This article will give insight on how a small software development department implemented Atlassian products to enhance and streamline the business process. The privately held company has 35 + years’ experience across a broad range of industries and organizations, with a focus in Accounts Payable & Medical Claims. The software development team was created in early 2015, mainly due to the volume of incoming projects and data exponentially outpacing our existing architecture. The company develops quality solutions, using cutting-edge technology working in a micro-service environment. I graduated with a B.B.A. in Information Technology Management and joined the team in 2016. Jira Software, Jira Service Desk and Confluence were products installed but rarely used as part of the process. After a few weeks of analyzing the existing business process, areas for improvement were uncovered.
Implementation of Atlassian products improved efficiencies within the departments, the business and directly affected my role within the company.
Our Software Development Process
In the infancy stages, Jira was used to track project statuses at a high-level. After some internal restructuring, I was provided the opportunity to own the platform and configure the system to best fit our needs. With opportunity comes challenges, this was when I joined the Atlassian Community to look for answers on how to setup Jira. My first year in the Atlassian Community was mainly for posting questions I had about database and software migrations, project & board setup among many other configurations Jira has to offer. Spending many hours in Jira, with the help of the community, our team now has a standard that we follow from concept through deployment, as well as operational support through the product lifetime. Below is a high-level overview of how our process works:
Jira has many more features to offer than other project management tools in the market and it has the capacity to be configured to meet any business needs. Jira has directly contributed to molding our procedures and creating a standard for the business as a whole.
Maintaining the Software
In the past, software requests and incidents were tracked via email communications. We found ourselves scrolling through emails to find a specific stakeholder request or replying to a reported incident. Using Jira Service Desk, we now have a more streamlined approach to handling requests.
Jira Service Desk has allowed us to easily audit and track all requests confidently. This has also significantly improved our process for handling software related issues in a timely manner, while the end users are consistently updated by the system.
Documentation the Software
One of my first tasks was to migrate all procedural documentation from multiple storage devices to a centralized location. Over the course of six months, we worked with the Atlassian Community to setup spaces and knowledge bases to structure a public facing knowledge base in a way that made sense with our current system. We migrated 6,000+ attachments into three different spaces, which contain over 10,000 pages. Confluence directly influenced the way we document our processes and procedures. Employees are currently using Confluence daily to create new or update existing documentation. Confluence has also helped us create a standard for documentation and allow us to share knowledge company wide.
Currently our priority is to migrate from labor-intensive, manual processes to fully automated pipelines using cutting-edge technology. The Atlassian Products & Community continue to help us build efficient processes that people understand. All work is scoped, prioritized and vetted prior to being pulled into sprints. Sub-tasks are generated to ensure technical and process documentation, and workflows are completed prior to closing cards. We have the ability track all past, current and future development easily. I cannot thank the Atlassian Community enough for the quick and detailed responses that helped our process become more user-friendly. I plan to stay active in the Atlassian Community, providing users detailed answers that support their questions, and help improve their process.
...It's true that there are projects in Jira; but they are merely a way to cut off issues, to tell them apart from other sections of work and to apply rules that are specific to that team (the schemes)....
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