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Improve predictability with Development Intelligence

No matter how rough the sea, a lighthouse is always shining in the distance to help you find your way.
– Unknown

In the days of simple software projects in someone’s garage, we didn’t worry too much about steering projects. Now, even small projects amass large amounts of data. As we improve our collaboration and have views into all the disciplines related to releasing world-class software, how do we manage to stay on top of our projects?

According to Alistair Cockburn, an information radiator is  a large, highly visible display used by software teams to track progress. It should be easily visible, understood at a glance and change periodically,and perhaps most importantly, be easily kept up to date.

Clearly, more data makes tracking progress more accurate, but we need ways to harness the data into  “understood at a glance” information that can be used to steer projects to completion. To do this, we need to analyze the data to answer questions about status and progress, and to identify problems. Development Intelligence enables data analysis by automatically producing reports, charts and graphs that support fact-based decision making. Dashboards, driven off real live data from the development effort, help team members steer projects to deliver predictably.

In  this video, I demonstrate some of the Development Intelligence features provided by the IBM Rational solution for Collaborative Lifecycle Management.

Development Intelligence is something that grows over time and becomes ingrained in the team’s culture. The best way to enhance your team’s intelligence about the status of your project is by using reports, charts, and graphs that are automatically produced directly from team activities, and displayed in a dashboard that any team member can access. When it comes to development intelligence and your ability to produce information radiators,  consider these questions:

  • Are you able to make fact based decisions, or relying on guesses and gut feel?
  • Can you at any time during the project determine if your team activities are trending in the ‘right’ direction
  • Are you able to predict if you will complete all work, conduct all tests and fix all defects on time?
  • Can you “see” what your team in another department, or another geography is doing at any time whether they are online or not?

Dashboards provide the information radiator for Development Intelligence. The team (big or small, global or local) can all see the state of the project at a glance. In addition, these dashboards are always up to date with live data at no additional effort ensuring that derailing issues are found early and mitigated. Dashboard widgets present data in easy-to-grasp visualizations. Trending data, burn-down, burn-up charts ensure the team is leveraging the available data to steer the project to deliver on-time.

Development Intelligence improves predictability by:

  • Applying Business Intelligence techniques to software and systems development
  • Enabling fact-based decisions at the right time based on objective data and metrics
  • Steering projects and programs to deliver on-time by identifying issues early, managing risk and assessing trends

The CLM team seeks to provide you with a great experience. To do so, we invite you to collaborate with us through the multiple channels we provide such as:

Check out these links for more information on the Five Imperatives:


Monica Luke
Strategic Offerings Lead

Carolyn Pampino
Program Director Strategic offerings for IT, and Jazz team member