Customer Story

How Factorial drives continuous improvement during rapid growth

Factorial CTO Pau Revilla and Senior Engineering Director Josep Jaume Rey use Swarmia to empower software engineers and managers to drive relevant improvements in their teams.


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Pau Revilla, CTO of Factorial, leads a fast-growing, globally distributed engineering organization. Senior Engineering Director Josep Jaume Rey works in the Developer Experience team and is responsible for analyzing engineering outcomes and improving the daily lives of Factorial’s developers.

In 2022 alone, the Factorial engineering organization grew from 80 to 150 software developers. When Pau and Josep started looking to gain visibility into the growing organization and its bottlenecks, it was important that the tool would support their culture of ownership and accountability.

At Factorial, each engineering team owns their projects from end-to-end, from the request for comments to pull requests and up until communication to the rest of the company. It was important for us to get quantitative information on how the teams are doing, but without adding any friction.
Pau Revilla

Pau had previously been using Pull Panda for lightweight analytics on the teams’ pull request lifecycle. But after Pull Panda was acquired by GitHub, rebranded as Pull Reminders, and eventually deprecated, he felt there was a gap in the market for a tool that would help them eliminate bottlenecks in their delivery lifecycle.

Additionally, Pau and Josep were interested in getting access to DORA metrics and giving both managers and individual contributors the insights and tools they need to make better decisions.

More than anything, we were looking to give managers visibility so that they could coach their people. As the teams got larger, our managers no longer knew what work was being done or where the bottlenecks were. In addition to looking at planned work, they also needed visibility into actual work. It was important to get access to that data, so the managers could offer their support at the right time.
Pau Revilla

Solution: actionable insights for managers and individual contributors

Factorial’s first objective with Swarmia was to gain visibility into their pull request lifecycle. As with many growing teams, they quickly noticed that code reviews were becoming a bottleneck.

Cycle time is central to every engineering team at Factorial. If we’re somehow adding friction to the development workflows, we can see our cycle times getting higher in Swarmia. This helps us quickly find and fix the underlying issues.
Josep Jaume Rey
Senior Engineering Director

Almost 80% of Factorial’s engineering teams have subscribed to Swarmia’s Daily Digests in Slack, which summarize the team’s open pull requests and any exceptions to the Working Agreements they’ve adopted. Josep also keeps receiving positive feedback about Swarmia’s personal Slack notifications from engineers across the organization.

One of the things thin GitHub should provide, Swarmia covers very well. Swarmia’s GitHub–Slack notifications are way better than in any other tool and it’s one of the reasons our engineers really love the product.
Josep Jaume Rey
Senior Engineering Director

Some of the more mature teams at Factorial have also started using Swarmia to track DORA metrics. While a wider rollout hasn’t been possible yet due to the organization’s rapid growth, Josep is hoping to gradually roll them out in the coming months.

Results: 2x throughput, improved code review rate, and faster merge time

In their first year of using Swarmia, the Factorial engineering organization managed to more than double their throughput, which is rare for a company growing as fast as Factorial has been. After all, it’s difficult to maintain, let alone improve, productivity while spending a lot of time on hiring and onboarding new teammates.

After adopting Swarmia’s GitHub notifications in Slack, Factorial’s overall code review rate has increased from 74% to 95%. They’ve also managed to drop the average time for first code review from 12 hours to 10 hours and reduce merge time from 24 to 15 hours, which are impressive results for a globally distributed team.

In addition to the concrete and measurable improvements Josep has seen in the engineering organization, he’s been particularly happy with Swarmia’s ability to deliver new features.

A lot of people at Factorial, including me, get a lot of value out of Swarmia. I’ve also noticed many improvements and new features in the product in the past year, and that’s been great to see.
Josep Jaume Rey
Senior Engineering Director

Next up, Josep and Pau are focusing on improving performance, stability, and quality with the help of Swarmia. Josep is also hoping to do an organization-wide rollout of DORA metrics now that some teams have had a chance to try them out.

Swarmia gives us a better understanding of quality. And it’s not only about software quality but also about the quality of our release strategy, including how we deploy changes.
Josep Jaume Rey
Senior Engineering Director

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