Polaris Advisor

The Velocity Optimization Program
Software Value Streams
A diagram showing the  Company, Organization, Value Stream and Teams based scaling model

High Impact Technical Advisory

Full Service Advisory

Polaris Advisor is our full service advisory offering to help software companies implement a Continuous Improvement program with Ergonometrics™ and Continuous Measurement, powered by Polaris. 

It is the next stage in the evolution of the advisory programs we have been offering since 2011. 
Polaris helps us move from a pure advisory model to a hybrid engagement model with the self-service platform doing much of the heavy lifting of data and analytics and allowing us to focus the advisory work on showing you how to use the data it provides to improve the your processes, and run the program on your own.

The Polaris Advisor program starts with a concierge on-boarding that includes an initial assessment of your current product development process, and recommendations on where you need to focus your continuous improvement, a concrete iterative program to achieve targets, training for internal resources to build and run the program on their own, and ongoing monitoring, advice and engagement from us as needed to adapt the program over time.

Enterprise Programs

For larger companies with multiple value streams and organizations, Exathink can help you put together a strategic enterprise level continuous improvement program with custom analyses and reports to solve specific organizational or process pain points that may not directly be captured in the standard Polaris application

Polaris Advisor is the full service advisory program from Exathink that helps implement and run a continuous improvement program to optimize product development velocity across your company.

You will benefit

If you have a team of 20 or more engineers, or are operating multiple teams of  8-10 engineers each.

If you are partially or fully remote (who isn't these days?)

If you outsource work to development partners and want more visibility and control over delivery practices.

Why do I need this?

The software industry is not yet in a stage where data informed decision making is commonplace, especially in engineering.  

There is a historically justified, and deep rooted skepticism that the work of making software can be measured, and even whether it should be measured. This is rapidly changing as high performing product companies adopt data informed techniques to get a competitive advantage, but outmoded attitudes towards measurement in software development are still more the norm.

At Exathink we believe our unique approach to measurement is intuitive and effective for both engineers and managers, but it still requires overcoming cultural and organizational inertia to implement successfully.

Polaris Advisor is a turnkey solution that blends advisory services, operational support and technical infrastructure to solve this problem for you.

The Management Challenge

A new measurement approach, a technology platform, or a new framework are not, on their own, sufficient to implement a measurement based continuous program in engineering.

Engineering culture has to accommodate and adopt these techniques, and we are still in the early days here.

A continuous improvement program therefore has to be coupled, with clear communications up and down the organization, about the objectives of the program, a structured change management process,  a commitment to evangelize and promote it,  buy-in from engineering teams on the ground with transparency about what is being measured and why,  the opportunity for engineers to understand the techniques being used, and guidance and day to day support for teams implementing the process change.

It is also important to have clearly articulated positions on how the measurement tools will be used both to improve process and assess teams.
And this needs to reflect the culture of your company.

Polaris Advisor is the program to help you set up and support the  management process for continuous improvement at your company.

What is the Polaris Platform?

The Polaris Platform is an exceptionally easy, flexible and streamlined process for the heavy lifting needed to produce the data and analytics needed to support such a program. Companies typically decide to build this infrastructure in an ad hoc fashion with custom integrations, spreadsheets and reports. There is a real cost to building and maintaining these over time. It takes away precious engineering resources, and it usually does not scale beyond a certain point.

30 minute setup

Polaris connects to most common work tracking and DevOps platforms, can complete an initial import of historical data in 30 minutes or less (even for large multi-project/repository setups). We can then help you model your processes with simple intuitive drag and drop interfaces in a few minutes and you can update the model, any time you update your process with a few clicks.

Passive Observation

Once connected, Continuous Measurement kicks in and Polaris passively observes your team as it works. From this point on, everyone on the team from executives to engineers to your Polaris Advisors, will have access to the same data and dashboards updated in real time from granular observations of work as it moves through the product development pipeline.

It is truly a set-it-and-forget it platform once bootstrapped, and it will let you focus on managing the process rather than keeping spreadsheets from different sources in sync or trolling through obscure, outdated reports for insights.

What does the Advisor Program do?

The Advisor program will show you how to interpret and use the signals generated by Polaris  in the context of your company, to define and run a customized value delivery optimization program.  If you have not done this type of exercise before,  there is an art and a science to it, and we can help you bootstrap this at your company. 

We work with your executive leadership team as well as the product delivery engineering teams on the ground to understand the unique needs and dynamics of your company and culture, the specific areas where you want to focus on for continuous improvement and create the conditions for maximum success of your programs.

What does a typical engagement look like?

An initial engagement will run for  60-90 days. We typically pick one or two key areas to focus on initially: usually it is improving flow by reducing work in progress and increasing traceability of work.

Ergonometrics® has a very unique approach to effect these changes. We will have a good working baseline after 2 weeks of real time observations together with historical data.  It might take 45-60 days to scope and define a continuous improvement process, though often things will move much faster. 

Once you see initial results, we help you build a longer term continuous improvement roadmap, focusing on key KPIs like Response Time, Quality, Alignment and Team Health and can either help train your internal team to operate the program, provide ongoing advice in partnership with you, or both.

We also offer an ongoing performance monitoring and independent assessment via the Quarterly Performance Review track in the program.

Polaris Advisor

Our goal is to become your trusted partner in helping you build and maintain your value delivery optimization program.