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Confidence map

The gist

The goal of this interactive map is to show engineer's experience in the codebase area and knowledge distribution between team members.

Use cases & tips

Reduce long-term threats to your product

It's exactly like having backups. If the knowledge is owned by a single engineer and no one can step in - it's risky.

Maintaining high levels of ownership and low levels of lost-knowledge with rotations and knowledge sharing practices. 

Select a right team size

If your team is working around the clock but the lost-knowledge keeps creeping in, it's probably because the product has outgrown your current team size.

Improve knowledge sharing practices

An accurate map of experts can be used for peer-to-peer consultations or selecting speakers for team-wide events.

Concepts

Lost knowledge - files that haven't been modified by anyone for a long time. It would take a similar amount of time for an original author to recover the working knowledge of these files as for a new engineer. 

Lost knowledge is risky for a product as your team would either move slower in these files or have a significantly higher risk of defects.

Owner - an estimated best expert in the area. Can provide accurate estimates, make risk free changes, and help in knowledge sharing activities 

Significant contributor - has similar qualities to that of the owner. An important role that significantly boosts the resilience of the product.

Contributor - holds a basic knowledge of the file, doesn't introduce any risks or benefits unless the file is overcrowded.

Micro contributor - an engineer with no prior knowledge of the file who introduces small changes. Commits made by micro contributors pose a higher risk of defects. Prevent micro contribution or upgrade such contributors to a higher knowledge tier.

Files with no defined owner - have multiple contributors without sufficient knowledge to be classified as significant contributors or owners. Such files have a higher risk of defects. 

Bus factor - estimates how many engineers could leave the current team before the product will come to a full stop.

Active set - highlights the files that were recently changed. Allows you to focus your attention on the issues that are relevant for your team right now. The period that is considered recent, can be configured in account settings.

This page was last revised on March 3, 2021

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