Software development is never easy.
Every year, thousands of projects run into problems. While most eventually overcome these problems, a few fail.
So much about project development lies with good management. A huge part of software development management lies with the tools that are used to oversee the process.
A real-time dashboard can aid your development effort significantly, therefore, a great tip is to use one!
In this article, I will explain how a real-time dashboard can revolutionize your eSports development process and ensure that your project is a success!
eSports development: An expanding horizon
Here is why eSports software development is set to soar:
- The popularity of eSports: The global revenue in this sector was $865 million in 2018, however, it will likely reach $1.79 billion in 2022, with 22.3% CAGR. eSports viewership was 395 million globally, and market-watchers expect this number to reach 644 million in 2022. I have written about the popularity of eSports in my article “How to find a great eSports app developer?”.
- A wide range of platforms: eSports development need to cater to the web, Android, iOS, and console-based platforms.
- Blockchain-powered transformation: eSports need more transparency, a legitimate ecosystem, more equitable distribution of revenue, and lower entry barrier. Blockchain can help here with its‘ decentralization, transparency, security, tamper-proof records, and autonomous smart contracts. I have explained this in “10 ways blockchain will revolutionize the eSports industry”.
This expanding horizon of eSports development is exciting, however, you also need appropriate processes, methods, and tools (PM&T) to manage such projects. That‘s where a real-time dashboard assumes importance.
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Why a real-time dashboard for eSports app development?
You will likely use the Agile SDLC model in your eSports development process. The nature of such projects requires iterative development where you will launch a “Minimum Viable Product” (MVP) first and then enhance it based on market feedback. Agile helps in such projects. I have explained this in “Waterfall vs Agile: which methodology is right for your project”.
A real-time dashboard is imperative to manage such projects. This is due to the following reasons:
- A high volume of data to manage: Agile projects use many tools for tracking projects, running builds, managing releases, etc. The process generates an enormous amount of data. It‘s hard to get a big-picture view without a real-time dashboard.
- The need to track relevant metrics: Agile team needs to track various metrics at different intervals. Examples of such metrics are sprint burndown, epic and release burndown, velocity, the number of defects, and test coverage rate. Agile iterations are short, therefore, the team can‘t spend too long to analyze this metric. A real-time dashboard is a great help here.
- Dashboards help the team know the “score”: Successful Agile organizations prominently display their real-time dashboards. This helps every team member know where the team stands. Nothing empowers a team more than knowing the reality.
- Stakeholder management: You will need to report project status to the business stakeholders and the senior leadership team. A dashboard significantly helps with that.
Read more about this in “How do dashboards help agile software development teams?”.
How does a real-time dashboard help eSports development?
You will need to measure a set of key metrics to manage your eSports development project. Equally important is the communication to the relevant stakeholders. You will need to report the project status to the business, senior management, and team. I will now explain how a real-time dashboard helps, by touching upon each of these key metrics, as follows:
1. Sprint burndown
Let‘s first briefly understand the importance of “Sprint burndown”, as follows:
- Agile teams often use the time-tested “Scrum” technique to manage the project. I have explained Scrum earlier in “How to build a Scrum development team?”.
- Scrum teams set up time-boxed iterations called “Sprints”.
- The team plans the volume of work they will complete during a sprint.
- They then use a sprint burndown report to track the work.
- The scrum team might use “story points” to quantify the work.
- The x-axis in the report denotes time, whereas the y-axis indicates the work remaining.
You can read about sprint burndown in “Five agile metrics you won’t hate”.
A real-time dashboard has obvious benefits in tracking sprint burndown, as follows:
- It offers a clear picture to all stakeholders about the status of the sprint.
- The “Scrum master” can take corrective actions quickly when required.
We at DevTeam.Space use a real-time dashboard to convey the project status to all stakeholders. This helps as follows:
- The dashboard covers sprint burndown with appropriate details.
- It clearly shows the work completed and the work remaining.
- This being an automated dashboard, you save the time to collate data.
- The graphical representation helps in clear communication to your team, business stakeholders, and senior leadership.
Read more about our real-time dashboard here.
2. Agile velocity
Agile Velocity is a key metrics, due to the following reasons:
- It measures how many story points a team has completed.
- This measurement is an average over time, spanning across a few sprints.
- Velocity denotes the result, i.e., it communicates how many functionalities were delivered to the client over a certain period of time.
- This metric assumes additional importance since you can use it to forecast the throughput of a team in future sprints.
Read more about this metric in “10 powerful Agile metrics – and 1 missing metric”.
Let’s see why a real-time dashboard is important vis-à-vis this metric, as follows:
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- An eSports development project will likely have several work streams and corresponding scrum teams. There could be one for the web app development, another for the Android app development, and so on. You need real-time actionable information to manage the overall work planning and work assignment for these teams. A dashboard is key here.
- Just as you need to analyze the productivity of various scrum teams, you also need to apply good judgment. Different scrum teams have different story points with different complexity. Again, you need real-time meaningful insight to understand how each team is performing. This makes a real-time dashboard crucial for your eSports development project.
