How Better Data Improves Your Development Process

January 3, 2019 Jama Software

Many questions need to be answered throughout the development process, and quickly. But teams often don’t have the right approach to data collection, storage or analysis to enable fast, data-driven decisions.

One tactic is to dump a bunch of data from disparate tools into a spreadsheet in an attempt to glean insights. Not only is this a heavy, manual process, but the resulting data is not always complete, consistent or up to date. And it also doesn’t capture the full context of what’s happening behind the numbers.

All the while, timelines are slipping, release dates are approaching and costs are rising.

In a recent webinar, we explored how proper data collection and analysis can make your development process more predictable. We also discussed the current state of product development (based on data from McKinsey), and the underlying causes of costly overruns and how to avoid them.

In addition to underestimating complexity, which you can read about in “How to Decrease Overruns in Complex Product Development,” a lack of consistent data is another significant cause of overruns.

Why a Lack of Data Causes Overruns

When teams lack consistent data, things like benchmarking and consistency across projects and products is either lacking or altogether absent. This also makes it much more difficult to make informed decisions.

Yet, data-driven decisions are exactly what’s needed to ensure you’re building the right thing, the right way and that it will get to market on time.

Without reliable data, team leaders often put their faith in historical information that may be from less complex or completely different projects, or worse, simply go with their gut feelings.

This can bring about severe development issues in even the most successful companies, and cause even veteran project managers to make costly mistakes.

So, what can you do to achieve consistent and reliable data to make your development process more predictable?

Get Answers to Essential Questions

To enable predictability and accurate data analysis, you need a purpose-built Predictive Product Development solution, like the Jama Product Development Platform.

By importing data from Jama Connect™ and Jira Software, for example, Jama Analyze™ allows you to get data-driven answers to the onslaught of questions that arise during complex product development.

Here are just a few questions you can answer with Jama Analyze:

  • Does this product satisfy customer and stakeholder requirements and marketing goals?
  • Can we prove we’ve met these requirements?
  • Are we going to deliver on time? How confident are we?
  • Are changes being made to any of our items throughout the process?
  • How good is our team at finding defects before they hit the public?
  • How long do things stay in each status?

Having these key performance indicators (KPIs) at your fingertips empowers you to set the right expectations and have necessary conversations if those expectations don’t align with the data you’re seeing.

Ultimately, measuring and tracking these metrics will help you make better, more profitable products.

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