Cloud costs
April 5, 2024
min read

Announcing Business Alignment 2.0 - Connect Engineering to Business Value like Never Before


We are thrilled to announce the release of a new experience for the Business Alignment reports, now available upon request. With this feature addition now on the Harness SEI module, understanding where engineers allocate their time has never been easier – enabling you to optimize efforts and drive business growth. 

What is Business Alignment? 

Business Alignment reports allow you to measure and visualize engineering efficiency by categorizing and prioritizing resources effectively. By leveraging effort investment metrics, you can connect engineering activities directly to business value creation. This enables organizations to make informed decisions about their engineering investments, maximizing returns and enhancing strategic planning. 

As part of this upgrade, we have introduced several changes to the Business Alignment profile and report settings, which enhance the effectiveness and accuracy of Alignment metrics calculation.

Here’s a list of the new added features:

  • Investment Categories: These categories define the data that you want to compare within a Business Alignment report. You can create multiple categories each with a separate configuration for filters and allocation goals. You can define customizable data sets such as issue types, projects, components, or other dimensions and set unique filters and allocation goals for each category to track progress accurately. 
  • Enhanced Allocation Goals Settings: This is the section where you define the ideal, acceptable, and poor ranges for each category based on desired percentages. Now you can define the ideal range for allocation goals for each category using percentage values. The system intelligently calculates the optimal ranges i.e. the Acceptable range and the Poor range to accurately calculate the effort investment metric scores.
  • Scope of Fetching Tickets: This feature allows you to define how broadly you gather ticket data based on the defined filters. You can apply multiple filter sets under the Advanced tab to retrieve more specific tickets based on additional conditions. To learn more about this feature, please refer to the Business Alignment profile documentation.
  • Filters and Filter Sets: Filters are the criteria that determine what kind of work or tasks fall into each category. You can define up to three Filter Sets, each with its own set of conditions.

    These filter sets are defined through a logical relationship, determining whether conditions within each set should be combined using either AND (requiring all conditions to be met) or OR (allowing any condition to be met). 
  • Business Alignment Report: The Business Alignment report shows the effort invested in each category as a percentage value, along with an assigned target label (Ideal, Poor, Acceptable) on the Pie Chart. The Trend Chart on the widget displays the detailed breakdown of the score in the Stacked Bar Chart format. It shows the trend of effort investment over time, based on defined categories and their associated allocation goals in the Business Alignment profile.

    The Bar Chart breaks down the metric value into time intervals as configured under the widget settings. To learn more about this new report, please refer to the Business Alignment Report documentation.

This feature is currently in BETA and is behind a Feature Flag. To enable this feature, please contact Harness Support.

How Business Alignment can benefit your organization

Insights into Effort Investments 

The Business Alignment report offers transparency into how organizations are investing their resources across different areas or initiatives. It allows you to track: 

  • Investment ratios into new feature development vs technical debt reduction 
  • Effort distribution between customer-facing projects and internal projects 
  • Resource allocation for capitalized (revenue-generating) projects vs non-capitalized efforts 

This level of visibility enables data-driven decisions on where to prioritize investments based on business goals and strategic objectives.

Effort Analysis by Ticket Types

Suppose your company aims to maintain a balance between fixing technical debt and delivering customer features. By breaking down effort data by ticket types (e.g., bugs, stories, tasks, epics), the Business Alignment report can help in understanding how teams and engineers are spending their time. 

Based on historical performance, you identify that 60% of the team's capacity goes toward stories while only 40% focuses on bugs. This insight enables organizations to:

  • Identify potential bottlenecks or inefficiencies in specific ticket categories.
  • Rebalance effort distribution to align with priorities (e.g., more focus on customer-facing stories).
  • Forecast future capacity requirements based on historical trends across ticket types.

Balanced Resource Allocation

Many organizations work on a mix of capitalized (revenue-generating) projects and non-capitalized efforts (maintenance, operational tasks). The Business Alignment report clearly distinguishes the effort invested into each category, allowing leaders to:

  • Ensure adequate resources are dedicated to capitalized projects that drive business growth 
  • Monitor and control spend on non-capitalized activities to optimize costs 
  • Analyze the return on investment (ROI) for capitalized project portfolios

Leverage Drill Down Capabilities for Granular Insights

The drill-down capabilities of the Business Alignment report provide even deeper insights into how effort is being invested across different areas and by individual contributors. Here's how organizations can leverage this functionality: 

Drilldown by Tickets

The report allows you to drill down into the effort distribution across different ticket types, such as bugs, stories, tasks, and epics. This granular view enables organizations to Identify potential bottlenecks or disproportionate effort investment in specific ticket categories, which could indicate process inefficiencies or misaligned priorities.

Drilldown by Contributors

The report also offers the ability to drill down to the individual contributor level, providing insights into how each engineer or team member is investing their time across different areas. This level of visibility enables organizations to: 

  • Identify high performers and potential bottlenecks caused by workload imbalances or capacity constraints at the individual level.
  • Ensure fair and balanced workload distribution across teams, preventing burnout and fostering a healthy work-life balance.

These examples illustrate just a few ways the Business Alignment report empowers organizations to strategically allocate resources and fine-tune processes, resulting in improved productivity, streamlined operations, and high business impact. 

How to Get Started 

To use the new Business Alignment feature, please contact Harness Support to enable the feature flag for your account. You can refer to our documentation to learn how to set up your Business Alignment profile and generate the associated report. This feature can help unlock your team's potential by providing actionable insights to support smarter decision-making and accelerate engineering success.

Reach out to us today to schedule a demo for Harness SEI.

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