HCLSoftware is excited to introduce HCL Accelerate, our value stream management platform that brings all your DevOps data together once-and-for-all. HCL Accelerate enables business and development teams to visualize, orchestrate, and optimize their continuous delivery value streams with greater efficiency and flexibility than ever before. HCL Accelerate 2.0 comes with new, exciting features such as Environment Gates, Plugin SDK, Reports, New Metrics and many more enhancements to take your DevOps transformation to the next level. Keep reading to learn exactly how these new features bring value to your business.
The biggest new feature in HCL Accelerate 2.0 is Environment Gates. These allow teams to shift governance left by gating upon stages in your pipeline to help you identify and reduce risk, while optimizing throughput.
While talking to our customers, it was clear there is still a lot of manual checks and signoffs in the pipeline. In reality, not everything can be automated overnight, and a method to control which version is good or bad is a major gap today for most delivery teams. Introducing a manual signoff lets the user customize who has permissions to approve or deny a version based upon a set of rules. This provides visibility into exactly what needs to be done or which version is green and ready for deployment. A common practice is to use some sort of manual test in the lower environments that can then be assigned to one or many users to approve that version after their test are complete. Higher environments then have the ability to not allow a version in unless everything has been approved.
For many teams, this manual gating is done through chat, email, or verbal communication, leaving lots of room for human error and inconsistency. With Environment Gates, HCL Accelerate makes this process clearer or more accurate. Accelerate enables full audit capabilities so you can see exactly why a version was marked bad. Since Accelerate is able to look across multiple build and deployment tools, you no longer have to check in with multiple teams to make sure a version is good to go.
Reports is another very exciting new feature that allows a more detailed collection of tables, charts, and graphs, which can target much more specific problems such as State of Agile Sprint, Deployment Audit, and Release Readines.
For managers and team leads, the most common question is, “How much do we have left in the sprint?” or, “What is the risk we have to hitting our sprint goals?” The value stream visualization in HCL Accelerate does a great job representing work items to see potential problems or bottlenecks, but the report goes deeper by laying out all the data you need to triage and determine risk of that sprint.
Have you ever had a meeting where you wish you could just show exactly the team’s progress so you can have targeted conversations about certain items? This is the report for you! Leveraging the DevOps Data Lake, HCL Accelerate shows you precisely where items are in your Value Stream and reports on them even if the developers aren’t the best at updating their cards. Reduce the developer status check meetings so you and your team can focus on completing work and more important conversations.
Custom Plugins via Plugin SDK:
Data and relationships are the foundation of HCL Accelerate. This means the more tools and data connected to Accelerate, the more powerful it becomes. But it can be difficult to integrate everything you use when many tools and data are home-grown o not an industry standard. This is why for our 2.0 release, it was critical to open up our HCL Accelerate plugin framework to allow our customers to develop their own plugins for the tools and data they need to make insightful decisions. This unlocks the potential in Accelerate with endless possibilities to further advance metrics, KPIs, and OKRs that matter to your teams and business.
Are you not sure how to develop plugins? Don’t worry we have written a “Hello world” to get you from start to finish in under 30 minutes. Also, all the resources are available in the product, so it’s a quick and easy download and upload of the files.
With HCL Accelerate 2.0, we focused on business agility with machine learning and new metrics. Now with more than 10 out-of-box metrics, teams can have a full picture of their transformation and drive business agility. The introduction of two new metrics – Load and Contributor – gives you the ability to make sure flow is optimal through your value stream.
“Load” is how many work items are actively in your value steam. “Contributor” is how many unique resources are assigned to these items. With this information you can analyze how your value stream is doing faster than ever before. Stop guessing how load, throughput, and contributor all affect each other and start looking at the trends to spot that optimal dynamic for your teams. The ideal use case is to find how much load the team can handle to get optimal throughput with speed and quality.
By clearly showing you which teams need more resources and which teams have excess, HCL Accelerate allows your business to do more with less. It is no trivial task spotting where flow is getting stuck in a value stream and figuring out where your team should focus improving. Using a machine learning model to spot critical bottlenecks, Accelerate makes it easy to know where work is getting batched, what tasks have long wait times, and where you have inflow/output inconsistency. By taking the guess work out of identifying areas of improvement, and by having real data to back up changes, managers can close the gap with business leaders around why the process needs to change or automation needs to happen. With these new metrics and machine learning algorithm, you can take your teams to the next level to stay competitive in your market.
See HCL Accelerate in Action
The best way to understand the benefit of HCL Accelerate’s value stream management capabilities is to see it in action. See a demonstration of HCL Accelerate and check out the new features in this recorded webinar.