Complete Guide About your bus factor will be explained in this article. Have you ever sent an email at work with the subject line, “Here’s some information you may need, in case I get hit by a bus!,” or written down critical information with that caveat? Or perhaps you’ve prepared a strategy with vital information to pass on to your coworkers before your trip or after your resignation so they can continue working without you.
These examples all illustrate the bus factor concept (also known as the truck factor or lorry factor). Although the idea of the bus factor may initially seem rather morbid, companies must take it into account. Teams of all sizes, from all sectors and specialties are affected by the bus factor, but software development and engineering teams are particularly at danger.
What is Your Bus Factor Complete Guide In 2023
In this article, you can know about What is Your Bus Factor Complete Guide In 2023 here are the details below;
In this article, we define the bus factor and provide eight methods to raise it, allowing you to create project teams that are adaptable to changing conditions.
Describe the bus factor
The bus factor, as used in business, is the bare minimum of team members required to prevent a project from stalling or failing in their absence (say, if a bus hit them).
- According to some, it’s the number of individuals whose incapacities would cause a serious system failure.
- It gauges the risk brought on by a team’s information, skills, and resources being lost.
- Simply put, a greater BUS factor is preferable.
- Here’s a brief illustration:
- Let’s imagine a side-by-side comparison of two production teams.
- There are ten members on each squad.
- The bus factor for Team A is only two.
As a result, the remaining eight team members would be unable to continue working on the codebase or would encounter significant problems that would endanger the project if two team members were to be struck by a bus, quit, or take a sabbatical.
The bus factor for Team B is a strong six.
To have a significant impact on the remainder of the team, six people would need to be killed by a bus, leave their jobs, or take a leave of absence.
Which group sounds more solid and competent?
Developers undoubtedly prefer to be a member of Team B.
Your developer experience is adversely impacted and you run the risk of high turnover with a low bus factor.
Why does the bus factor matter?
Teams suffer from low bus factors, which can abruptly put an end to activities.
For companies that offer software services or have business models focused on their development teams, adopting a low bus factor is extremely hazardous.
The bus factor of one was discovered to exist in ten out of 25 well-known open-source GitHub projects in 2016, according to the Applied Software Engineering Research Group.
Despite being estimates, the findings showed a prevalent problem with many software development projects: the project can’t function without one important team member.
The bus factor is also essential to the success of startups.
Consider the possibility that the team might have to start from scratch if a small startup has a bus factor of one and a developer departs as the business expands.
Or, even worse, they might not be able to fill the void left by an important person and will need to change the course of the project.
8 ways to increase a low bus factor
Do you want to boost the bus factor for your squad but are unsure where to begin?
Your bus factor will rise and your team’s skills will grow thanks to these eight suggestions.
1. Focus on documentation
Although creating documentation can be intimidating, particularly when doing so for the first time, it has many advantages for both preserving important knowledge and passing it on to new team members.
New documentation acts as a single source of truth, reduces duplication of effort, enhances quality and process control, and improves onboarding.
Key procedures should always be thoroughly recorded and kept in a convenient location.
Establish a process for producing templates, paperwork, and a storage location.
As outdated documentation can hurt the team and lead to rework, decide who will update papers and how often.
2. Designate backups for each role
Even with a small team, one of the biggest errors you can make is failing to assign backups for each position.
In situations of emergency, such as a sudden illness, this technique is beneficial.
It is required in situations where a team member leaves and there is a void before the replacement.
Backups should be able to replace their counterparts in all crucial roles for both short- and long-term times.
Think about incorporating this procedure into your job descriptions, and make sure team members have enough time to work as a backup if necessary.
3. Cross-train your team members
Each team member may have a specialty or area of emphasis on some development teams.
When problems with code occur, turnaround times can be sped up by having specialised rock stars who can handle typical problems.
But it can also result in information divisions and gaps.
Create a cross-training programme that promotes information sharing and group problem-solving to close these gaps.
Pair computing is one approach to accomplishing this (yes, you can even do pair programming remotely).
A method used in rapid development is called pair programming.
It promotes collaboration, encourages creativity, and gives coworkers a forum for mutual learning.
Hosting frequent knowledge-sharing sessions is another method for cross-training workers.
Developers should volunteer to speak to the development team on different topics.
4. Leverage automation to simplify processes
Automating processes not only makes life simpler for developers, but it also takes the human factor out of the equation and lowers the risk of knowledge loss.
Be sure to create supporting documentation as you implement automation tools so you can quickly get new employees up to speed and working.
The automation programmes Jenkins, Cucumber, Zapier, and Integrately are a few examples.
5. Rotate roles on development projects
The Rabbit Hole: The Definitive Developer’s Podcast presenters suggest using team rotations to increase the bus factor in episode 198.
Because they wrote the code and are acquainted with it, programmers are occasionally fast to fix anything that breaks in the codebase.
Over time, the programmer who created the code gains expertise and consistently offers fast fixes.
The issue is that no one else on the team has been taught that section of the codebase, leaving a sizable knowledge vacuum.
Rotating teams or particular tasks on projects will allow knowledge sharing by default and give developers the chance to work in novel, uncharted environments.
6. Exchange vital information during daily standups
Meetings that are successful give the team the chance to interact and share important information.
If your team holds daily standups, think about allocating some time for developers to speak up and seek assistance from one another in a group situation.
If your team doesn’t hold daily standups, make sure there are still chances for regular team gatherings and meaningful information sharing about projects.
A wonderful source of information sharing can also be achieved through asynchronous communication techniques, such as project-specific Slack channels (and written documentation).
7. Strive for simplicity over complexity
To fight a low bus factor, simplicity is a potent weapon.
Sure, working on complicated designs might initially seem more interesting and enjoyable.
The long-term wiser course of action is to take the simple route.
The longer it takes for new team members to catch up and feel at ease with the codebase, the more specialised and narrow the code becomes.
This holds true for the actual code as well as any accompanying procedures, setups, or tools.
8. Invest in your team’s growth
Investing in your team’s professional development is one way to increase knowledge and skills across the board (while maintaining employee engagement).
To assist them in developing their abilities, organise and carry out training sessions, workshops, and classes.
Sending developers to conferences and other networking events can help them become better problem solvers with stronger technical skills, so consider doing so if your budget permits.
As a result, you strength be able to support team members’ career development and assist them advance into management and leadership positions.
Both the company and the workers benefit from it.
Go forth and increase your bus factor
You can locate a singular point of failure by knowing your bus factor.
Your bus factor should be greater.
You can increase your bus factor right now by using proper documentation, cross-training, job rotation, and investment in professional growth and development, to name a few strategies.
Never forget that you should never have a bus factor of one!