We’re excited to feature @John Funk, a 3-year Atlassian Community Leader, author of Jira Work Management for Business Teams, and upcoming speaker at JiraCon22. John shares with us his inspiration behind his new book, what the Atlassian Community means to him, and how teams of all kinds can level up their work management skills.
Hi, John, tell us a little bit about yourself!
Hello – I’m John! I grew up in a small town in Middle Tennessee and now live in the Nashville area. No, I don’t have any musical talent though I live in “Music City USA”, so don’t ask. (Because I secretly wish that I did 😊). Along the way, I lived in Alabama for about 20 years where I met my wife of 33 years now, and raised our two boys.
After more than 8 years working with Ramsey Solutions, spending most of that time as the Jira Administrator, I set up my own consulting company known as ProVision Systems. And recently I joined Fringe Technology, an Atlassian Gold Solution Partner, as a consultant.
What’s an invaluable lesson you’ve learned from your 25+ years of experience in work management?
Things change and you adapt. Concepts come and go, but it’s always pretty much the same type of problems – poor communication and scope creep – Ha! When you figure out how to prepare and respond, then life is wonderful.
How did you hear about the Atlassian Community, and how has it impacted your career and work?
I was sort of thrust into the Jira Administrator position at work (raise your hand if you have been there!). In an effort to learn more and get answers to problems I was having, I hit the search engines.
There, I found the Atlassian Community and all of the helpful people—with answers! This brought empowerment to me in my new role and resulted in better solutions being implemented with Jira. All of that catapulted me to an indispensable role, more or less, in the company.
Tell us about your experience being an Atlassian Certification Acceleration Experience group leader - what were some of your favorite aspects of the course?
This was a real joy. I love to interact with people all over the world and help them in their efforts to succeed with Jira. And then hearing how they later passed their exams was very uplifting. Oh, and I got to work with @Jimmy Seddon—who could ask for more?
What does being an Atlassian Community Leader mean to you?
It means helping others primarily. But it also means sharing in joys and hardships with other Community Leaders and Atlassian staff. You truly do get a sense of family with one another. And I still learn from my fellow leaders.
Tell us about a great connection you made through the Community.
That’s really hard with so many fantastic people. But I will say @Liam Green because he joined in with my foolishness over the Kudos program and helped me have fun at work.
Can you share a favorite memory from your time with the Community?
Getting to meet fellow Leaders and Community Managers in person for the first time at Team ’22. Sharing a meal (or multiple meals) is the perfect way to get to know each other.
We’re excited to promote your book, Jira Work Management for Business Teams! Can you tell us about the process of writing the book?
It truly is an honor to be able to share about the book and the process. Having seen some of my Community posts about JWM and working with the small group of other leaders and Atlassians during the EAP, the publisher Packt reached out to me with the idea of writing a book. Though I had always dreamed of writing a book one day, I was always overwhelmed at the thought. But Packt assigned a set of editors to work with and guide me, who were more than helpful! The whole process was much easier than I imagined. It was time consuming to a degree, of course, but fulfilling at the same time.
What are some of the biggest challenges that business teams today struggle with around work management?
I think business teams get overwhelmed by all of the tools and jargon associated with project management. The misunderstanding is that the tools and processes are too cumbersome, and you need to be an expert to be successful with them. So they rely on what they know – spreadsheets, typed out or handwritten notes, disparate calendars all over the place, etc. And they get lost in that.
How have you seen Jira Work Management solve these challenges?
JWM brings easy to learn and easy to use tools to the marketplace. So, non-technical teams can get up and running fast, have all of their information in one place, and begin to collaborate more. That helps solve the pesky poor communication problems.
What’s one takeaway you’d like to highlight from your book?
You can start today with Jira Work Management – for free even! And the book walks you through step-by-step instructions to ensure quick success.
What makes Jira Work Management unique? What makes it a better option than other tools?
I think it’s the specialized toolset not found in other products. Having an integrated calendar, board, inline editable list, and forms which are incredibly easy to use sets it apart.
What’s an attribute that successful teams have?
First, they care about their customer. It’s not just business or a job to them, but it’s a passion for helping others succeed in some way. There’s no substitute for a team that has that common goal.