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Senior Software Engineer and Team Lead Sean McKenna on facilitating a smooth migration to Cloud

For Migrations Month, we're highlighting a recent customer success story with Lucid, which you can read at 30 days to increased innovation and employee happiness: Lucid’s cloud migration story.

Lucid's migration to the Atlassian Cloud with help of Solution Partner Oxalis proved to be a smooth transition from an estimated timeline of initially 3 to 6 months to an impressive 30 days.

To complement this success story, Sean McKenna, a Senior Software Engineer and Team Lead from the Lucid team, shares their involvement with the migration, and how they helped prepare their team for success throughout every step of the process.

sean.jpg

"Generally, our Cloud apps for both Jira and Confluence feel faster for loading pages and performing operations, which improves the experience of using these tools."

Tell us about your role and how long you've been at Lucid! What makes a successful team?

I am a senior software engineer and a team lead at Lucid Software. I’ve been at Lucid for four years. A successful product team is one that takes risks and iterates early and often to find the best design.

Which Atlassian products does your team use at Lucid?

Jira, Confluence, and Bitbucket Server.

How did you receive the news of migrating to Cloud? Was it easy to understand what that meant, and did you have any concerns (and how were they resolved)?

Over Slack messages. It was easy to understand, and the messages included lots of details about the process.

I volunteered to help test out the Cloud apps as part of an evaluation phase, which allowed me to experiment with some of the new features that we would get. There were concerns about any potential data loss, but the Information Technology team kept that loss to a minimum using migration tools.

Were there any features or functionality in Cloud that your team would benefit from that you looked forward to?

I was excited to try out the Roadmaps feature, team projects, the mobile app, accessing Jira/Confluence from outside our VPN, and it was neat to be able to use emojis in stories, sprint names, and board filters.

How did you prepare and help your team throughout the migration process, from a technical aspect as well as team morale?

I assisted with the migration by testing out the migration of many team’s sprint boards, several different projects in Confluence, custom Jira filters, and our key Jira custom fields that we use for tracking stories internally. I maintained several team boards and utilized filters heavily for both notifications and to track KPIs, so I wanted to make sure that none of these were adversely affected by the migration.

We started with a one-way migration to test out getting data into the Cloud. This worked fairly smoothly, and the QA process was largely to find any gaps or bugs, letting people experiment within the Cloud (knowing no data would be saved).

The main gap for migration was around dashboards. Since we were told these were not possible or very tricky to migrate, we asked around and got the OK to move forward without migrating them, knowing people would need to recreate any custom dashboards on Jira Cloud. With the relatively small number and simplicity of these dashboards, it was easy to do, and it resulted in a clean slate, since not everyone cleans up their dashboards when they are done with them anyway.

There were few concerns around the migration, mostly just a few questions on if particular data or features might be lost (which, in 99% of cases, that was not the case).

At Lucid, we have a very positive attitude towards ownership and team members going above & beyond when needed to help with tight deadlines such as this migration. We had folks hoping on to help check things on nights or weekends, and we also had minor disruptions to sprint work to check out the new system.

It was, overall, a very smooth transition though, so I imagine that the impact on the product teams was fairly minimal, limited to the few individuals that helped with the QA and verification process, along with some time to recreate dashboards for teams afterward. Even now, we only have 47 dashboards despite having 42 teams (I’ve got 4 for context).

What role did you play as a power user helping with UAT/QA? What kind of tasks did you complete?

I went through and verified my team’s boards & projects & filters. I searched through our Confluence archive for new and older projects, finding pages that I knew had more advanced layouts and embedded content. I pointed out any concerns and bugs in the initial migration in the Slack channel we used to coordinate.

Then, I played around with the new features available in Atlassian Cloud. In all, it only took a couple hours at most to perform these tasks in the Atlassian Cloud products.

What's something you valued about how your leadership navigated the migration?

They supported teams and individuals to make the proper choices. It was not fully hands-off but felt close to it from my perspective.

Were there any documents or online resources that helped your team adapt to using Cloud more easily?

Yes. Atlassian has great documentation (differentiating between Cloud & Server in many cases), and we were able to give tips & tricks & simple instructions in Slack messages to help teams get started quickly with the transition.

Looking back post-migration, what do you get the most value out of today in Cloud?

For a while, my team heavily used Roadmaps, but we have steered away from that lately. Nowadays, I really love being able to use emojis everywhere, since you can simplify / create short-hand that save space and add some “fun” to Jira.

Generally, our Cloud apps for both Jira and Confluence feel faster for loading pages and performing operations, which improves the experience of using these tools.

What has collaboration been like on Atlassian Cloud?

It’s been better. Confluence has better tools for drafts and working simultaneously, but I often do not see that happening since I don't use Confluence as much to know.

Jira is getting better, since it will sometimes update an issue or a backlog view with changes, though sometimes not. Specific examples could be editing different stories on our team backlog, rearranging or moving them to different sprints or adding data. On Jira Server, those would never update, often not on the sprint or backlog view.

On Jira Cloud, things would be better, where the sprint view updates more live, but there are still instances in Jira Cloud where the backlog view will not live update with changes (but sometimes it does, and we are pleasantly surprised; it is still hit or miss). The sprint board does seem to update more regularly which is really nice. 

(Editor's note: Our support teams are happy to dive into observations like this further!)

Any advice for team leads considering a move to Cloud and wanting to successfully lead their teams through a similar change?

Assess what tools, plugins, extensions, etc. you use within your tools – are they available in Cloud? Do you need them to begin with? Starting anew is a great way to refresh processes.

At Lucid, we focused on a simple migration, not changing much of our processes, but it is something that could be done to allow teams to use team projects or company-managed projects, if you have flexible processes in place.

What has early feedback been from your team about working on Cloud? Any features they're loving?

I heard very few, if any, complaints about the Cloud versions. I heard lots of positive feedback when we were using Roadmaps as well as our team has loved being able to use emojis.

 


Thanks so much, Sean! Read and share the Lucid success story and explore the rest of the fun activities we've got in store for Migrations Month to prepare for your own migration (and get your hands on your very own Cloudie).

5 comments

Taranjeet Singh Community Leader Jan 11, 2022

Thanks @Sharon Tan for sharing this Migration Success story and experience from Lucid Software. It is definitely a great learning experience for those who are looking to migrate to Atlassian Cloud in near future.

Like Sharon Tan likes this
Andy Gladstone Community Leader Jan 11, 2022

@Sharon Tan great read. Seems like a heavy use of Slack for communication worked for this team. I always tell my own teams - "Slack is where the discussion takes place, Confluence is where the decisions are documented". I'd be interested in knowing where/how Lucid compiled all of the documentation and lessons from the migration.

Like # people like this
Dave Liao Community Leader Jan 11, 2022

I wonder if the Lucid team's using the macOS app (for any Apple desktop users) now that they're on Cloud?

G subramanyam Community Leader Jan 13, 2022

Good insights about the migration.

Mohammed Amine Community Leader Jan 13, 2022

Great insights @Sharon Tan 

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