10 Customer Objections FAQs

1. I don't understand who Astronuts is for.

We believe that long-term engineering productivity improvements start by addressing the needs of engineering teams. Without their buy-in when measuring productivity and engagement, trusting the data for further insights becomes unlikely.

At Astronuts, we have built our product with a focus on teams, providing them with visibility into their work and opportunities for improvement. Here's how Astronuts works:

  • Teams receive actionable insights to improve on a daily basis.
  • Teams own their data, ensuring the highest quality and accuracy.
  • Engineering leaders gain high-level visibility into team performance.
  • Individual developers gain context to their daily work and access to useful time-saving tools.
  • By taking a holistic view of engineering productivity and placing emphasis on teams, Astronuts fosters long-term productivity improvements for the entire organization.

2. Our teams are not ready for this kind of transparency.

The software industry has a history of using harmful metrics like lines of code to measure developer productivity. However, at Astronuts, we focus on increasing transparency in a pragmatic way that genuinely helps teams deliver better software faster. Instead of spying on developers, we help identify and address the real bottlenecks within your organization, which are typically related to processes rather than individuals.

We understand that the best teams optimize for the whole, not just individuals. In Astronuts, you won't find leaderboards ranking developers or teams from best to worst. Instead, we concentrate on team metrics centered around focus, delivery, collaboration, and quality – areas that already fall within the domain of teams. With increased visibility into these aspects, we can gradually improve team ways of working.

If someone in the team is blocked or working alone on a complex problem, it becomes a team matter. Astronuts facilitates meaningful conversations during one-on-ones and team meetings based on real data.

3. I don't need yet another dashboard to look at.

While we believe in the power of metrics, we understand that metrics alone do not drive change. Our goal at Astronuts is to help teams make improvements that stick. This means going beyond merely identifying blockers and anti-patterns to actively supporting teams in taking action and improving every day.

In Astronuts, teams create working agreements based on how they want to work. Here are a few examples:

  • Merge all pull requests in under 7 days.
  • Review pull requests within 24 hours.
  • Don't push code to the main branch without review.
  • Limit work in progress to two user stories at a time.
  • Resolve critical bugs within 24 hours.

However, building new habits doesn't happen automatically. People often need reminders about new ways of working, and as a leader, constantly reinforcing these changes can be a challenging task. That's why our Slack bot nudges teams to respect their agreements and take action to stay on track. It may involve closing stale pull requests, prioritizing projects falling behind schedule due to unplanned work, or unblocking individuals tackling complex problems alone.

This approach has enabled several of our customers to start shipping code 30-50% faster within just 3 months.

4. I don't have time for this. We have more pressing issues to solve.

We understand that when your organization already faces significant complexity, adopting a new tool may not seem like the most brilliant idea. Your focus is on delivering business objectives, scaling the team, and keeping the organization running smoothly.

Now, imagine if you could remove blockers that slow teams down and deliver on your top priorities 10 times faster. As an engineering leader, is there anything more important?

While there are no silver bullets for achieving 10x improvement, driving systematic change does require time, commitment, and exceptional leadership. Engineering productivity should be at the top of a leader's agenda. The good news is that you can start improving today.

Astronuts creates and nurtures a culture of continuous improvement within your teams, enhancing focus and delivery without diverting attention from critical tasks. We have witnessed teams achieving a significant productivity increase with Astronuts within 4-6 weeks.

If you're still unsure whether now is the right time to improve productivity, we encourage you to check out this blog post.

5. I don't think this tool can accurately reflect the way we work.

At Astronuts, we understand that every engineering team is unique. We don't force you into a One Right Way of Working™️; instead, we adapt to your existing processes and learn from how you work.

If your teams use Jira in a unique way, that's not a problem. We've encountered countless variations in how teams use Jira. If teams have different routines or interpretations of Kanban, Scrum, sprints, retrospectives, etc., we adapt accordingly.

We support a wide range of team structures and hierarchies, including squads, groups, tribes, and more. In the rare event that we don't already support your specific workflow, we're more than happy to learn more and make necessary adaptations.

6. I don't think I'm going to learn anything new from this tool.

Many blockers that slow teams down are often challenging to diagnose with existing tools. Surprisingly, most common blockers can be addressed within a week, but if you're unaware of their existence, they can continue to haunt teams for years.

Many of our customers have been surprised to discover how much unplanned work is not reflected on their roadmap but becomes visible in Astronuts.

Will this be the case for you? We don't know. Once your issue tracker data is synced, setting up Astronuts takes just 10 minutes. If you don't find value in the tool during your 14-day trial, you can easily disconnect your source code hosting and issue tracker.

7. I can write scripts to get the same data myself.

We've been in your shoes too, writing scripts for Jira and GitHub and building Slack bots as temporary solutions to address the lack of visibility and insights. Many of our customers have also attempted to write scripts before realizing how challenging it is to maintain them and obtain reliable data.

At Astronuts, our focus on team-specific metrics ensures the industry's highest data quality because teams themselves own their data. Here are some key aspects we consider to maintain data quality:

  • Flexible team-specific Jira and GitHub configuration.
  • Automated assignment of contributions to the appropriate people and projects.
  • Contributor management and handling comparisons against historical data.
  • Filtering out noise and outliers in the data.

When it comes to data quality, cycle time holds a special place in our hearts. We've spent countless hours discussing and fine-tuning it, to the extent that we even have a room in our office named the "Cycle Time Lounge" (we also have a bike club with the same name 🚴‍♂️). Here are just a few of the points we've covered:

  • How should review time be calculated if a pull request was merged without approval?
  • How should we handle an issue that was completed but then moved back to the board?
  • How should contributions be assigned if one person works for multiple teams?

We've successfully replaced all of our customers' scripts with a single tool. Contact us to see if your desired workflow is covered.

8. Onboarding to this new tool sounds like a lot of work.

We understand the pain of introducing new tools and respect your time. That's why we've considered factors such as access control, contributor management, and activity mapping from the beginning, making it easy to set up Astronuts with minimal maintenance requirements.

We utilize GitHub for access control, eliminating the need for managing access to yet another tool.

Setting up Astronuts takes less than 10 minutes. Simply connect your GitHub, Jira, and Slack, and you'll immediately see the first insights.

Other team members can be onboarded to Astronuts at any time, and we provide materials to share with the team. Our customer success team is here to support you throughout the process, and we're happy to assist in introducing Astronuts to your teams.

9. I don't want to introduce yet another UI to my developers.

We understand the challenges of getting teams to adopt new tools, which is why we aim to meet them where they already are: in GitHub and Slack. While some teams already use GitHub's own Slack integration, it can often be too noisy to provide real value, leading teams to send those notifications to a separate channel. At Astronuts, we offer a minimum-noise integration that simply alerts you when action is needed. Our goal is to reduce context switching and not add another tool to your workflow.

Most developers using Astronuts also utilize our Slack integration and only visit our UI occasionally.

10. All metrics are flawed anyway, why should I care?

Engineering metrics can be complex, and it's easy to do more harm than good. At Astronuts, we won't simply summarize your product development in one number and provide recommendations based on magic.

With Astronuts, you're in control of your data. We leverage the industry's best-researched metrics, including DORA metrics, metrics informed by the SPACE framework, and years of research on engineering productivity. We provide clarity on the methodology behind each metric you see in the tool and display the actual data used in all calculations, right down to every commit and issue status change. This transparency not only helps you understand the metrics but also allows us to improve and refine our own data and build the best product for you.