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Jira July: AMA with Twitter Edited

Kelly Drozd Atlassian Team Jul 19, 2021

Hello community!

Coming off an amazing Jira Admin Day, we were so thrilled to spotlight the amazing team at Twitter and go behind scenes during a live “Ask Us Anything” session with Joe, Aswin, and Rei to find out more about how they unified projects, streamlined communication, and improved reporting across the organization Jira helps them better manage and track their work

Thank you to everyone that submitted such great questions for the Twitter team, we tackled most of the questions posted below + a few bonus questions! 

If you missed the live stream, you can tune in to the recorded session via Jira Linkedin or Jira Twitter.

Also wanted to share @Joe Pursel's talk from the 2019 Atlassian Summit "Why I built my career with Atlassian tools & you should too!"

Screen Shot 2021-07-22 at 11.43.00 AM (1).png

In case you’re not familiar, Twitter is an iconic social media platform that hosts more than 186 million users -- and growing. Behind the scenes, Twitter is a company with thousands of employees and hundreds of different teams, who use numerous tools to conduct internal work. Since 2007, Twitter’s development teams have relied on Jira Software to manage their work. By 2019, the adoption of Jira expanded rapidly to almost every team at Twitter, as teams found that 

They’ve been so successful that Atlassian recognized their work by awarding Twitter the 2021 Team Award for “Best in Class, Technical”.

Thanks, everyone!! 


15 answers

7 votes
Benjamin Community Leader Jul 19, 2021


Question: What Tools or Apps you can't live without as part of your admin toolkit? and why?

Dave Liao Community Leader Jul 22, 2021

To add to this, which tools or apps did you wish you purchased earlier but didn't/couldn't, and why?

Like Kelly Drozd likes this

Hi Benjamin and Dave! As mentioned during our AMA, we cannot live without JEMH and ScriptRunner :) We actually have done incredible amount of customizations involving the latter, and made requests/dreams of our userbase a reality.

We definitely should have purchased Automation for Jira earlier, but we were a bit cautious the power that plugin grants non-Jira admins and possible performance impact from purely designed automations. For that reason, we waited until our Jira Data center implementation :) 

Personally, I'm eagerly waiting to purchase the Elements Connect plugin and start doing more magic by connecting to external data source!

Like Aswin Achuthan likes this
4 votes
Chandler Atlassian Team Jul 21, 2021

I'm looking forward to this!

I'm curious: What are/were some of the biggest challenges for teams at Twitter? 

Prior to the Jira Data Center implementation, we had to resolve the Jira Service Desk (Service Management now) licensing issue due to how significantly the licensing/cost model changes from Server to DC for JSM. We were on the "unlimited tier" for JSM prior to DC implementation, and there was no way justifying $640000+/year cost, when we knew not everyone at the company was leveraging JSM and its features.

We ended up creating a separate user group that is exclusively given access to JSM and included only users that have login history spanning 6 months. Though we sent out multiple comms through personalized email, we did have a handful of users who were caught off guard with access change. However, this new model allows us to be a better steward of licenses, and therefore company money. While access to Jira itself is a birthright access, we enforce users to sign-up to be added to the aforementioned group, and it's been working great :)

We are implementing Confluence for documentation and Jira for projects. This is new for the department and company. I've become the "expert" overnight. What do you steps/classes do you recommend that I take to improve myself so that I can my team? 

Kelly Drozd Atlassian Team Jul 22, 2021

hi Sarah! Joe has a great talk from a few years ago that you might really enjoy. It’s about how he built his career with Atlassian tools - lots of great advise!

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3 votes

I'm curious, how did you measure the success of this program?

Kelly Drozd Atlassian Team Jul 21, 2021

@Sita Burgess awesome question!

I found that as the engineers/implementers of new features on Jira, Confluence, etc., we immediately celebrate the victory upon shipping. As mentioned during the AMA, I think it's crucial to have retros involving major stakeholders to really be introspective and get feedback from external teams. Despite the documentations we shared and training sessions we held, few PMs did state that this product we built wasn't that intuitive to use. I think our team was just marveled at the engineering feat and the fact that it "worked properly" was considered a success for us. Therefore, the retro was super helpful, as was getting user feedback utilizing

In couple projects, we fire off a webhook that calls Polly API to DM users a poll right into their Slack. This is super helpful for different teams (including us!) to get candid feedback from users regarding the UI/UX.

