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How Loft uses Pulse to measure Engineering health

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Customer story about how Loft uses Pulse to measure Engineering health. Estimated reading time: 5 minutes.

About Loft

Founded in 2018, Loft combines the power of Technology with Real estate, simplifying the acquisition and sale of properties in Brazil. Not that buying and selling real estate isn’t a complex business already, but the “one-stop-shop” operates on three fronts:

  1. An online marketplace where anyone can buy a house in Brazil, with simplified bureaucracy for the buying process;
  2. Buying houses to make them available in the marketplace, sometimes doing renovation work on them;
  3. Mediating the financing process of getting a loan or using another house as a trade for a new house.

Its potential didn’t go unnoticed by investors, raising $425M in 2021, the largest funding round ever raised by a Brazilian startup. Today, Loft has over 1000 employees, counting with 300+ members of the Engineering team, with a prospect to keep growing.

Main Points

  • Loft was looking for a way to measure their Engineering health across a 300+ engineers organization, choosing the Accelerate metrics to show a connection between technology and business impact.
  • When they understood that self-made solutions were challenging to manage and not being extensively adopted, they decided to focus on their core market, and adopt a tool that would solve this problem for them.
  • Loft quickly adopted Pulse due to its easy configuration, and its simple experience. Pulse focused on what mattered to the team, and allowed them to effortlessly have an overview and make decisions.
  • Since adopting Pulse, they’ve been able to make teams more autonomous, make their operation more transparent and better understood across their entire organization.

Engineering visibility

With a growing engineering team, Anselmo Martelini, Director of Software Engineering at Loft, has struggled to have visibility over how his teams were doing. “Loft grew very quickly. Two years ago, we were able to know everyone and get updated by attending the one meeting everyone would attend. These days, that’s no longer possible.”

Problem illustration - Absence of Engineering health metrics

To help manage and keep the teams aligned, Loft organized its Engineering team around each of the three main business units. They follow a Spotify Tribes approach with a slight modification of where business people are.

Since getting the context from the daily interactions of squads is no longer possible, to get macro visibility of their Engineering Excellence, they adopted three indicators:

  1. Business health: They analyze the business impact each team is accomplishing. Right now, they use the OKRs framework for this. 
  2. Engineering health: They consider DevOps metrics to ensure the quality of what is being produced by the teams. At the moment, they rely on Pulse for tracking the DevOps metrics.
  3. Team health: They continuously assess team behaviors, relationships, as well as individual happiness, and general feedback. Weekly surveys gather these insights from the perception of every engineer.

Ideally, every Engineering Manager would have access and act on these key indicators about their team.

Loft and Pulse

Before having a solution to measure Engineering health, teams were relying on their own feelings to know if they were on the right track. But since their culture is one of autonomy, it was important that teams had the tools to understand if they are making the right decisions.

The first step of their journey to become data-informed was to define which metrics they would track. They found Accelerate to be the best available metrics because of the demonstrable link between technology and business impact.

For a year they invested in building an internal solution that measured the Accelerate metrics. But in practice, no one was using it. It was never adopted in the first place because of the tooling experience: every team was required to do customization of how they collected data; poor performance and customization of the visualizations; and maintenance of jobs for collecting data.

After reflecting on their internal solution, Loft decided to look for a tool that could provide them these insights with minimal effort (not reinventing the wheel). With a market full of tools that either required too much configuration or wouldn’t provide them the metrics they were looking for, they found Pulse.

Pulse made it so simple from our side: with a simple integration we automatically had access to the metrics. And besides, it was really easy to use. We can just use Pulse and focus on changing the real estate market.

Anselmo Martelini, Director of Software Engineering at Loft

Pulse’s ease of use has allowed Loft’s teams to:

  • Become more data-informed: This was the biggest transformation. They managed to create a culture where teams use metrics to reflect on their own ways of working and their everyday decisions.
  • Improve the transparency and trust over their work: People didn’t have access to what was happening in Engineering. They made it accessible to other stakeholders in a clear way: a single chart that displays teams’ performance level, comparing themselves to others in the industry. “We now have the ability to open the “car’s hood” and look inside”.
Insights illustration - Measuring Engineering health

By bringing Pulse into their process, Loft has been able to not only provide visibility of their teams’ Engineering health across the organization but to shift its culture into one that celebrates data-informed teams making data-driven decisions. As of today, about 60% of teams are engaged with metrics and working with them. Their goal is to have all teams engaged and to make this the default way of working.

We bet that celebrating an open culture of autonomous data-informed teams will be key to make Loft’s mission of simplifying the buying and selling of properties a reality.

If you’re interested in measuring your teams’ Engineering health, view a demo of how Pulse works.

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