In a discussion thread about onboarding new users to JSD. (Found here: A is for Activate: Share your top Jira Service Desk onboarding tips for new users!) We began to explore the ideas beyond just simple how-to guides and walk through tutorials, and move in to the realm of setup and design, and common framework of communicating about the products.
In my work as an Atlassian administrator, I am often bringing the world of Jira to users outside of the development process, and to those unfamiliar with the toolset, it can be challenging to communicate why something may not be setup the way one expects or what problems a user is having with the product, without common language.
Are they tickets? Are they items? Are they cards?
Oh, you mean the issue! right, Jira calls the items issues.
Oh, but they are records of the employees that are going through onboarding process.
Yup! but it's easier to think of them as issues, since that is what you will click on in the menu to see all of them and filter for specific ones you want to see.
Some times just getting everyone to settle in on the terms can cause the process to become daunting! Then you get to items that I call "jiraisms". Does this kind of conversation look familiar to any other experienced Admins?
So I created a ticket (my internal brain translates to issue) and when I save the ticket (issue) not all of the fields show up.
Do you mean you filled out all of the fields and there isn't anything showing up?
No, I mean, I left some things blank, but I can't fill them out now.
Ok, what happens when you select the edit button, are they on the form (...edit screen)? Yes! but I saved and they disappeared again!!!
It's ok, Jira doesn't display custom fields that do not contain information. It keeps the view clearer.
It can certainly take the new users time to get use to this sort of behavior, and many feel like it is a negative thing, at first. It can make it a bit easier, though to remember back to when you first started using Jira, and how confusing it was....and some times still is! Most new users I have worked with take a month or two to become comfortable and a few more months past that to get to where they like using the tools.
My biggest tips to ease new user/new environment pain points are:
1. Keep it simple!
Are you implementing a new environment or replacing an existing one? Don't get all complicated in your first build out. Sit down with your teams and define the must haves, the nice to haves, and the can we haves. Evaluate those lists and ask the hard questions about the must haves.
We have to have these fields required and only people in this group can transition the issue!
Why are we worried about people not putting in the information? Will they put in relevant information at this point, or will they just be selecting the first option, or typing N/A to get the issue opened. Do we plan to do reports on that field? Will we get the information needed for the report if we have people entering "junk" to get the issue opened?
Jira tracks the history of an issue, we can see who moves an issue thought the workflow in that history, do we really need to limit the group at this time or can we wait and see if it is a problem after we go live?
Sometimes the answers to these questions are we really do need them. Like if an issue is opened by a team not doing the work. You don't necessarily want them to accidentally move or close an issue and it makes sense to put the restrictions in, but really think about why you are making those choices at the start.
But we are doing it that way in some other tool!
This is a great time to address some of the things that might not have worked well for your team or company in that old tool. Make sure that you don't bring those pain points into the new tool! Were the forms long and complicated to fill out? Check out using different screens for the create issue vs edit/view! Especially if the person filling out the new issue won't be the one completing the work, or if at the time of opening the issue, you might not have all of the details.
Example, your team plans events. You know the event date and topic, but you might not know the location or food plans at the time you want to create the issue. Don't include those fields on the create screens, place them on the edit/view screens so they are available after the issue is created, and streamlines the issue creation process..
2. Keep things as consistent as possible across the environment. This is easier if you keep things simple! Don't get super specific in your workflow status name or your custom field names. You can reuse them across the environment. This makes it easier for you as an admin and for the users, because what they see in one project will be quite similar if they are working in another project.
We would like a status, Business Analyst Review.
"In Review" works just as well, and can be used for multiple work flows from Code/Development, to Company Blog postings.
Please add field Annual Conference Location to screen.
So long as "Location" isn't already a field being used on the screen, it should work just fine and can be used by other projects for Client Location, Asset Location, or Office Location. Don't forget about being able to use Field Configurations, if you need other options for a drop down or select list for different projects!
Keeping these broad limits the number of items you need to manage, and helps with system performance!
3. Don't be afraid of change. If something really isn't working for you or your team, don't be afraid to rework a project. It isn't uncommon for me to build a project and then talk with a team 3-6 month later and have some changes, maybe a field really should (or shouldn't be) required. Maybe they added a step in their work flow. Maybe the default notifications are too many, or don't go to enough people. There shouldn't be this feeling that a project is a great stone monolith that should never be changed. Make it work for you!
Questions? Thoughts to add? Experiences to share? Leave a comment and lets Discuss!
Kimberly Deal _Columbus ACE_Community Leader
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