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The people, process, technology framework – how to implement and measure it in software development to create an efficient working environment

March 29th, 2022
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At Waydev, we know there isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach for successful software development projects. However, we agree that there are three key elements to which every engineering manager keeps coming back when creating and implementing programs. 

As the PPT framework’s name suggests, engineering managers must harmonize the three pillars – people, processes, and technology -to complement and foster a productive work environment. 

This article will explain what people, process, technology is, walk you through its three elements, and offer you best practices, advice, and directions to implement the strategy in your projects. Moreover, we will also provide you guidance on using the Waydev platform to optimally implement the people, process, and technology strategy. 

The importance of people, processes, and technology in software engineering

The People, Process, and Technology (PPT) methodology focuses on the relationship between its three key elements and how they drive towards and contribute to organizational change. 

The people, process, technology framework is popular because it considers the direct relationship between people, processes, and technology. To perform a specific job, people use processes that they streamline and improve by applying technical expertise to technology

By balancing these three pillars, engineering managers monitor, plan, and coordinate their team’s activities and decide to purchase and implement new technologies. Understanding this need, Waydev enables leaders to monitor their team’s performance in real-time, analyze its evolution and analyze comprehensive benchmarking reports. This way, engineering managers have the necessary resources to harmonize people, processes, technology and make the best of the PPT framework. 

Where do the People fit in the PPT Strategy?

Many professionals consider the “people” part of the framework the most important since people are the ones who make things happen, who leverage technology to optimize processes and complete tasks. 

This is why choosing and onboarding the right human resources is a priority for engineering managers. When starting a new project, engineering managers need to identify professionals with the right skill sets, expertise, and attitudes. 

Most often, the right people might be busy with other work, so engineering managers have four options: to wait for them, to hire new talent,  outsource or redirect resources, or reassign them from one project to another. These are all crucial decisions that need to be made to implement the people, process, technology framework successfully. They very much depend on how the business prioritizes work, deadlines, and expectations. Given that each choice impacts the project, engineering managers and executives need always to know how busy team members are, what they are working on, and how much business value they deliver. An excellent way of having constant access to this information is by accessing Waydev’s Executive Reports

After creating the project team, the next step is setting every professional’s roles and responsibilities and ensuring that stakeholders are on board with the plan. Good leaders understand that successful deliveries require people (engineers and stakeholders) to buy in, internalize the mission and objectives. 

It is also necessary to ensure that professionals understand their part in the bigger picture, fostering collaboration among members. 

Understand and increase your People’s performance and direct your efforts where they are needed to accomplish your goals  

Your job setting up the people, process, technology methodology doesn’t end with forming the team. It’s an ongoing effort for engineering managers. During the software development lifecycle, you will need to pay attention to the team’s performance, see how professionals use their time, evaluate KPIs, and identify bottlenecks. A person-oriented approach will ensure the project advances smoothly, and resources are optimized.

Waydev enables you to have a clear view of your team’s output, focusing on performance metrics, commits stats, and pull requests stats that you may assess for each individual in real-time and across a given period to identify trends and patterns. 

Moreover, our solution enables you to track and analyze DORA metrics to know your team’s software delivery velocity and throughput, gain insights and identify improvement opportunities. Also, starting March 2022, you can connect your Slack, Microsoft Teams, or Google Chat to Waydev and get real-time alerts about your teams’ performance.

As an engineering manager with a technical background, you may find it challenging to manage people. However, access to actionable metrics enables you to assess your team’s performance and dynamics accurately. Once you set up the basis correctly, you will understand your team’s weak points and may, thus, develop targeted training and mentoring programs. Moreover, you may also make strategic recommendations for each person according to their skills, expertise, and desired career path. 

Train people on how to use new technologies

When using new technologies, people need to know more than just their roles in the flow when using new technologies for maximum efficiency. They need to understand how each step works, DOs and DON’Ts, and procedures in place in case of failure or risk mitigation. 

Our recommendation is to consider team training an integral part of each project and return to it whenever you deem it necessary. 

The role of Processes in the PPT framework

The PPT framework defines the process as the series of steps and actions that come together and that are required to happen to produce a specific result or goal. Unlike the people component, which focuses on the “who,” processes respond to the question, “How will we make things happen?”. 

Since they involve iterative actions that ensure (in theory) the same result, no matter who is responsible, processes are vital for efficiency. Without them, people’s work cannot be optimized and scaled. 

For best results, there are some aspects you should take into account when designing and deploying processes.

Identify and list the critical steps in your processes.

Engineering managers need to identify and list the critical steps of each process so that everyone knows the actual flow and benefits from the structure. The objective is to create a frame, a skeleton, on which they may add information, like additional information and descriptions, exceptions. 

An essential step in the development process is gathering resources and information from clients and stakeholders to improve the following stages and the overall result. By approaching things this way, from an IT Governance perspective, managers ensure that their IT objectives align with the corporate and business vision, thus providing value to the organization’s activity. 

