Feature Requests for Atlas

Ben Callow November 6, 2023

I have been using Atlas for a few weeks now for project & goal communications and there are a few additional features I really find missing:

  1. Milestone Tracking - often within a project we need to report progress towards a specific milestone as well as towards the overall project.  Milestone can have separate statuses, owners, etc... to the project.
    Ideally we would be able to:
    • Link 1 or more milestones to a project.
    • Allocate a milestone owner.
    • Capture separate updates & statuses for a milestone.
    • Inform Project Statuses from the milestones (but allow them to be different).
  2. Add the ability to record a trend in the RAG Classification - for example, a project may have an Amber status but is trending Red (as it is getting worse).
  3. Allow multiple types of RAG Status on a Project.  Whilst you retain the overall RAG Status - allow user-configurable RAG Statuses (such as Budget, Resource, Delivery, etc...) that inform the overall project status.  The different RAG statuses could be weighted to calculate the overall RAG.
  4. Enhance the Risks Section of Atlas to allow us to:
    • Record Impact & Liklihood.
    • Create a Risk Matrix.
    • Capture a Risk Owner.
    • Add Risk Review Dates.
    • Add Risk Statuses.

I think the above would help us to remove the need for us to PowerPoint updates to our Stakeholders!

7 comments

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Kristie Garver November 6, 2023

Our organization has the same exact needs and would also help eliminate the PPT update!

Like Michael McCauley likes this
Johnny November 6, 2023

Great Idea @Ben Callow

I Fully support this and would be very beneficial to us.

Thanks

Johnny

Matthew McGarity November 6, 2023

Great ideas. Be sure to use the Give Feedback button (on the top, next to Create) to submit these, as that's what gets it into their ideas backlog.

Thierry Bouvet November 6, 2023

Very good feature requests ! I have the same needs too !

Thanks

Rachel Lin
Atlassian Team
Atlassian Team members are employees working across the company in a wide variety of roles.
November 7, 2023

Hey Ben! Thanks for the sharing the feedback and looks like many have similar desires :D 

Can I clarify some of these needs with you? 

  • Milestone Tracking 

Your asks around a milestone (needing a status, separate update etc.) sound like your milestone should just be a "project". Why not create an Atlas project that represents your incremental chunk of work? Atlas projects are intended to be a unit of work that a team is working on with progress happening week on week. 

  • Add the ability to record a trend

Are there certain signals that would indicate something trending towards off-track in your mind? Is this if the project has been At risk for X weeks in a row? Or is it informed by some other form of metrics? 

  • Allow multiple types of RAG Status

This is an interesting one - perhaps it could tie into our recently released custom fields, but it kind of feels like this "status" is different to the overall status update

  • Enhance the Risks Section of Atlas

Great suggestions on ways we can continue to evolve the risks feature.

It sounds overall like you are intending to use Atlas as a project management tool (roll-ups, risk registry, granular statuses) as opposed to a communication tool across teams. I'd love to understand more about your role and whether there is a distinction you see between these two concepts? If you've got some time, I'd be keen to chat through your requests - https://calendly.com/rlin2/30min

Like Josh Devenny likes this
Sing Chen November 22, 2023

Hi @Ben Callow, we've had these same questions raised within a couple of our teams. I initially piloted Atlas within our PMO when the questions first came up and as we push Atlas out to our Operations team, similar questions are being asked.

Adding to Rachel's responses and sharing our own experiences within PMO and Operations:

Milestone Tracking

  • This has been the subject of much discussion, especially within our PMO. I'm not sure how I feel about tracking milestones/key deliverables in Atlas. Part of me thinks it would be a good idea. Another part makes me think it would distract focus from what I feel Atlas wasn't designed as - a project management tool.
  • How have we approached it? Our guidance, and it requires disciplined stakeholder management, is to have our project/program managers make a decision regarding the use of target date and set expectations accordingly with their project/program teams and stakeholders. It doesn't specifically need to mean project end date, it could be the next major milestone, gate, or phase. The example I cite is a multi-year project. Setting a target date of, say, 31 Dec 2028  or even Q4 2028 and communicating that it is green doesn't convey much value.. How much confidence can a PM have that a project is on track to hit a particular quarter in 5 years? More importantly, our senior stakeholders are more interested if the next increment of delivery is on track - it could be the next release where incremental value is shipped - in which case the date and status is set and communicated accordingly. We then use the update itself to reinforce that and to state whether the next milestone/phase (having just completed one) is on track and what that date is.

