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❓How can we make onboarding to Atlas better❓

I wanted to take a moment to introduce myself 👋. My name is Greg, and I lead the marketing team at Atlas. It's a pleasure to meet all of you, and I'm really excited to have the opportunity to learn from your experiences with our product.

To be honest, we know that we haven't been doing enough to make it easy for our champions when they first start using Atlas 🙁. We want to change that and make things better 😃.

I'm reaching out to all of you because I value your input. Based on your own experiences, I would love to know the biggest challenges you faced when introducing Atlas to your company. Additionally, I want to find out where we could have provided more resources or guidance to save you time and put you in a better position to succeed.

👇Here are some topics that we've heard our users struggled with, had to create their own materials for, or simply wanted more guidance on:

  1. How to explain the value of Atlas to your organization
  2. How to structure a proof of concept with Atlas with a select group
  3. Practical advice or guides for rolling out Atlas at your company
  4. Tips for creating projects effectively
  5. Advice on when and how to create goals
  6. Suggestions on how and who to add to a project or goal
  7. Understanding how Atlas is different from other Atlassian products and when to use each one
  8. Explaining the value of Atlas to your boss or leadership team
  9. Showing how Atlas benefits project owners or followers
  10. Why Atlas is a better way to communicate status compared to email, chat apps, or presentations
  11. How Atlas brings value to different teams such as product, engineering, marketing, and more.

If there are any other issues you faced that I haven't mentioned, please let me know. I also want to know which challenges you think we should prioritize. While we aim to address all of these topics eventually, we want to start by tackling the most significant challenges you encountered first.

Thank you 🙏 for taking the time to share your thoughts and experiences. Your input will help us make important improvements to the Atlas experience. 






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Yatin Shingala May 16, 2023

I have not seen the percentage of progress update during check-in.  Is that available.  ?

Can you compare with Viva goal and close the gaps.

Greg Davis
Atlassian Team
Atlassian Team members are employees working across the company in a wide variety of roles.
May 17, 2023

Hey Yatin - Just to make sure I am understanding your feedback correctly. Ideally, you would like to see a set of onboarding steps and see what percentage of those steps you have completed. This will help you to better understand where you are in the onboarding journey. Is that what you meant?

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Matthew McGarity May 17, 2023
  • While I understand the difference now, Projects and Goals share 80% of the same DNA (fields, how updates work, etc.), so we've jumped back-and-forth between each type as we experiment.
  • For what DNA is shared, the Smart Embeds function differently in Confluence and other tools. For example, if I paste a Topic link into Confluence, it will only display Projects, not Goals.  If I paste a Project search screen link, it shows richer information than pasting Goals search screen links.

The above made it difficult to communicate to stakeholders who just want a quick way to see a summary without having to master a new tool like Atlas.

  • Our experiments ended up creating a bunch of dummy Projects and Goals we don't have the power to delete.

The above created noises that we have to sift thru.

  • Prior to using Atlas, we tracked work exclusively in Jira, so everyone was often comfortable discussing features not by their description ("Add new users widget") but instead their Jira Key ("DAS-1234").  While I know Atlas Goals/Projects have key-equivalents, it's not nearly as emphasized, and I've had to fight back requests to "include the Jira key in the Atlas description".

This is a culture issue, and I think it will improve over time. 

  • The Slack integration has been useful, as we have buy-in from the business to subscribe to updates there. The instant nature is also helpful, since it reduces the shock of once-per-week email updates (where status changes might appear more-drastic)

Allowing people to consume updates — but having everyone agree to the one central source of truth — has been much-easier to enforce using Atlas.

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Greg Davis
Atlassian Team
Atlassian Team members are employees working across the company in a wide variety of roles.
May 17, 2023

Hey Matthew - Thanks for the feedback. Really great insights.

1. I could see how that initially would be confusing. We should do a better job explaining the shared DNA of projects and goals at the start. I will bring up the Smart Embeds w/ the team.
2. Yup the delete issue is something we are aware of too, good call out! 
3. I don't think that is a unique cultural issue, Jira is the foundation for the vast majority of Atlas customers and I think we can do a better job "connecting the dots" between the two products. This is something we are working on now.
4. Glad the Slack integration helps make the update consumption easier for the broader audience. 

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Ryan Sorensen May 17, 2023

Please let a single click allow someone to land on a project or topic update page! There are a lot of onboarding splash screens that take folks out of the flow as I'm trying to get folks to look at Atlas.

The jumps through auth, then first screens in Atlas, all before they can see what I'm trying to show don't paint the product in a good light.

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Alexandre Krammel May 17, 2023

Project Following

I am running a POC with one project in Atlas and have invited some stakeholders, including my boss. He received the invitation email but has not clicked to follow the project. The UI was not clear that he must click to follow.

There should be a way to add followers to a project without requiring them to opt-in.

If they do not opt-in, they will also never receive any weekly update, and will not engage with Atlas.


Status Update Writing Good Practices

The better the Atlas Team can help us on how write concise and valuable status updates, more value stakeholders will see in Atlas and The Loop. I would suggest you provide more guidance about writing the updates.

