As Collaborator’s product manager, I speak with a lot of Enterprise customers throughout the year about their peer review processes, and where they see changes coming during this new age of distributed workforce. I noticed two common challenges that I’d like to explore further in this blog post through the lens of Collaborator.
Challenge #1: Multiple teams, multiple tools and processes
Many organizations have several different version control tools and are also adopting, or have adopted, tools like GitHub or Bitbucket. They need to make sure that their peer review tool integrates with any version control tool that they have or are transitioning to.
One reason why Collaborator works so well for large enterprises is that is supports GitHub and similar tools, as well as its support for legacy version control tools like SVN or ClearCase. Collaborator’s support for such a wide variety of tools allows for organizations to implement one peer review tool that can support teams, regardless of the version control tool being used.
Version control integrations in Collaborator GUI Client
Additionally, when it is time to pull reports for compliance or regulatory reasons, the data is there, and the process is the same for every team that has been using Collaborator. Collaborator helps save time and energy during the audit process because all the data is in one place. I know of several companies that create an account in Collaborator so that the auditor can login and look at the reviews, which means someone else isn’t being pulled away for critical activities to support the audit process.
Review detail report
Though version control is one factor that leads to different processes, there is also a need for different workflows. Are the correct people on the review? Is the correct data being captured for compliance and process improvement? I will discuss features in part two of this blog series, but Collaborator supports review checklists, custom fields, mulitple participants and roles, and a host of other items that make data collection easy and ensures that the correct people are participating in the review. Since Collaborator offers flexibility, the business can capture data needed and the end users can perform reviews using a process that meets the unique needs of their team.
Challenge #2: Reviewing development artifacts that are not code
Organizations are asking themselves “How do we improve our review process for requirements, user stories and test plans?” Over the last several years, we continue to see a trend towards building processes around document review, because it helps ensure that the deliverables are higher quality.
If you get your initial requirements right and you can communicate them across the team, even in an agile framework where they could be changing, you are going to reduce the chances of shipping something that is broken or doesn’t do what it needs to do. The same is true for test plans, user stories, design documents, and every other artifact that should be reviewed that many organizations are ignoring, or at least not formally reviewing.
Document review example
Collaborator gives you one place to review all your development lifecycle artifacts, including those that are not code. This means that cross-functional teams can be involved in the peer review process and make sure that the delivered product is what it needs to be. Whether your team needs to review text files, Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Visio, Adobe PDF and even images, Collaborator has you covered.
As an example, many teams store their test cases in Excel files and want to ensure that newly written tests are correct. With Collaborator, the QA team can upload the Excel file to the same review as the source code and sign-off on the new test case before the review is closed. Another example of cross-functional participation is through the involvement of the UI/UX team. Some customers will have their developer take a screen capture of their dev environment with the change and upload it to the code review. A UI/UX team member can open the Collab review, see the screenshot and add comments. They can also file defects to ensure that the UI/UX meets the requirements or make suggestions before the code is delivered. With the involvement of the cross-functional team, potential issues are flagged and addressed earlier in the development lifecycle.
Engaging Your Cross-Functional Team in Peer Reviews
Join us on Thursday, September 17th for our webinar where we’ll cover how Collaborator’s customization options can get your cross-functional teams easily engaged in your review process, whether that’s code review, document review, or both.