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Nightmare scenario: Picking a Jira app, getting your team onboarded, and then realizing that it doesn't solve your problem. On the other hand, you might end up being overwhelmed with Atlassian's options and never end up picking something in the first place. Here's a suggested process — based on conversations with Jira admins and users — for app vetting, testing, and selecting solutions.
When you're struggling to accomplish something you want to do in Jira, you go to the obvious place: The Atlassian Marketplace. But it's teeming with options, and you can spend hours browsing — not great when you have more important things to do.
Here's some suggestions for an efficient, effective process that lands you with the right solution.
Before you find the right solution, you have to define the problem. This step is important to provide clarity — both for yourself as you search, and to other stakeholders who may not all be on the same page.
Even if you can't answer all these questions in their entirety just yet, it's important for you and your fellow stakeholders to start by asking:
It sounds like a pain to go through all these questions, but it's an important early part of the process. Putting in the time now will save you a lot of hassle later.
Spend a little time perusing the marketplace category you want to explore, and search (or ask) here on the Atlassian Community to see where the topics/apps you have in mind have been discussed. This website contains a wealth of information from your peers: A question like "Can you do X with Y app?" from previous posts — or that you ask on the forum — can serve up answers. A quick check of app reviews can provide red flags: A review that says "It can't do X" or "doesn't integrate with Y" will also save you from going down a dead end.
Lean on your Atlassian Solution Partner as well. Discuss your use-case and ask about apps that you're considering. If they have experience with your app, they can advise you on whether to go with it, and even help with onboarding.
Finally, it’s often a good idea to reach out to app vendors you already trust and simply ask them for recommendations — they may know which other apps play well with your current setup and which ones may not, even if your problem is something they don't deal with directly. Take it from someone who knows: Vendors like getting these types of questions — they're a chance for us to prove how useful we are!
Buying an app is a lot more like starting a relationship than many people realize, so make sure the app vendor won't desert you in your hour of need. Clear communication and being supported are important pillars for success.
See how active the vendor is in the Atlassian ecosystem. What kind of onboarding materials exist? Do they have governance/permissioning recommendations? Do they have badges that indicate they are constantly working on the app’s reliability and performance?
If you don’t feel like you have all the answers you want, submit a support request to the app, asking about the support they offer and how you can best evaluate their product. Odds are they’ll be happy to answer all your questions, but if you don’t hear back in a week… well, maybe they’re just not that into you.
Before you add an app to your Jira instance, there are a few key steps to follow:
If it all looks good, congratulations, you have a winner!
In all cases, remember what we said about app selection being like starting a relationship: The marketplace vendors are there to help you, so don't hesitate to ask if you want to answer a nagging difficulty or even suggest a new use-case and see if they have any pointers for you.
So, head on over to the Atlassian Marketplace to find the right apps. In addition to the search field, check out options on the left that enable you to specify: