Within a single Scorecard, you may have defined 10 or 20 different rules. While you can assign weighted values to your Scorecard rules, we recommend using Level progression to make it immediately obvious to developers what they should prioritize.
Levels allow you to organize your rules into tiers and set up a gamified system, encouraging developers to make progress toward goals. Each customizable level contains rules that need to be passed in order for services or resources to progress to the next level.
Levels make it clear what should be done, and in what order. In the above example, developers must pass both rules in the Bronze level before they can move on to Silver.
Level progress is cumulative, so if developers aren’t passing a rule in the first or second level, they will not be able to achieve any levels beyond that, regardless of the rules they’re passing. Using the above example, if a service has README, has on-call rotation with at least 2 escalation levels, uses latest version of our auth library, and the MTTR is less than 1 hour, but it doesn't have at least 2 owners, that service won't achieve any levels until two owners are designated.
If a service achieves the Silver level, but falls out of compliance with on-call rotation, it will be downgraded to the Bronze level accordingly.
This kind of gamification motivates developers to not only progress through the levels, but to maintain the quality of their services and resources over time.
Creating and editing level
To create or edit a level, open a scorecard and select Edit from the menu bar.
If your Scorecard already has levels set up, you'll see those appear under Define evaluation rules. If you're creating levels for the first time, you'll only see the option to Add level.
Select Add level to enter a name and description for the level. You can also choose a color to represent the level.
You can choose any names you'd like for your levels — beginner, intermediate, and advanced; bronze, silver, gold, and platinum; or something unique to your organization. Levels are designed to inspire progress on important goals, so choose level names that will motivate your team members.
Once you've set up your level, you'll then define rules. Keep in mind that your first level should have the most essential rules.
To make quick edits, you can drag rules into other levels by selecting the ⫶⫶ icon. You can also reorder levels by clicking the arrows beside each level.
You can add as many levels as you want by following the same steps. You can't duplicate a rule across levels, since developers will have already completed that task earlier. You can, however, write similar rules with different thresholds if you want developers to progress in stages.
Recommendation: Although you can Add a level-less rule, levels provide the most benefit to you and developers.
Once you create a level, it’ll automatically be applied based on the services or resources within the Scorecard, so there’s no re-evaluation necessary. Levels essentially act as a configuration on top of information that already exists within the scorecard.
Within a Scorecard, you’ll be able to see at a glance which services or resources have achieved which levels, and how many rules remain until each entity progresses to the next level.
By clicking on a service or resource name, you can get more information about its progress: the specific tasks it must achieve to advance to the next level, the rules that it's currently failing and passing, and its progress over time.
This makes it easy for developers to understand exactly what they should be doing, and lays out the priorities in a clear way. The visibility enabled by Scorecards then allows developers to target specific entities for improvement.
When and how to use levels
Levels are designed to gamify service and resource quality, and get team members excited about leveling up. Levels are an excellent motivational tool and can get team members excited about meeting standards.
You can also use levels to create a tiered quality index for services and resources, telling developers exactly where they are today and what steps to take to get to the next level of quality. Cortex has a bunch of built-in features that are specifically designed to help developers focus their time and attention on the most urgent tasks.
You can create an Initiative based on a Scorecard’s level and set a deadline for all services or resources to meet a certain level, making it even easier to coordinate quality standards across all entities. For example, you can create an initiative for all services within a scorecard directing them to achieve the Bronze level by the end of Q2. If you’re trying to bump all of your services or resources up to a certain place, the level feature makes it incredibly easy to do.