Engage and learn

Let's take the next step—in the last chapter we explored your team's Coding days and listed some questions to get you digging into your data. Now's the time to dig in and really understand what this means for you and your team.

Review your learnings about Coding days with your team. Spend time focusing on the answers you came up with to the questions posed.  And see what questions these insights inspire in your team—what do they want to learn more about?

At this point you've probably noticed a trend in how often we talk about learning. That's because success in Flow is increased when you focus on learning. Metrics are great, but one of the best benefits of Flow is being able to learn together about your processes, practices, and bottlenecks.

Tip: Take advantage of this time to ask questions, share context, and start conversations. You'll be thankful for it as you continue to dive into Flow. For more inspiration, check out the Perspectives in Leadership episode about Designing software development culture with Dr. Cat Hicks (opens in new tab).

Applying your data learnings in Flow

Flow lives at the intersection of people and process. As you're exploring your data, come up with ideas on how to improve. Categorize your ideas into two groups:

  • What could we change in our processes to improve this metric?

  • What could we change in our team culture to improve this metric?

Coming up with ideas across these groups will help you explore various ways to make changes. Some changes are easier in certain organizations than others. As an example, some larger organizations may require more time and approval to change official processes, but have more flexibility on individual team culture. In smaller organizations, you might be able to make larger process changes with less difficulty. See what makes the most sense for your team and go from there.

For some inspiration, here are some things that have worked for other organizations to improve their Coding days:

  • Reduce unnecessary meetings through asynchronous communication tools.

  • Consider mandating a meeting-free day each week for focused project time.

  • Ensure review workload is balanced across your team. If one engineer is taking on more reviews, they may have less time to work on their own code.

Tip: When you start coming up with ideas about how to improve your Coding days, make that visible to your team by setting up targets in Flow. This will help you see if you're staying on track and moving in the right direction.

Data transparency and "gaming" the metrics

As you're learning about your team's data, we see a theme of questions that need to be addressed: what is this data for?

Some organizations already have a strong concept of data transparency. They freely share metrics, data, and other information with their teams. Others may be newer to sharing data like this, and feel uncertain about what the data is used for. If this is true of your organization, start by reading up on why evidence science matters so much in engineering management (opens in new tab). Share your insights with your team.

This is also a good time to review why metrics matter. When teams are first introduced to Flow, they often ask how they should approach making changes based on what they see in Flow. What if they do it the wrong way? To help you get started with conversations about making positive changes that move your metrics in a meaningful direction, check out our article on whether you should just game your metrics in Flow.

What's next?

Now that you've started digging into Flow, it's time to make changes and monitor progress.

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