Marcus Clinton's fast track from Project Manager to Director of Operations

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This Showcase features Marcus Clinton, Director of Operations at Elite Media Technologies, who caught our eye with his recent post in a Jira Group on Linkedin. In this post, you'll learn about how what started as an interest in Jira then kick-started his career trajectory from project manager to Director of Operations. Here's his initial Linkedin post:
 
I work for a company that started with 3 people 7 years ago and over time grew to 25. Although the growth was amazing, none of the workflows were adjusted to accommodate. Colleagues of mine have been using the same tools the entire time (mostly excel and outlook). Two years ago I started working here as a project manager and noticed the issues immediately. At a previous job, I worked with Jira and found it to be a perfect solution to modernize the workflows. I suggested this as a solution a year ago and was given the green light to move forward and was offered a new title, Director of Operations. The magnitude of what was needed became clear when I first started developing our Jira. Although I was intimidated by this task, I was also excited to dive into it. And here I am, on Jan. 1, 2018 we are launching Jira! I am still going through the training phase right now and everyone seems to be on board and thanks to the user-friendly interface of Jira everyone understands it at a glimpse and gets it. I haven’t crossed the finish line yet and I am looking forward to the feedback from my Team. Just thought I would share my story, I will keep everyone posted on my progress.
 
Here's where we jumped in to ask Marcus some followup questions:
 
Bridget (B): What's your plan for when folks with inevitably meet this change with resistance?
 
Marcus (M): I have developed SOPs to help the different departments adopt Jira workflows. During the training, I did meet resistance with some departments, and I heard their concerns and re-jiggered a few things around to help ease the process. Because of this resistance that took place during the training, it became clear that wants we launch Jira in every department there will some pushback. Here is my plan for the individual departments:
Different departments will resist for different reasons, change is something that people are never comfortable with. Below are the pushbacks that I anticipate:
 
Project Managers
 
  • It takes a long time to build out projects. For this, I plan on reminding them that they are inputting the same amount of data already and Jira will consolidate that data in one location which will reduce the complexity of tracking their project.
 
  • I can’t see everything I would like to see. This will come up from time to time at the beginning while they are still getting familiar with the software. One thing that I have put together are custom dashboards so they can see what the company as a whole and individual users are working on.  I’ve asked for feedback because I do plan on having to make adjustments to accommodate different departments
 
General Concerns 
  • I’ve encouraged everyone to take ownership, and if there is a feature or change they would like to see we do have the ability to customize features to their needs.  
 
B: What resources did you use to help develop your Jira instance?
 
M: In the beginning, I was building out everything myself, which proved to be difficult to find the time to do so. It was clear that I needed some help, so I asked one of our interns, and he seemed up for the job. Acting as the product manager I mapped out the Issue Types, Workflows, Screens, Fields, Attributes and Dashboards and then he executed. In addition, I pick the brains of the different departments to drill down on their exact needs.
 
B: What are you going to do to celebrate once Jira is officially launched?!
 
M: I was thinking about having a ceremonial “cutting of the ribbon” and a cake! In reality, I just held a meeting and went over the official launch with the team.
 
B: If you were to recommend something to the Jira team that would make your life easier, what would it be?
 
M: Although I have pieces in place to take care of 90% of what we do, there are some features that are still in developments.
  1. Asset tracking as a default feature – In the work that we do a lot of times there are physical elements that are needed to complete the tasks. In addition, we ship out and receive elements every day and we need a system to track these movements. There are some plugins available, but we can’t seem to make them work as a turnkey product. This will be a priority for me in 2018.
  2. Closing out the project – currently, there doesn’t seem to be a way to close out a project to have it archived for future use. My only concern about have thousands of projects is it might cause confusion down the road.

Thanks Marcus for this incredible Showcase! Community: If you or a friend/colleague have a Showcase worthy story, please shoot me a quick note to Bsauer@atlassian.com. 

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