With intensive collaboration to support accelerating development cycles, software developers are facing the challenge of processing an overwhelming amount of notifications. Striving for increased transparency and efficiency, the use of inadequate tools is defeating the very purpose of collaboration. The practice of ChatOps, with super-relevant and instant chat notifications, promises a solution to this challenge.
As Agile is taking over the (software) world, collaboration is emerging as a key area that development teams are increasingly focusing on. Agile’s emphasis on individuals and interactions, customer collaboration, and flexibility in responding to change greatly builds on a tighter alignment of all stakeholders contributing to the product development lifecycle.
With the increased adoption of DevOps (simply defined as the extension of Agile to Operations), the need for efficient and accelerated collaboration is broadening across team boundaries. And in an era of system-of-systems products where components may be delivered by a multitude of suppliers, collaboration is even expected to continue undisturbed across company boundaries.
Related reading: Agile Operations: The Evolution of DevOps
Notifications defeating the purpose of collaboration
To support this growing need for collaboration with the necessary infrastructure, integrability between development tools is increasingly regarded as a feature that adds significant value. In addition, more and more Agile project management tools offer dashboards for team members of different disciplines, helping keep all stakeholders up to speed.
This way, teams can integrate their tools and sync data across these platforms to make sure everyone knows what everyone else is working on, how work progresses, and what other tasks are ahead. This is key in an accelerating development environment supported by automated processes.
The downside of all this intensive collaboration and automation, however, is rarely mentioned: keeping everyone in the loop about everything 24/7 is bound to create an overwhelming amount of notifications. Cluttered inboxes have become a major problem of high-performing Agile and DevOps teams.
The sheer amount of notification e-mails makes it impossible to follow them all, eventually resulting in limited transparency. Sure, the ability to have unlimited transparency can be easily achieved – but if staying on top of things takes all your time and keeps you from doing productive work, then what’s the point?
So mature development teams that managed to build the culture and infrastructure for efficient collaboration are faced with a new problem. How do they ensure that notifications do actually serve their purpose of reliably informing every team member of relevant changes right where and when they need them, without taking up too much of their time?
Instant messaging to the rescue
The answer, as a quickly growing number of companies realize, lies in good old instant messaging. Developers are flocking over to chat platforms like Slack and Mattermost to discuss development issues and to manage team tasks every day. It only makes sense, then, to move the management of artifacts and notifications to the chat channels they spend most of their time in.
With ChatOps (the practice of conversation-driven development), developers can access development information, manage artifacts, and receive relevant notifications right in their chat windows. Slack channels help keep the conversation to the point, while chatbots support developers in assigning and managing work. Notifications of changes and those of completed work items are also channeled to chat windows, making sure they are read, acknowledged, and acted upon. Channels are easy to search, providing historical transparency on responsibilities and actions.
Related reading: Transitioning to Conversation-driven Development with ChatOps
codeBeamer ALM supports the implementation of ChatOps processes via its integration with Slack and Mattermost. It lets you use conversation-driven development to improve efficiency, collaboration, and transparency all at the same time.
By enabling team members to manage work using chat commands and to get rid of notification emails while, ChatOps with codeBeamer provides unmatched transparency and lets them stay in control even when their velocity is through the roof. And we haven’t even mentioned the help of AI-backed smart chatbots to automate tasks.
Don’t let collaboration become a limiting factor. Try codeBeamer ALM and ChatOps free, say goodbye to an inbox cluttered with notification emails, and enter a new era of accelerated development.