Prepare and plan

Tags: Flow

Now that you've learned more about Flow and your organization, it's time to set up your Flow plan. Luckily, you'll have the support of the Pluralsight Flow Deployment team.

Identify your team and goals

You'll need support from several people in your organization to set up and maintain your Flow plan. Here's a list of people to identify to get started:

  • Project lead—who will be in charge of rolling out Flow at your organization?

  • Flow admin—who will manage your Flow plan?

  • Flow team leads—who's leading the teams you're rolling Flow out to?

  • Executive sponsor—which executive is most invested in Flow's success?

  • IT/InfoSec lead—who manages the technical details of the systems Flow will integrate with?

And now that you've asked yourself questions about your organization's goals, it's time to pick a strategic direction. This helps determine which Flow reports and metrics to focus on. These strategic directions are focused on workflow improvements and talent development.

Workflow improvements

  • Improve cycle time

  • Optimize daily output across the release cycle

  • Reduce unplanned work

Talent development

  • Improve collaboration

  • Optimize onboarding

  • Provide managers data for coaching

We recommend choosing two or three of these strategic directions to start. You know your organization best and can probably pinpoint which will be most valuable to you.

Set up your systems

Prepare your systems to make sure Flow can access your data, and you can access Flow.

  • Set up service accounts for any systems you want Flow to ingest data from.

  • Allowlist Flow's static IPs, especially if you have any self-hosted integrations behind a firewall.

Set up Flow

Now it's time to get into Flow! For a preview of what setting up your plan looks like, check out Getting started with Flow. Work with your Flow Deployment consultant as needed to get things set up right for you.

Insider notes and recommendations

As you may have gathered, there’s a lot going on in the early days of Flow setup. There’s data, teams, reports, and more. At Flow, we see some recurring questions come up during initial configurations—we’ll answer them for you now so you’re better set up for later.

Do I need to use a service account when I’m just getting started? 

It may take some extra time, but please do. It can be hard to update credentials if you use a personal account to set up an integration, especially if the credentials stop working or the user leaves your organization. Plus, if you plan to import a lot of ticket projects or PR projects—especially for GitHub or GitLab—you may end up creating multiple integrations with different service account credentials and evenly distributing your projects between them. Short version—use a service account. It will make your life a little bit harder today, but make things much easier and more adaptable in the long run.

How important is it to merge users regularly? 

Very important. We can’t emphasize this one enough! If your users aren’t merged, your data won’t be accurate. Because Flow is constantly importing new data, new users will be imported, and if they aren’t merged, their contributions won’t be correctly counted. Enabling auto-merge helps reduce some of your work, but you should always keep a close eye on unmerged users to make sure your reports show accurate data.

How long does it take to import all my data? 

It depends on your specific circumstances. The number of projects, the size of your repos, the rate limits for specific vendors, and the number of integrations you have all impact how long it takes for Flow to finish importing your data. Plus, as you add new data to your systems, Flow will take time to import that. Flow is always importing new data.

Tip: Not sure what to do with this information? The simple version is don't turn on auto-import unless you need it. The more repos and projects you import, the longer your data takes to appear. Especially when you’re first getting data into Flow, only import the repos and projects your team really cares about. You can always add more later. Importing only the most meaningful ones now will let you see the data you want without having to wait for the data you might not care so much about.

If an integration isn’t working, should I delete it and start over? 

Please do not delete your integrations. Data ingestion can take a long time and usually deleting and re-adding your integrations won’t solve the problem you’re trying to fix. Plus, if you delete your integration and start over, you’ll have to re-merge any impacted users. In short—it’s a lot of work and a lot of waiting, for not a lot of benefit. Most integration issues can be resolved by updating credentials or waiting for data to finish processing.

Something looks wrong—what do I do? 

We care about your data being accurate and consistent. If you see data discrepancies that don’t resolve and that you can’t explain, please reach out to Support so we can investigate.

What's next?

Now that you've set up your Flow plan, it's time to review your data and goals to make sure you're ready for launch.

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If you need help, please contact Pluralsight Support.