s better to wait a month or two before making the first evaluation.
That’s more or less it when it comes to general theory. Now, let’s have a look at how DSIs work in practice.
How to monitor the effectiveness of software delivery? The Future Processing Way
First, we defined 86 DSIs, which are measurable and influence our software delivery process in a significant way, and then we divided them into 6 main categories:
Best Practices of Project Management – pertaining to things like the communication process or the governance structure.
Example of an indicator: having a written agreement between both parties
Best practices of Software Development – this may be in relation to the code or the quality assurance process.
Example of an indicator: having a single coding standard.
Customer relationships – including indicators that show the level of trust and satisfaction your customers have toward your company.
Example of an indicator: regular meetings and close communication.
Project delivery according to the client’s expectations – in other words, meeting deadlines, understanding and fulfilling requirements, and having detailed plans.
Example of an indicator: maintaining an ongoing conversation about project requirements.
A leader and his/her impact on the project – such as the overall attitude, the level of trust he/she inspires, and how the work organisation is handled.
Example of an indicator: client does not communicate mistrust towards the leader.
The Software Development team – their effectiveness, degree of motivation, and the relationships that they build with clients, etc.
Example of an indicator: people helping each other out of their own initiative.
To ensure continuous improvement, we regularly gather feedback from all stakeholders, including clients and team members. This helps us refine and adapt our DSIs to changing project needs and market trends.
Project evaluation and continuous improvement
In order to get the full picture, we go through each of these 86 indicators at least once a month and evaluate every project on a 5-point scale.
Then, we assign them to different groups according to their most recent score:
5 – world class (example to learn from)
4 – good / strong / efficient
3 – mediocre but stable (tolerable in the short term)
2 – threatening or degrading
1 – wildfire
Next, we focus on:
making improvements in the yellow and red projects,
exchanging best practices across green projects,
implementing the best practices that we learned from the green projects – within the yellow and red ones.
Organisational learning and client communication
Furthermore, we regularly conduct internal workshops and training sessions to disseminate these best practices throughout the organisation. This ensures that all teams are equipped with the latest knowledge and skills to excel in their projects.
Also, we are always honest and transparent with our clients: we keep them posted on the current situation and provide them with possible solutions to any business problems. After months of implementing this type of project evaluation, we are now able to do it in a pretty quick and efficient manner.
We are also working on incorporating AI/ML solutions in the process to further increase our speed and accuracy.
What could be improved with the help of software delivery management?
Our efficiency and quality of software delivery have skyrocketed since we introduced these Delivery Success Indicators.
We strongly believe that this is an approach that every solid IT company should adopt, especially if they often work on a number of different projects representing various degrees of complexity simultaneously.
From our experience, DSIs have allowed us to make significant improvements in these 6 main areas:
We are able to maintain a higher standard of delivery process.
We are able to be more proactive, which helps prevent the occurrence of many critical situations.
We can better define risks and take the appropriate protective measures beforehand.
We are able to make more precise decisions in our organisation on both strategic and operational levels – where the team extension or additional financial support is needed at the moment.
We have become even more reliable and dependable – by being able to show our clients real facts and numbers.
We know exactly why we’ve succeeded and what we can improve.
We are able to use the organisation’s knowledge to improve services and define the key areas while creating DSI.
Streamline your software delivery process with Future Processing
Generally, the use of measurable indicators significantly boosts project success.
These indicators provide managers with precise IT delivery performance levels and highlight areas, even minor ones, needing improvement. By asking the right questions, crucial details that might otherwise be overlooked are revealed, particularly when there is uncertainty about what factors to consider.
Of course, developing Delivery Success Indicators (DSIs) suitable for a company’s various projects requires time and effort.
While it’s true that numbers cannot replace the nuanced approach of competent managers, they are essential in fostering a Learning Organisation and guiding exceptional talents to roles where they have the greatest impact.
Measuring software delivery performance is a worthwhile investment. Key metrics are directly linked to a business’s efficiency, reliability, and overall success, making them more than just numbers — they are tools for strategic advancement.
Future Processing is an excellent partner for creating and implementing DSIs.
Our team of software experts specialises in strategic and operational excellence, working closely with your company to develop customised indicators that are tailored to your specific project requirements and adaptable to evolving business needs. By providing clear, data-driven insights, we empower your managers to make better decisions, leading to improved project outcomes.
Moreover, our approach to guiding team progress ensures that they are placed in roles where they can make a substantial impact, promoting a culture of innovation and excellence.