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How Atlassian helps Mercy Ships stay afloat


Hi everyone, I'm Bridget! I'm brand new to the Atlassian Community team, and my sole focus is to bring you content that will enhance your professional + personal use of the Atlassian tools. My first project is to start a Community Showcase––bringing you weekly stories of how members of this Community use Atlassian products to achieve some pretty incredible things. 

And those things will have a wide range––I hope to cover things ranging from how NASA uses Bamboo to put rovers on Mars to how a Dungeon Master uses Trello for all his D+D organizational needs. Atlassian users tackle teamwork with creativity and genius, and with every different use case comes a new set of learnings––this new Community weekly post is meant to act both as a means to celebrate some users and educate others.

First to the plate is a case study on an international NGO, Mercy Ships, with 1200 staff and volunteers providing humanitarian aid to the world's poor via the largest civilian hospital ship. For over 35 years, Mercy Ships has delivered free healthcare to people in developing nations via the world’s largest civilian hospital ship, equipped with volunteer medical teams and sterile operating rooms. 

Confluence has become the central hub for everyone involved with Mercy Ships. Employees post internal news and announcements, that range from company-wide updates to someone looking for a babysitter or a jogging partner. When coworkers are often half a world away from one another, Confluence unifies and organizes disparate teams. 

Confluence use cases include: 

  • Recruitment + Training
    • Mercy Ships HR team tracks promising candidates, interviews, approvals, and new employee vaccine schedules.
  • Reference docs for employees can find information about Mercy Ships, as well as best practices on traveling and working on the ship. 
  • FinACE (Finance, Accountability, Coaching and Encouragement) team uses Confluence to provide tips and tools for the ship's volunteer crew to raise funds from outside sources for their time onboard, since they pay for their own lodging.  
  • Calendars for important maritime and employee trainings on Confluence. 
  • Development of the curriculum for their K-12 Academy onboard for volunteers' families.  
  • Sharing of success stories about patients they’ve helped + personal thoughts on how hard it is to stay upbeat when doing such hard and emotional work. 
    • Provide encouragement and support, bringing everyone together as a tightly knit community.

“It’s still a job – with victories and struggles like anywhere else. Then you see a little girl with bowed legs and then dancing with straight legs. It reminds us all of why we do what we do. That’s all on Confluence.” 

Mercy Ships + Jira Software and Jira Service Desk 

Mercy Ships also uses JIRA Software and JIRA Service Desk to manage operations of the global offices and the Africa Mercy. 

Jira Service Desk use cases include:

  • General IT requests
  • Maintenance requests on ship: 16,000-ton ship to maintain, staff living and working
  • Maintenance requests in Texas headquarters: large campus with 400 acres of farmland for agricultural and horticultural projects
  • Procurement and warehouse
    • Texas warehouse packs and ships a 40-foot container once a month to Africa crew; items include snacks, medical & surgical supplies, cleaning supplies, soaps, toiletries and even science kits and yarn for their academy for volunteers' families
    • Norway warehouse sends refrigerated, perishable food items
  • Staff development and training
  • Maritime department safety and training

Jira Software use cases include:

  • Communication about items on their ship supply list
  • Digital Signage:  they have two screens in each corporate office and on board: can view social media feeds from the cafe, like Instagram and Facebook, or see who is arriving onboard or on campus so they can plan welcome parties, etc.

That's a wrap for our first Community Showcase! If your team has a showcase worthy use case or if you'd like to nominate another Community member, please comment or send me an email to Looking forward to hearing/sharing your stories, and to meeting and working closely with you all. 

Mercy Ships.png




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