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Using Plandek within an OKR framework, to reduce software delivery Cycle Time by >25%

Using Plandek within an OKR framework, to reduce software delivery Cycle Time by >25%

IndustryData and Publishing


The client context

This high profile multi-national data and publishing business use Plandek as a key element of their Value Stream Management across their global software delivery teams with over 2,000 engineers in multiple locations.  Plandek provides the metrics and reporting to underpin their OKR process within the global delivery organisation.  As an example, Cycle Time was identified using Plandek as a key opportunity area for improvement and a specific OKR was created to reduce Cycle Time by 25% in 6 months.

Cycle Time was deemed critical due to the increasing pressure to deliver new features rapidly in a sector where speed-to-market is a critical differentiator.

Using a variety of delivery and engineering metrics available within the Plandek platform, including ‘Mean Time to resolve Pull Requests’ and ‘Flow Efficiency’, the teams drove a number of process improvement initiatives and saw month on month reductions in Cycle Time.

The process: Step 1

Cycle Time was identified as a key priority and a dedicated OKR target was set by technology leadership. As a consequence, the Cycle Time metric was added to the leadership ‘North Star’ metrics dashboard within Plandek to be tracked at an aggregate level.

The process: Step 2

The OKR target to reduce Cycle Time by 25% was cascaded across the delivery organisation and Delivery Managers and Delivery Team Leads identified determinant metrics (using Plandek) that are critical in order to improve Cycle Time (examples included Flow Efficiency and Mean Time to Resolve Pull Requests).

Teams focused on the identified metrics in their daily stand-ups and sprint retros. Targets were set at a team level. Progress was tracked over time and an aggregare c25% improvement in Cycle Time was achieved over a 6-month period in H1 2020. As an example, delays in resolving pull requests were quickly identified as a key opportunity area. Targets were set at the Team level and progress tracked by the destination branch using Plandek.


The outcome

By navigating through the ticket status breakdowns within the Cycle Time metric within Plandek, it was easy to identify the key bottlenecks, and soon actions were in place (led by Delivery Team Leads) to reduce friction within the core development and QA stages

The leadership group has visibility of the trend over time across teams and could take action when one team was over trend, ensuring the teams shared best practice to drive towards their common goal.

The OKR was met at the end of June 2020 with Cycle Time reduced by >25%, and the teams continue to drive improvements in Cycle and Lead Time to deliver value to their customers in as short as time possible.

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