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How Adext uses Flow to amplify feedback loops and improve predictability.

The Challenge

“One of the most important parts of my role is making sure that my team has the information they need to continuously improve their skill,” explains Gabriel Kent, Cofounder and CTO at Adext. “I firmly believe that individuals should have the resources necessary to see the full picture and then give themselves clear and honest feedback. They need to be able to see the results of their work—every day, every week, every month. They need to be able to visualize how they’re working collectively with the team, and know how the team is doing overall.”

But finding ways for his engineering team to accurately visualize their work has been a battle that Gabriel has fought throughout his career. “There are plenty of easily accessible metrics out there that you can use to get some level of visibility into engineering activity,” Gabriel says. “And on the surface, they’re decent. But in practice, they typically create bad incentives and can align the team’s culture around the wrong things.”

The CTO tried using a hodgepodge of tools to collect the in-depth metrics he was looking for, but manually exporting data from various tools into Excel, on a daily basis, was a laborious activity. ‘‘We even ended up getting a few different plug-ins to try and get a better picture of how we could be helping the team — by removing obstacles and assess whether the team is aligned. There were a few useful reports in there, but I kept finding myself asking, 'why can’t I drill down into this?' Gabriel recalls. “By and large, it was very dissatisfying.” This frustration is what ultimately lead ADEXT to Pluralsight Flow.

“The engineers feel that they finally have the dashboard they need to view their daily, weekly, and yearly work in a meaningful way.”

Gabriel Kent, Cofounder and CTO at Adext


The Solution

Adext’s managers now use Flow to gauge the health of the engineering team and quickly identify when something is off. The team has experienced improved estimates and an increase in productivity, and has discovered a newfound respect from the rest of the organization.

“One of the most important improvements we’ve seen since using Flow are better estimates,” Gabriel explains. “My team now has the information they need to predict how long something is going to take. Over the last few months, our estimates have improved both on an individual and team-wide level.”

In addition to improved estimates, Adext can now use hard data in their bonus structure. “We have a monthly bonus for developers, but this has been notoriously hard to do right without having the right metrics — how do you incentivize a team around metrics that neither capture their work nor encourage good habits?” Gabriel asks. “We now use Flow as part of that bonus structure, and it’s the best bonus structure I’ve been able to create in my career.”

The key benefits of Pluralsight Flow for Adext

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Fewer Delays on Epics

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Increase in Impact to Codebase

“There’s a newfound respect for our team from the rest of the company. Flow has given us the ability to help others visualize and understand the impact that Engineering is having on the company. In fact, it’s incentivized the rest of the company to work harder—to try and contribute as much as we are.”

Gabriel Kent, Cofounder and CTO at Adext

Results and next steps

The ability to visualize and measure engineering performance in real-time has given ADEXT the equipment necessary to accelerate their growth and improve their processes. “As a team, we operate on the belief that if you can get a clear picture of what you’re doing and the results of your work on a daily basis, then over time it’s going to adjust your behavior to be more effective,” Gabriel says. “Flow has given us the ability to have these tight feedback loops, which has been tremendous for us.”

Empower engineering with data-driven insights