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What You Need to Know About Software Process Mining

Brandon M. Lewis
Aug 2, 2021 11:26:01 AM

In this article about Software Process Mining (SPM), we will discuss:

Why Corporations Need Software Process Mining

Imagine your software development organization operated as a factory. About 80% of the resources invested wouldn't go towards actually manufacturing your product, but would instead be wasted on inefficiencies. If you were an executive in this company, you'd surely angrily call the factory manager and relieve her of her employment. Yet, this situation of gross waste and inefficiency is entirely normal within software development organizations in large companies and it isn't IT managers' fault. It is only because software essentially operates as a blackbox – there is almost no transparency. Technical debt accumulates, slowing down software development. Areas of code become riddled with defects or orphaned so that no developer is familiar. Projects are then regularly delayed, over budget, or fail outright.

This is why Software Process Mining is a necessity.

The Status Quo of Software Production

While decades ago, software and IT were treated merely as a cost center, this is no longer the case. Software development is of central strategic importance in almost every industry. It cannot be neglected.

What Software Process Mining is

Software Process Mining helps large enterprises optimize their software development, resulting in greater efficiency, productivity, and a highly reliability in the key business department of IT. Software Process Mining is a prescriptive analytics solution and holistic methodology. It provides a fundamental and intuitive understanding of the software development processes, highlighting best practices, identifying negative trends and their causes, and enables the continuous improvement of the software development organization. Software Process Mining is about creating the transparency in software development so that the invested resources, developer hours, can be optimized and aligned with value creation.

The Software Development Process

How Software Process Mining Works

The Seerene Software Process Mining platform involves four stages:

  1. Raw Data Collection
  2. Insight Discovery
  3. Improvement
  4. Monitor & Steer

Step 1: Raw Data Collection

Within software development, data traces are constantly being created by the various tools developers use. These serve somewhat as footprint of past development efforts. The Seerene Software Process Mining Platform collects the meta-data to reconstruct the software development as it occurred.

Step 2: Insight Discovery

Software Process Mining leverages artificial intelligence to analyze the collected data at scale, rendering your entire software development environment at the level of the most intricate detail. KPIs and software visualizations then make this data easy to understand. While the KPIs and software visualizations provide the information needed for executives to take an active role in steering the software development organizations, development teams and managers also have the ability to drill-down, even into the source code, to find the source of negative trends.

The goal is to find:

  • Problem Areas: Sections of code high in technical debt or defects (and their root causes)
  • Misaligned Allocation of Resources: Areas of code requiring a greater investment of developer of hours than value created
  • Best Practices
  • Poor Knowledge Distribution: Knowledge monopolies arise, which can endanger projects should developers with specialized knowledge leave

Software Visualization

Step 3: Improvement

In the third step of Software Process Mining, productivity drains and inefficiencies are removed, such as:

  • Technical debt
  • Code high in defects
  • High-risk code
  • Knowledge monopolies
  • Orphaned code

With a Software Process Mining platform, software developers and IT managers are able to quickly and easily identify these productivity drains and excise them. This results in greater efficiency and saved time, which can be put to better use creating new features.

Step 4: Monitoring & Steering

For Software Process Mining to truly be successful, continuous improvement should be maintained. With an ongoing collection of data and insights as the basis, a Digital Boardroom measures and monitors the organization's software development's progress towards KPIs and business objectives. By creating a common foundation and language for software discussions, companies can ensure their entire organization remains focused on strategic goals that drive value creation. Software Process Mining allows for greater accountability so that compliance can be kept and course correction is possible when needed. 

Where to Go From Here

As software becomes ever more critical to economic success or even survival, creating a lean, efficient, and more easily managed software development organization becomes indispensable. Firms who hesitate too long to take control over their software production risk disruption through digitally native newcomers. Software Process Mining is the solution. It not only makes software development far more efficient with gains of 25% or more, it enables company leadership to take an active role in the creation and management of software-related strategy, without necessarily having a strong background in tech. If you are part of a large enterprise and would like to discover more specifically how Software Process Mining can help you, please contact us.

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