Add the ability to record a trend

  • Something our PMO heavily used in their pre-Atlas solution. For our business, no one put too much stock in the trend and the simple 'workaround' for those PMs that still wish to convey trend is to use a few of the 280-characters to state that, e.g. Trend ➡️⬇️⬆️
  • For us, trend isn't algorithm-driven but subjective based on factors like risks, issues, pending decisions, etc. Having a story that can support the selected trend, which itself can be spoken to based on data is something the PMO is getting comfortable with.

Allowing multiple RAGs

  • A similar approach here to trend. For PMs that wish to convey RAG status for specific dimensions (budget, scope, etc), they can do that in the update itself.
  • We have been very intentional about not mechanizing or automating this. Different projects could have different weighting scales for each area to be RAG-ed. Also, it dilutes a PMs ability to "tell the story" and provide context. Cranking a series of inputs into a calculator which outputs an answer is something we found constraining. We saw this most when it came to project plan and schedule status. Example: plan with 100 tasks and 99 are green and 1 is red. We came up with increasingly complex rules and formulae to decide whether the overall schedule should be one thing or another. Ultimately, there are too many variables for us to do that - is the 1 red task on the critical path? how are we defining RAG at the task level? etc.

Enhance the Risks Section of Atlas

  • We're exploring the use of risks for our Operations team not for our PMO.
  • PMO require too many risk fields for Atlas to be a viable replacement.
  • A risk log in our PMO toolkit is a templated artifact, allowing PMs to trigger notifications or escalations based on factors like severity, proximity to due dates, details of mitigation plans, etc.
  • We're piloting the use of Jira Work Management for project delivery and creating custom issue types for project risks and project issues, and using dashboards and filters to draw attention to, for example, Very High or High severity risks. We are then able to use Smart Links to embed these filtered views into our Atlas updates - giving us the ability to use the character-constrained portion of the update for the "headlines" and flag that more detail is available in the 'More Details' section of an update, allowing for stakeholders to get the high-level if they want or, for those interested in a deeper dive, to expand the 'More Details' section and click into the hyperlinked JWM or JSW views/boards/filters.
Like Kristie Garver likes this
Anna Peterson February 15, 2024

Hi Rachel! I had a thought on Milestone tracking here in response to your thoughts to articulate a use case from my team. We do want to see updates at a Project level, but there are often milestones we don't necessarily want to create a whole other set of projects for the team to update on a weekly basis. We just want to know the overall progress of the project. 

From a usability/readability update on a project, I can absorb one project but not 7, and really they all have context to each other. We'd love to have tasks at the project level or even a way to embed an excerpt from Confluence on the actual plan itself for a project. 

I don't think the solve is that every small body of work that goes into creating its own project. That would make Atlas completely overwhelming, where it feels like just an element within a project for teams that want to have some smaller milestones or parts of the project they want to flag as being done. It helps give a comprehensive and unified view of the project. 

Like Kristie Garver likes this
Emily Swanson January 8, 2024

Some other thoughts along these lines:


Risks (and decisions and learnings)

* I would like to be able to configure a template for risks (and decisions and learnings!) rather than have one dictated; think that would potentially solve for request here as well

* would be great to be able to see all risks in one place, and filter by tags, goals etc. - still using Atlas as a comms tool rather than PM tool but the two aren't unrelated and I need to communicate risks etc at a high level. Same with decisions.

* Statuses would be good - again, as comms and linked to above

* Maybe also being able to export? Then could create matrices etc.

Joshua Elcik April 9, 2024

Milestones within the project is a must have, I don't understand why this wouldn't have already been built in. 

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