Continuous Dashboarding (abridged)

Brisbane Technology Executive Network
Brisbane, Queensland

Many Agile organisations strive toward the goal of “continuous delivery”, which has been paraphrased as “move fast and break things”. That is, automate your testing and deployment to remove as many delays as possible between developer and production, and be prepared to react rapidly when something goes wrong. The trick is knowing whether something has gone wrong.

Most businesses have analytics, monitoring and dashboards. In fact, if you look really hard, most businesses have a dozen or more different silos of monitoring data. But an Agile project is a moving target; the metrics, dashboard and alerts that worked yesterday may be obsolete tomorrow. What an organisation practicing Agile development needs is Agile data, the ability to develop and deliver data visualisation capabilities alongside code, and subject them to the same kinds of quality processes that are applied to code.

This presentation examines the data needs of an Agile organisation, and how cross-functional teams can continuously deliver business intelligence resources alongside code. I advocate that your feature process should begin with validating the status quo empirically, choosing to achieve some effect, developing the feature – including BI components, and then verifying via BI that the desired outcome was achieved.

Attendees will learn how to incorporate dashboarding and alerting into the product design cycle, and how to apply a code-like quality cycle to business intelligence artifacts. A number of tools well suited to this approach will be covered as examples. Attendees will receive practical advice on how to get started with their own data.

Armed with the techniques and tools covered, every time you deploy a new product feature, you’ll be able to monitor its takeup and and vital statistics from your pocket, in real time. The collection of dashboards you’ve built over time will give you increased confidence that your business goals are being consistently met even as your product and infrastructure evolve in an Agile ecosystem.