How to turn allocation insights into action for your dev team

At an executive level, it can be difficult to track your team’s time across epics and investment areas. So you ask your managers. And they ask your devs. 

Maybe you send out a survey or poll. What is your team working on? How is their time being distributed? Your dev managers try to squeeze it in between feature builds and bug fixes, but it still takes weeks to collect the information. 

Or maybe you’ve been using Uplevel’s Allocation insights, so you already know how your dev team spends their time. And you have the data to back it up, rolled up neatly within your Executive Insights — saving your dev managers hours of tedious monthly reporting.

So you can see that your team allocated 16% of their time in September to growing your product and its features. You understand that collaboration makes up the largest chunk of your team’s time — it’s all there in the charts. But how do you turn these insights into action?

Here’s how execs are using time allocation insights to improve strategic planning, financial (headcount) planning, and tax reporting.

Strategic planning

It’s important to keep your finger on the pulse of your engineering work. Are your dev teams working on the right projects? Are you investing in the right priorities? 

By mapping your team’s epics to specific investment buckets, you can better align their efforts with your business strategy. And once you understand how much time is spent in each bucket, you can reallocate dev time to your highest priorities.

Strategic planning in action:

Take our example in the chart above. This dev team allocates 21% of their time (on average) to collaboration: time in meetings, Slack interruptions, and blocked time. That’s more than their high-priority investment buckets such as Platform Globalization (15%) and New Growth/New Features (16.5%). 

If collaboration is cutting into Deep Work time, think about working with your dev teams to adjust meetings and work allocation. If they’re spending too much time fixing bugs or just keeping the lights on, consider how you could allocate more time to building features and other growth priorities.

“With Uplevel’s Allocation insights, we can now integrate directly with our planning systems and understand — and adjust — investments more frequently. Development managers get more time to focus on what they should: their teams and product development. Overall, we’re able to run a more effective product organization.”

Induprakas Keri, SVP and Chief Product Security Officer, Nutanix

Financial (headcount) planning

You’re planning to roll out a new version of your product this year. But your dev team is struggling to keep up and working constant overtime. Your managers ask for additional help, but hiring and onboarding new devs now would leave you even further behind schedule. Besides, it’s just not in the budget.

As you prepare for the next sprint, how do you ensure adequate headcount dollars to meet your product goals? With headcount planning based on actual product effort investment, you can make informed financial decisions and adjust your roadmap accordingly.

Financial (headcount) planning in action: 

Let’s say you want to increase globalization efforts next sprint while maintaining your other investment areas. Allocation insights can show you how much time your team spends on platform globalization to better inform future investment. 

If your dev team consistently spends 16% of their time on globalization, what would it take to move up to 20% or 30%. Do you have the headcount/budget to cover that increase? And to cover your other priorities?

Tax reporting

It’s tax time again. Accounting reaches out about R&D cost capitalization. But how do you amortize your dev team’s work? 

We already ruled out polls and surveys. They take up too much of your team’s time. Our allocation insights can provide an unbiased look into where your dollars are being invested. So come tax time, you won’t have to pull your devs and managers away from other priorities.

Tax reporting in action:

Your dev team is working on building your product. All related dev work is being rolled into your Allocation insights as New Growth/New Features — one of your capitalizable investment buckets. You even have a separate view just for capitalizable projects. 

You already know your team allocates 16.5% of their time to this bucket. That’s how many hours worked? How many dollars spent? By flagging your capitalizable projects, you can automate reporting for R&D tax credits. You’ll know exactly what to write off. Audits will be easier. And you’ll have a data-driven way to report on capitalization investment.

Learn more about Allocation and our full suite of executive insights and schedule a demo today.

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