At DevTeam.Space, our real-time dashboard is data-driven. Our teams set up sprints for different tracks of the project. You get bite-sized daily updates, and you can read it via the dashboard or via email.
Scrum teams use “Daily stand-up meetings” for project status reporting. I have explained how such empowered teams work in “What Is software development life cycle and what you plan for?”. You can use our dashboard for effective monitoring of different scrum teams in these daily meetings.
3. Lead time
Lead time is key metrics for your eSports development project. Let’s understand it a bit deeper, as follows:
- This metrics measures the time taken for the development team to deliver a requirement.
- Effectively, this is the elapsed time between the entry of the requirement in the project management system and its’ release to the customers.
- If the lead time reduces, then that means that you are delivering the business requirements faster to your customers! Congratulations, you have made your Agile development environment more efficient!
Read about lead time in this Agile Alliance definition.
A real-time dashboard is very important to make the best use of this metric. This is due to the following reason:
- As I have described, you will likely have several parallel work streams in your project, with different teams.
- The business plan of your clients will require you to meet specific milestone dates for the launching of the app.
- When different teams work on different requirements in parallel, it‘s hard to judge whether you are improving your delivery processes. Clarity on the work of each team is important.
- Different teams will work on different story points with varying complexity, therefore lead times will vary.
- Sometimes, your lead time could be high, and there are clear justifications for that. When you communicate with your business stakeholders and senior leadership, you need the right information at hand to explain that. Business stakeholders consider it very important metrics for their future planning. Read more about it in “The lead time and cycle time debate: when does the clock start?”.
- Meaningful, actionable intelligence is crucial to manage these various streams and improve efficiency.
The good news is that we at DevTeam.Space have a data-driven process, and our real-time dashboard provides meaningful insights into the lead times of each team. You as the project manager will see precisely how the lead times are for every kind of requirements. This makes it easier to pinpoint process improvement areas. Our dashboard also serves as an excellent communication tool for your use with your senior leadership team.
4. Cycle time
Cycle time, which is a subset of lead time, measures the time taken to complete a task. Following points are relevant here:
- It‘s the elapsed time between the beginning and end of a task.
- Cycle time should be less than the duration of a sprint.
- This brings us to the real importance of cycle time. If it‘s more than the duration of the sprint then the team is taking more time to complete tasks than the project plan allows. That‘s typically an issue, therefore, the scrum master needs to course-correct.
Read more about cycle time in “Agile & lean metrics: cycle time”.
A real-time dashboard is important here, due to the following reasons:
- You will know when the project risks a schedule overrun, even before your customers raise a concern.
- A real-time dashboard provides early warning, therefore, you can analyze the root causes of high cycle time. This helps in implementing corrective actions.
We at DevTeam.Space accord high importance to cycle time and our real-time dashboard reflects that. Let’s see how.
Tracking cycle time since the beginning of the project helps you to establish a baseline. This maximizes the benefit of cycle time tracking since you know exactly where you stand at a given point in time. Read “Why cycle time may be the most important metric in software development” to know more about this. Our data-driven real-time dashboard lets you do exactly that!
5. “Cumulative Flow Diagram”
“Cumulative Flow Diagram” (CFD) is quite a different kind of Agile metrics. This comes from the Kanban method. The importance of CFD stems from the following factors:
- It shows the summary status of tasks across workflow stages.
- Agile teams can draw CFD for a sprint, for a release, or even for different work streams.
- CFD does a great job of indicating where bottlenecks are in the process. Read more about CFD in “Team Kanban”.
- If you find a disproportionately large number of tasks in one workflow stage, you know there is probably an issue in that stage. For e.g., if you find many tasks showing up in the verification stage, then you know that not enough people have been allocated for that stage.
Why is CFD different from most other Agile metrics? The reasons are as follows:
- You might have a project that involves several work streams. Each work stream might involve developing one product. That fits the bill for your eSports development, isn‘t it?
- Assume that you have two work streams to develop the eSports app for mobile, with one for the Android app and the other for the iOS app. Let‘s assume you have another work stream for the web app. You might have to report the project status to different business stakeholders for these work streams.
- Quite obviously, as a PM, you have done your homework and you know how each stakeholder processes information. You will likely create different CFD charts for each of them. That’s easy since it’s just a matter of formatting.
- The challenge lies in gathering the data for CFD! Read “Explaining the cumulative flow diagram” for more information. You need to get real-time status for each task in each of the work streams.
A real-time dashboard is important for CFD since it allows you to gather the data for each task. You can then use formulae to create your CFD, and present it in ways that suit individual stakeholders.
We at DevTeam.Space provide you with all the necessary data for your CFD. From that granular task-level data, it‘s easy for you to prepare a CFD that will show where the team might be stretched, causing bottlenecks.
Planning to launch a great eSports app?
Technical architecture, requirements analysis, design, development, testing, and deployment are important for a strategic eSports development project. However, such a project needs more than that. It‘s likely a complex project. While our real-time dashboard will help, you might need end-to-end project management expertise. Read “How to find the best software development company?” to know how you can get such help.
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