Pulse - Project Visualization for Release Planning
Software development can be parallelized across version control branches to support collaboration within and between development teams. Releasing a branched product requires making decisions about how the work will be integrated, which has an impact on scheduling, effort, and product quality. However, a survey study we conducted showed that 40% of large projects experience release delays because of integration decisions. A follow-up interview study with seven professionals, each involved in multiple releases of a large software product, identified ten contributing factors for effective integration decision making and the improvement of tools.
The findings from these studies highlight the need for greater support for integration decisions in branched development environments and also provide requirements for future solutions. The final phase of the project, currently in progress, is to work with an industry partner to implement a solution on a digital surface (for use in team-based settings, such as a ship room) and tracking its utility over a release cycle. Named Pulse, the solution represents the heartbeat branched development project. The Pulse system presents a variety of information to improve team collaboration and integration decision-making with the goal of reducing defects and time-to-market.