Quantifying Engineering’s Impact on Revenue While Spotlighting Improvements to Processes and People
Following a strategic merger in 2019, Kazoo’s newly combined engineering organization was disorganized and inefficient. There were significant slowdowns in their processes, but leadership couldn’t easily identify what was causing them. They needed a tool to help them improve engineering processes and outputs in a way that would also enable them to react to future changes quickly.
Kazoo’s engineering leadership team understood that helping developers learn habits to become more effective in their work was a critical part of executing on business needs, but lacked the data to help them do so.
Additionally, CTO Mike Couvillion needed to demonstrate efficiency and throughput to the Board of Directors. He had previously run manual queries against GitHub to produce metrics for board meetings, but he quickly realized that was neither sustainable nor scalable. In performing this DIY process, he recognized that reporting required a product in itself. He set out to find the right solution and landed on Code Climate Velocity.
Kazoo’s engineering leadership has leveraged Velocity to determine the organization’s biggest bottlenecks, which they’ve used to help improve processes, teams, and people. They’ve fundamentally changed the composition of their teams, and they’ve watched their engineering metrics improve across the board.
Velocity has helped Kazoo foster a culture of continuous improvement by enriching coaching opportunities with data. “If I can only do one thing with engineers, I want to establish the right behavior patterns,” Couvillion said. “Once you do that, the rest starts falling into place, and a tool like Velocity helps do that.”
Couvillion has found that this concept resonates with business stakeholders when it’s framed in terms of revenue metrics. He coaches his team leads to understand that business and finance
“Velocity makes it so much easier to advocate for resources. For the first time, we can quantify what the engineers are actually doing. When you’re dealing with numbers people, being able to put the right numbers in front of them is meaningful.”— Mike Couvillion , CTO