Ask any developer or team lead what they think about item tracking tools like Scrum boards and chances are, you’ll get a negative response. The tracking tools that most development teams use are seen as a necessary evil, or even a roadblock to getting valuable work done. Scrum boards are always out of date, and there’s nuanced information that only the developers know that isn’t easily communicated on a board. Due to the manual nature of Scrum boards, there are always slight inconsistencies in information, no matter how many states or columns you create.

Work item tracking tools like Jira are great for what they were set out to do – gather minimal requirements for initial project planning and build a backlog of your team’s work items. Where these tracking tools start falling apart is when work moves from the initial planning phase to in progress. At this point, many teams use scrum boards or Kanban boards to track the status of where a work item is in the pipeline. This can lead to messy boards with lots of columns and a lot of manual, tedious work for the developer to make sure their work item card is in the correct position. That in turn leads to status meetings with wasted time organizing boards and making sure cards are in the right place. When the board isn’t always accurate, it loses its intended value and managers can’t rely on it for planning. That’s when managers start bothering developers, reaching out to them directly for status updates.

Standups have turned into status meetings for managers instead of a way for developers to find out what they need to do to successfully complete their sprint. Meetings should be about driving value, not updating status reports. So why are you still wasting your time with status meetings? Because the tools you’re using to track work are actually creating more work.

When you start aggregating your DevOps data across multiple tools, you remove the need for a status meeting – that’s exactly what our value stream management tool, HCL Accelerate, does. It brings all your data together in a live, always-up-to-date value stream that clearly shows you the who/what/when/where of all your work items across teams, without any manual input from the developers.

hcl accelerate value stream

HCL Accelerate aggregates the data from all the tools you’re already using so you can say goodbye to manual status updates.

When you remove the need for a status check, your first big win is getting time back in your standup meetings – no more spending the first half of every meeting updating statuses. You can dive right into the real work that drives value, and start addressing any roadblocks developers are facing in completing their work. The conversation in standup meetings changes from “is this the right data?” to “how can I help my team progress?” Even better, you never have to hear “I forgot to make a card” again. With data aggregated from all the tools in your DevOps pipeline, you don’t have to worry about surprises from unplanned work coming from Jira issues, ServiceNow tickets, or rogue GitHub pull requests.

Since HCL Accelerate works off automation instead of relying on manual input, you get accurate stage completion data so you can spot high-performing teams or help clear bottlenecks. For developers, this means less administrative work and more manager support on tasks that directly impact the pipeline. For managers, this means trustworthy data, increased visibility, and more accurate planning.

But developers hate switching to new tools and you already have processes around the item tracking software your using! We get it! But HCL Accelerate isn’t a rip-and-replace kind of software. You can continue to use the tools you’re familiar with – like Jira, GitHub, and Jenkins – and HCL Accelerate will scoop that data up to give you a single source of value stream truth. Gone are the days of switching from tool to tool to piece together a complete picture of a project. HCL Accelerate bridges the gap between tools, between teams, and between job functions.

hcl accelerate swim lanes

The “swim lanes” view in HCL Accelerate gives you a clear picture of where work items stand and which team members need support.

Every software company is looking for a way to be a step ahead of the competition and drive more value. But if your pipeline isn’t connected, you’ll always be at a disadvantage by trying to make up for gaps in data and manual processes. HCL Accelerate automates work item tracking and KPI measurement so your teams can function better than ever before. How’s that for a competitive advantage?

No one believes data unless it’s automated, so why are you still wasting your time with manual tracking tools? For both developers and managers, HCL Accelerate makes your job easier with accurate, live data for better decision making. Get started today with the free HCL Accelerate community edition.

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Further Reading
Secure DevOps | September 16, 2020
HCL Accelerate VSM with Jenkins – Part 2
This tutorial shows how to setup and deploy a parametrized Jenkins job from an HCL Accelerate pipeline.
Secure DevOps | September 15, 2020
Survey says…here’s what the market really thinks of Value Stream Management
HCL Software DevOps partnered with SD Times on the Value Stream Management Market Study on VSM adoption and awareness. Read on to see the results.
Secure DevOps | September 14, 2020
HCL Accelerate VSM with Jenkins – Part 1
This tutorial shows how to create a Jenkins pipeline job to upload build and deployment data with HCL Accelerate, our value stream management platform.
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