Measure, measure, measure

To assess a process and improve it, you need to set metrics. Identifying the proper KPIs might not be so complicated, but constantly monitoring them is – unless you benefit from automated tools that help you. 

Work volume and focus modify constantly, so it is imperative to keep track of them. Waydev’s Project Timeline report showcases how work trends evolve and uses visualization to spot irregularities and skips. You can also use it to assess team members individually on metrics like New Work, Legacy Refactor, Help Others, and Churn.

Moreover, Waydev’s Code Review Workflow supports successful processes with its features. The solution maps pull request activity per timeframe, reviews how team members collaborate, and identify bottlenecks in PR cycles. By knowing what is going on in the code review process, you may optimize processes. 

Offer feedback and real-time input.

A successful people, process, technology approach requires constant feedback and improvement. The development process is complicated by rigid processes that also frustrate team members. Flexibility is mandatory for success. 

This is why the engineering manager’s work doesn’t finish with measuring. Constant assessment is necessary, as well as feedback and real-time input from the team. It is only by integrating these that you may ensure your processes are relevant, efficient and that they bring value to the business. 

How critical is Technology in PPT?

Technology is the set of solutions people use to implement processes. Because of the constant innovation and breakthrough solutions, engineers often prioritize technology. The “shiny new object” syndrome applies in software development since it is pretty tempting to make considerable investments in tech and build teams and processes around it. 

Best practices examples prove that things are different. Technology is not a solution in itself but an enabler. It starts with identifying the right team, process development, and description. Finally, accomplished managers identify technologies that help their teams use their expertise and skills. 

An important aspect when choosing technology is keeping things simple. A good recommendation is to start with the most crucial tech, what you need for basic operations, and expand, depending on your team’s feedback, needs and observations. This approach ensures that adoption is easily achieved and optimized investments.

Best practices in the people, process, technology framework

When it comes to the PPT framework, none of its elements – people, process, technology – can be treated individually. Harmonizing the three and ensuring balance is of utmost importance, which means that people must understand the processes and technologies to use them to their advantage. 

We’ve compiled a set of DOs and DON’Ts that engineering managers should consider for PPT best practices.

Do focus on people, as well as on the team’s dynamic

To make the most of the PPT framework, engineering managers should pay attention to each individual they attract to the project and the final mix of expertise and personalities. Creating and fostering a good team dynamic is crucial for success. 

Do ensure stakeholders are on board.

Before adopting the framework and making changes, you need to ensure stakeholders buy in with your strategy. By validating ideas with them, you benefit from the best premises for your project. 

Do define and detail processes. 

As an integral part of the PPT framework, processes must be carefully defined and documented. Leaving things uncovered complicates the development and increases the chances of risks. 

Do adapt processes continuously.

Everything evolves, and a project’s needs are no exception. This is why it is crucial to continuously adapt processes to the team, the landscape, the objectives. 

DON’Ts

Don’t focus only on what you need from team members

It is important that people know what is expected of them. It is essential to understand what they can expect from their leader (you) and the project. Keeping track of your team’s needs and ensuring they are met will create a more productive environment that acknowledges and encourages talent and expertise. 

Don’t force technology on the people.

Don’t forget that, in software development, technology is there to support people in making processes work, not the other way around -so don’t force technology onto your team. Treat it as a tool, but start from the team’s needs and skills, analyzing what would help bring out the best in professionals and simplify their tasks. This approach enables you to get the most out of tech. 

Don’t treat people, processes, and technology separately

When we talk about people, process, technology, we talk about a mix. Successful engineering managers focus on each element but look at how they interact together. ‍

People, Process, Technology + Data in the DevOps age

Since the PPT framework has been around since the mid-1960s, a discussion we often hear is whether it is still viable in the digital age of DevOps, a period that revolves around transformation. According to industry professionals, the answer is yes, considering that adjustments and interpretations are always necessary to keep up with the ever-changing environments. 

While the three elements – people, process, and technology – are critical components of any project, there is an addition that must be integrated into the mix – data. Data enables engineering managers and executives to assess their projects, identify the required steps, and make constant improvements. Without it, it would be impossible to define success or failure. 

How to implement a data-driven PPT framework in your organization

To balance the three components of your people, process, and technology strategy, you have to start by assessing all of them. 

When it comes to people, you need to identify the ones with top expertise, as they are the basis of the team. By analyzing performance indicators, Waydev enables you to see who your best performers are and what improvements the team needs. 

Waydev’s Work Log report lets you see PR, commit, and ticket activity for each team member.

Next, you need to understand the resources that are allocated to your processes. With resource planning reports from Waydev you can determine the scope of your projects and decide which work has high priority and can be finalized within a given time. Identifying bottlenecks and issues in due time is extremely important because it ensures that your team addresses risk-triggering situations before they escalate. 

Last but not least, it is crucial to look into the technological layer and ensure that your tools add value to people and processes. 

Request for a free demo to see how Waydev can help you make the most of your people, process, technology strategy. 

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