In God we trust – all others we measure

In God we trust – all others we measure

While Gitential can be used in countless, often very complex ways to improve various parts of the development process, let’s not forget the basics.

During the early days of Gitential, one of our early adopters faced a situation where it seemed like one of their projects had suddenly stalled. Since most of the work was outsourced, our client asked their vendor to give an explanation. The vendor told them not to worry, as they were working as much as promised, only the current phase was not very visible on the front-end.

Since our client trusted their vendor, they have accepted this explanation. However, they had doubts that something was wrong, so they asked us to run an analysis on their code base to see whether their vendor is really providing the resources that were promised.

We are not including the full report here, just one diagram - probably the simplest one possible. After processing the repository, the first thing that popped up was the sum workhour diagram (note that this is from an earlier version of Gitential):

Team Coding Hours

Our client was shocked to see that the total coding time in the last three weeks was incredibly low. In absolute terms, there is nothing wrong with this – however, their vendor has promised 5 full time developers dedicated to this project. How come they are just not there? What are they doing when they are not coding?

Now, equipped with actual measurements, our client has again contacted their vendor for an explanation. After some uncomfortably long silence, the communication of the vendor has changed: claiming some misunderstandings, they have promised to focus on the project, make some changes, and in general “see what can be done”. Basically from the next day, this happened:

Team Coding Hours

We believe there is no need for further explanation: it is obvious that the vendor was caught red-handed and once confronted with this fact, immediately started fulfilling their promise. And what have we learned? This: sometimes the sole existence of measurement is enough for substantial improvement. Transparency is good, and in general, has a positive effect.

Overloaded with possibilities, diagrams, and correlations, we often forget the most basic rule: whose work is watched usually works better. Of course, some might feel like “Big Brother is watching you”, but we believe this is a false fear: if you do your job, Gitential will display it, so you will be able to show it, too.

Csongor Fagyal's Picture