Feature management in software delivery

CloudBees provides the leading enterprise DevOps solution.
CloudBees’ solution for software delivery management connects cross-functional teams to maximize the impact of value creation!

OVERVIEW

Team

Me - UX Designer
Jason Collier - Product Manager

Deliverables

User Research
Information Architecture
Visual Design/Prototype

Tools & Software

Sketch
InVision
Principle
Abstract

Problem Definition

Our goal for this project was to address one of our key insights from engineering managers. We found that many managers and feature leads needed a more efficient way to understand how features are progressing /flowing in their software delivery process.

For many of our potential end-users, they were forced to visit different service providers like Jira and Github to track feature changes, progress, and conversations. The current design of Feature Management in the CloudBees’ SDM (software delivery management) only provided managers with a static snapshot of a feature’s current state; it did not provide managers with a sense of how features are progressing or if they were blocked.

Our high level goals were to:

01 Provide detailed visibility into a features evolution across all resources/systems associated with the feature

02 Track all policy violations that are putting the feature delivery at risk

My Role

I led the complete design and research process in collaboration with 1 Product Manager.  CloudBees’ SDM was set for a GA launch on December 10, 2020

Kickoff

Early Insights

At the outset, my PM and I didn’t have a clear vision of how to expand the usability and impact of Feature Management within the SDM. So, we decided to conduct interviews with 3 engineering managers and feature leads within different product orgs at CloudBees. They would also act as participants in preference testing once various solutions were developed.

01 The team is more important than the individual

Across the board, both managers and feature leads were more interested in getting a higher-level understanding of how teams are progressing through a feature.

02 Not all features are created equal

Both priority and least/most active features are key for engineering managers and provide value for a feature overview

03 Understanding the why

Once a manager understands the state a feature is in, they’ll want to do a deep dive to know the reasons behind a state. Is a feature stalled? When did it get stalled? Why?

04 Don’t replace, complement

Managers tend to work across mutiple applications. But instead of replacing software like Jira, they need a tool that will complement the data they receive from these tools.

How we got there

Design Exploration

In collaboration with my PM, I explored different design solutions and led a preference test with our initial interviewees to ensure we were moving forward with the best solution. Designs were also reviewed with Engineering to account for data limitations from the SoR.

Activity Stream

Adaptable graph design
Provides analysis of activity and drill down
SoR doesn’t support historical time series data
“Recent updates” is repetitive & pushes down policy violation data in the viewport

Policy Violations

option a
Utilitarian panel
Scalability
Cards don’t imply relationship between entities
option B
Scalable
Controls visual noise
New layout

Important commentary:

It is important to me to be able to drill down into an asset without losing context.
Both layouts of policy violations are useful but the table layout is easier to get to the necessary information.

The Design

New Feature Management

Feature Management in CloudBees’ solution for software delivery management allows those in the software organization to identify bottlenecks and inefficiencies in feature delivery. It provides a complete overview of feature activity and identifies policy violations.

Feature Dashboard

CloudBees’ SDM provides users with an overview of all feature activity in a familiar dashboard with customizable states. Users are able to follow features from ideation to release.

The “When” of a Feature

Managers are able to get a deep-dive of a feature’s progression with an activity stream and a summary of Jira items, and related policy or issue violations.

The “Why” of a Feature

Managers can better understand why a feature is stalled by being able to access a list of policy and issue violations by Jira ticket.