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Chris Tucker Mear May 18, 2023

I can second the need for more practical guidance and examples on how to write a good status update. Plenty of people are not experienced with this. Maybe some examples from common types of projects (e.g. organising an event, building a software release).

It’d also be helpful to have more explanation and justification for the Friday/Monday write/read schedule. This has been a sticking point for several teams I’ve worked with, since their own internal cadence is different. I understand the value of aligning on this now that I’ve read up on The Loop, but a quick primer on the concept would be helpful.

Finally, for users who are primarily consumers, some kind of easy way to reach out to people from whom you’d like to receive updates, but who aren’t writing them yet? Maybe the project isn’t even set up in Atlas yet. I can imagine a flow where you create the skeleton of a project that you know exists outside of Atlas, and are then prompted to specify the owner, who is then prompted to fill in the details and start providing updates.

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Nir Nikolaevsky
Atlassian Team
Atlassian Team members are employees working across the company in a wide variety of roles.
May 18, 2023

Thanks for the feedback everyone, please keep it coming! 

@Alexandre Krammel 

Project Following - Once users are in Atlas you can do that, we're currently working on improving this flow. Once your stakeholders sign up to Atlas, go to the project page and click on the `Share` button. From there you can invite users as followers (no approval needed from them). The downside is that they need to be Atlas users. We're now improving this flow so you can invite stakeholders and add them as followers in one step

CleanShot 2023-05-19 at 16.07.30.png

Status Update Writing Good Practices - 100% agree we can do a better job of that in the product. Something the team will be exploring next.

@Chris Tucker Mear 

Thanks for the feedback about the need for more guidance about updates and the loop, we're looking into it! 

Reaching out about updates - you can create a project with just a name and a due date (you can use a "fuzzy date", e.g. a quarter to begin with). Then reassign the project owner as the person you want to receive updates from. They'll get an email telling them about it, I've attached a screenshot so you can see what it looks like. Does this help with your use case? I'll have a think about how we can make this more discoverable


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Chris Tucker Mear May 19, 2023

@Nir Nikolaevsky Thanks, it is useful to see that screenshot of what the new project owner is sent. I was aware that I could do this; what I was getting at was that new Atlas users might not realise they can do it, and a guided flow for 'requesting project updates' might help kick things off for them.

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Alexandre Krammel May 25, 2023

@Nir Nikolaevsky
I have 8 followers in my project (5 of them are Contributors).
When I try to invite another one, which is listed as the first one:
Screenshot 2023-05-25 at 09.47.07.png
Screenshot 2023-05-25 at 09.47.16.png

Even with a confirmation of having been included as a followers, it does not happen and the project is still with original 8 Followers:
Screenshot 2023-05-25 at 09.47.22.png

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Jimmy Seddon
Community Leader
Community Leader
Community Leaders are connectors, ambassadors, and mentors. On the online community, they serve as thought leaders, product experts, and moderators.
May 25, 2023

Thanks for collecting feedback @Greg Davis!

I have been doing a trial of Atlas at two different companies at two different stages of the development cycle.

Early on the biggest barrier was the fact that there is language used that is common to Jira (aka "Projects") but that meant something completely different and little to know documentation or a glossary of terms to understand what these were and/or how they were intended to be used.

You guys have done a great job of working to solve that with a number of the posts and videos that Rachel has been posting.

I think the next big thing that will really help adoption is talking with people and understanding how they are using Atlas to solve their challenges and turning these into problem statements and solutions that will resonate with people.

While we are still very much in the POC stages of things, it took us about 6 months of wandering in the dark before we found our "Aha!" moment with Atlas.

I think if people were presented with use cases that might resonate with their own business challenges they are more likely to give Atlas a try so see if it will solve their needs as well.

Just my two cents on this!

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Greg Davis
Atlassian Team
Atlassian Team members are employees working across the company in a wide variety of roles.
May 25, 2023

@Jimmy Seddon thanks for the feedback. Any chance you'd be down to chat? I'd love to learn even more about your experience and aha moment.

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Jimmy Seddon
Community Leader
Community Leader
Community Leaders are connectors, ambassadors, and mentors. On the online community, they serve as thought leaders, product experts, and moderators.
May 25, 2023

@Greg Davis Absolutely!  I believe @Daniella Latham connected us through email which I just responded to as well, so we can schedule something in the near future!

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Nir Nikolaevsky
Atlassian Team
Atlassian Team members are employees working across the company in a wide variety of roles.
May 25, 2023

Hi @Alexandre Krammel, is the person already a follower of that project? I reproduce this behaviour that way. We should look into removing existing followers from the list, making a note of that.  

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Sing Chen May 26, 2023

Hi @Greg Davis , we're into the 2nd week of a 4-week "pilot" phase with Atlas in our PMO. We have approx. 14 users in a sandbox environment which is about as representative as is possible (with every role - project manager, program manager, portfolio manager, PMO Ops) involved, and every business portfolio represented.

We'll likely extend our pilot phase to allow members of PMO leadership a period of immersion and elicit their feedback from a leadership requirements and expectations perspective. This will also start the socialization, positioning them as advocates to their leadership colleagues.