Like Kelly Drozd likes this

We struggle with too much on our backlogs which makes visualization and ranking of issues a tad difficult especially if it is done on a lower cadence. 

How do you do prioritization?

Kelly Drozd Atlassian Team Jul 21, 2021

@Vaishali Patil really great question, thanks so much for asking it! 

Hi Vaishali! There is how our team does prioritization, and there is how other teams at Twitter do it. Our permissions are set-up so that any Jira users within our instance can create filter and create Scrum/Kanban boards at will. This means the burden/creativity of the prioritization is in the hands of the creator and her/his team. At least in our team, we do leverage the innate Priority field and look at the context of the Jira issues to determine their urgency. I personally do not utilize the innate Rank field that comes with the usage of the Agile boards that come with Jira Software. If the number of issues in the Backlog is a problem, I highly recommend leveraging quick filters that can be added on top of the boards to filter out issues based on desired criteria. In case of our team, we have a quick filter for each of our team members to quickly reveal what each member has on their plate for a given sprint during our sprint planning meetings :)

Hi Rai, 

Thank you for your reply. In our case, we too have kept the permissions open for anyone to create filters and boards.  But many of our teams have opted to create separate boards instead of quick filters. It gets the job done in short term but comes with its own set of housekeeping headaches.

1 vote
Ashley Faus Atlassian Team Jul 20, 2021

Excited for this AMA! My question is how did you go about getting everyone on the same page with the terminology and project set-up? I feel like shared language is just as important as the product configuration.

Hi Ashley! I sincerely believe documentations and education are key in bringing current (and future) users on the same page and governance/best practices. Documentations are often a bore, for both the creator and the informed. However, even linking your Jira Service Desk (or Jira Service Management now) to your support portal goes a long away to save time for both the inquirer and the dedicated Atlassian team. We do have an awesome engineer such as @Joe Pursel who regularly holds Jira 101 (basic Jira usage) and 102 (JQL tricks and filter/dashboard creation) classes at Twitter to train users in a live classroom setting. We are actually planning to record some videos on popular Jira topics so users can check them out at will :) I also recommend leveraging Questions for Confluence as another form of Knowledge Base your users can refer to!

Like Ashley Faus likes this
Ashley Faus Atlassian Team Jul 26, 2021

Awesome tips, thanks for the insights on how your team handles it :) 

@Kelly Drozd : sorry is is possible you can post the meeting info, without us going in LinkedIn?  Thanks

Kelly Drozd Atlassian Team Jul 21, 2021

@Hao La hi there! this will be streaming via Jira LinkedIn and Jira Twitter.

If you have any questions that you might be interested in please comment here. Thanks.  

1 vote
Maxwell Mei Atlassian Team Jul 21, 2021

Super excited to hear from you all! My question is have you used the agile methodology with Jira, and if so, how has it further streamlined your work force. Also, was there any challenges to the team with implementing agile?

1 vote
Rohan Swami Atlassian Team Jul 21, 2021

What kind of reports have you found most valuable in your team? especially for exec-level stakeholders.

1 vote
Rohan Swami Atlassian Team Jul 21, 2021

Were there challenges to teams adopting the issue hierarchy you put in place?

Cool! Looking forward to the meeting.

Question(s) -

  • Love to hear about your Application Uptime SLA target and measures taken to achieve it
  • How are you maintaining your application hygiene
  • During lower env's data refresh, how are you preserving the ongoing POC works in lower env's
1 vote

Wow, I'm super excited and can't wait for this talk!

My questions:

- How many administrators do you have? How do you communicate with each other about changes in your Jira instance? 

- In which methodology are you working? Do you have any best practices from your teams about useful features in Jira?

- Are you fans of team-managed projects? :) 

1 vote
Thomas Atlassian Team Jul 22, 2021
  • How do you gain visibility over where your effort is going from a single team to large departments?
    Where do you see the balance between having this type of information being fully automated in reports versus relying on human assessments?


  • What has been your main challenge(s) when doing this type of capacity/effort/people planning at scale?

Few questions 

  1. Tell us more about your other Atlassian products used? Confluence, Bitbucket and more?  Are they all cloud or on-premises?
  2. Is there a dedicated team to manage Jira (Confluence and BB for that matter) daily operation? If not, how has it been handled and scaled?  These activities are, for example, including but not limiting to on and off boarding, project creation, plugin evaluation/ purchase, permission, workflow change, etc...
  3. Jira workflow/scheme customization : what has been the approach?  Customize anything any team wants or a few common templates that must be used across teams?

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