Software is transforming businesses and the way they operate. The ability to deliver high-quality software and innovation is of crucial importance. But organizations, also the ones that reside on the front line of modern development practices and tooling, lack essential characteristics in their development pipelines. It’s about collecting metrics and visualize the pipeline end-to-end, i.e., integrating all tools in the development network to create a unified view of software production. This emerging domain of software development and tooling is called Value Stream Management (VSM).
In August 2018, an independent research firm published a report about an evaluation of tools, capable of handling Value Stream data for software developing organizations. The report defined some evaluation criteria and assessed a number of selected tools regarding their compliance with each measure.
- Common data model
- Value measurement
- Market approach
MAIA is a software tool designed to support DevOps practices and to enhance flow, feedback, and control. We decided to evaluate the features of MAIA towards the criteria above to get a feel if our tool can contribute to the VSM market.
Below you will find the results from our self-assessment for MAIA Software, and our view of the current status for each section.
Summary of the evaluation
- MAIA is a tool which excels with flexibility, integration, visualization, and traceability. MAIA collects and aggregates data from the DevOps process and presents dev-centric information.
- MAIA need to strengthen the presentation of the metrics it already is able to assemble. It also needs to create business value metrics and implement better features regarding analytics and mapping to provide stronger VSM capabilities.
- The roadmap includes an ambition to take important steps to create a unified VSM experience.
Does the VSM solution provide analytics that can create what-if scenarios, such as predicting the impact of adding new steps to an existing value stream or adding an entirely new value stream to a portfolio? Does it use analytics to perform risk assessment or other decision support capability?
MAIA: Adding steps and streams is easy, but the what-if scenarios and simulations are not yet part of this solution.
Common data model
Does the VSM solution have its own common data model to store data in a consistent, documented, easily accessible way? To what degree is this common data model extensible?
MAIA: Yes, MAIA has a common data model reflecting the developer tools network and associated activities. It is continuously matched and changed towards new requirements and opportunities.
Data is presented by various views in the MAIA user interface, and some of it can be accessed from the RestAPI.
Does the VSM solution provide a framework to monitor compliance to organizational standards? Can it provide automated audit capabilities and traceability to help organizations maintain compliance?
MAIA: MAIA monitors software composition and checks the compliance to licensing policies and security. Traceability is one of the cornerstones of the MAIA concept.
Does the VSM solution provide integration with other tools? Can it enable data capture and toolchain visualization and act as the backbone of an integration framework? In addition, does the VSM solution allow the end user to double-click into each tool to directly observe status or take action within its UI?
MAIA: Yes, MAIA is an excellent solution regarding integration and visualization. It is designed to act as one focal point for a network of tools, collecting metadata and presenting the status for the various activities and stages. MAIA contains direct links to other tools for easy access and means to take actions.
Does the VSM solution enable the mapping of business value, people, processes, data, and other artifacts across value streams so users can monitor how resources are being applied? Does this mapping capability overlay a flow of data and artifacts from idea to value delivered?
MAIA: Development streams, including data and artifacts, can be mapped, tracked and visualized by the tool.
Does the VSM solution support business value definition? Can the tool calculate and track value it delivers to the business in terms of financials, time, effort, and other metrics? Can companies use custom metrics to define value?
MAIA: MAIA tracks and collects data from the development value streams. Metrics and information relevant to cover business value is part of the product roadmap.
Does the VSM solution capture, measure, and provide end-to-end visualization of key performance indicators (KPIs) that measure efficiency and quality? Does it provide a visualization dashboard that users can customize to support different role-based views?
MAIA: MAIA collects data from the tools network and displays it in various forms, as results, measurements, etc.
The personal dashboard is easily configured with individual widgets that are presenting live data from the process. New widgets will continuously be added to the MAIA tool.
Does the three- to five-year vision support top-line (revenue- and growth-generating) business outcomes for clients? How well does the vision align with current customer trends and customers’ future needs? Is the company identifying and addressing competitive threats?
MAIA: Our vision is to empower teams and businesses with information and analytics from real-world data to support our customer’s current and future needs.
How strong is the company’s ability to define specic time frames, milestones, and benchmarks in its strategy? Does it have an approximately one year plan to execute on its vision in areas such as product enhancements, innovation strategy, commercial model enhancements, and partner ecosystem expansion?
MAIA: Our roadmap is guiding the team when populating the backlog with new items.
Customer requests and internal innovation continuously influence the roadmap.
Excerpts from the roadmap are published on the t2data.com website.
Can the company show tangible evidence of a successful approach to customers today, in terms of marketing messages, vertical market strategy, geographic strategy, account momentum and growth, and commercial model?
MAIA: T2 Data is in its early phase with the MAIA tool marketing. We are now testing the tool on the local market, but it will be globally available to download soon.
MAIA is currently for local server installation but will be available as-a-service.