We're already getting great feedback from the pilot group: what's good, what could be better, etc. While the below is less about onboarding, the feedback is an important part of the buy-in of our pilot team which, in part, drive their advocacy of Atlas to their teams and their business partners. Some of the noteworthy concerns raised are:

  • 280 characters is very constraining. I don't have great concerns on this, given the ability to use  the 'More detail' section of an update and it's a change management thing for the team, to help to focus on those important things that others need to know about. Between education and defining good practice for the team in terms of how to make effective use of the update and the 'More detail' section, I'm confident we'll get there.
  • The interactive component of updates could dilute focus on updates themselves. This is an interesting one. I love the ability to be transparent in surfacing work in progress and driving discussion through reactions and comments. The concern from the team is that comments and replies going back on forth on a growing history of updates for a project could drive focus away from the update itself. If a project manager has taken the time to craft a quality update in 280-characters, the feeling is that an unconstrained limit on an open-ended thread of ensuing conversations could make it difficult to follow the core message of the update. Not sure I have a great suggestion for this but initial thought could be perhaps have comments in an expandable section (like the 'More detail' section) which is collapsed by default giving users the option of seeing only the update but having some indicator that either they can react and comment and/or there are reactions/comments (perhaps something similar to the read views i read about that is coming soon).
  • Roles. This relates to the previous comment in some respects. As I understand it, users added as Contributors can post updates. It would be great to have a read-only contributor role. By this I mean, the idea of a contributor feels like it serves a dual purpose. One is to be able to articulate who is working on a project. The second is them having the ability to post updates. What we're finding during our pilot is that we want to have a little more control over who can post updates, but the way we're doing this is by adding project team members as followers because adding all 27 people who are involved in a project (from BAs to Devs, to Marketing Analysts, to Customer Support, to Implementation consultants, to Sales people) could exacerbate the above point about diluting focus and Atlas running the risk of becoming something like MS Teams, where someone posts an update that they've just had a meeting with someone, someone else posts an update about starting to investigate a defect, etc. with the only control being education and discipline. 
  • Reading mode. I love this! This could be game-changing in terms of the 'sales pitch' to our leadership. Leaders and executives are always busy. Having that distraction-free way of getting up to speed that reading mode offers is a gap we have in our existing reporting process and solution. I see some great opportunities to develop this. I've already submitted a suggestion which @Nir Nikolaevsky kindly responded to already but wanted to share here for completeness. As we continue our pilot, the current thinking is to have a defined set of topics for different portfolios, programs, and other logical business groupings. Having reading mode at the topic level would be amazing. The level of interest that leaders have and the way they think about things. Take our CTO for example, he'll likely have some level of interest in the 85 in-flight projects we are running. However, there will be specific "tier 1" or "priority" projects that he'll want to be "all over" more than others - they could be for sensitive customers, high-revenue new product deliveries, etc. Being able to group projects flexibly is great and the experience would be elevated by having the ability to get reading mode's distraction-free experience for different groupings/topics.
  • Jira integration. Our 'business' projects are what will drive our Atlas projects. For example, launch the product in a new geography. However, at the development or technical level, that could be distilled into 1 or more initiatives, 1 or more epics, etc. We haven't implemented the Atlas for Jira Cloud add-on yet but being restricted to a 1:1 mapping between Atlas project and Jira epic makes the case for implementing the add-on challenging. The other aspect of this is, our business projects are more than just about the delivery of software; we're exploring JWM for the organizational readiness work and using Advanced Roadmaps to build consolidated views between JWM and Jira Software projects. This illustrates the other challenge of the Atlas to Jira syncrhonization that the add-on offers. If I understand it correctly, we can syn target date from a Jira epic to an Atlas project, as well as syncing status. However, (Atlas) project status and date for us will be more than just about the technical deliverables, even in those cases where there is a 1:1 mapping to a Jira epic. How do we position Sales to sell the new product? What training collateral and resources does our Education team create and when? These business activities will be as important a set of considerations in the Atlas project's Target Date as the target date of the associated epic.
  • Saving Project Filters. The Projects Directory's ability to allow filtering by criteria such as tags, goals, owner, status, etc. is great. Different users may have multiple 'views' they wish to look at regularly. Having the ability to save different views based on different filter criteria would be a great time-saver so I don't have to recreate each filtered view every time.
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Alexandre Krammel May 26, 2023

Hi @Nir Nikolaevsky the user is not already a follower. I am trying to make him a follower.

Elyse Exposito June 1, 2023

The two biggest issues for my org are:

1. Communicating to the staff population the value of Atlas [when it's seemingly not relevant to folks that may not own projects or have an interest to know what's going on pertaining to OKRs, I know, crazy, right?)]

2. Education, adoption, and accountability of Project and Goal Owners to craft consistent quality updates 

  • We have created a best practices doc, used airtime at AHM, shared Atlassian resources, and going to try uploading light "training" within our Learning & Development platform, Udemy, but ultimately the vast majority of updates are lacking truly succinct and valuable WoW and MoM content/summaries
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