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Faster than baking a cake?

One of the things I love about JSM and building out solutions with it for clients is just how flexible and easy it is to iterate a grow a solution overtime.

This can workout well for clients as they.

  1. Mature their ITSM practices.
  2. Expand their Service management out beyond IT.
  3. Deepen their knowledge and confidence with the Atlassian platform.

But how fast go a solution be delivered in the first place?

This is a question never far from a client’s mind and one I’m happy to throw down what is often perceived as a startling revelation.

“We could go live by the end of this meeting.”

This is usually said during a one-hour meeting when first scoping out just what they currently have and what they want to achieve with JSM. It of course is not always an appropriate statement, and it does always come with caveats.

So how can you go-live with a JSM solution faster than you can bake a cake (which is 60 minutes according to the timer in my phone)?

The Best Ever Cookies and Cream Cake with Oreo Buttercream - Cake by  Courtney

Well, a few scenarios I believe can be done in a hour meeting (or near enough) are:

  • the client is new to JSM and currently only uses email as a method of receiving service requests, or…..
  • they have a system, but most of the requests still come in via email as their portal isn’t intuitive or
    • it has too many options/irrelevant questions OR
    • their current portal is so basic, replicating it in JSM would be minutes of work, not hours.

Any of those sound familiar?

These clients have often been burnt by hard to implement, hard to refactor systems or have never even been down such a path, so they figure “going-live” will be a large piece of work.

Now don’t get me wrong, a JSM solution isn’t always going to be (and often isn’t) a quick 1, 2 and we have working software ready to start using. But it can be.

I have found myself in meetings, where I will create a “IT Service Management” templated JSM project during the meeting, in front of their eyes, to:

  1. Show them what it looks like with all the out-of-the-box ITSM bells and whistles.
  2. Do a quick demo of the portal, the kind of groupings and Request types that are there etc.

If this is occurring in their Atlassian site (as it often is), then all that needs to happen is, decide on which Request types to keep on the portal, confirm suitability of the email address for the Email channel and configure those, add some agents, ensure suitable customer access is configured. Boom!!! Minimum viable product deployed.

It can get even easier still!!!

If all they use currently is email, then just go-live with the Email channel, and don’t hype the portal until there has been time to make it a compelling one that the customers will like using. This means an instant improvement, as at least the emails are coming into JSM and can be triaged from there.

Either way, a minimal portal and email, or just email can be delivered in an hour and ready to iterate on from there. As long as they are happy with a basic Summary (like the subject line of an email), Description (like the body of an email) and the ability to add attachments (again, like an email), with maybe a couple of other, already part of the screen scheme fields (Priority, Due date, even Manager or Approvers spring to mind) thrown in for good measure, all using a selection of the out-of-the-box request types.

Before I go on, I must point out, I am not actually a fan of using the email channel. In fact, I often encourage clients to seriously consider not hyping it as an option. Or putting an out-of-office on their existing one advising of the “New and exciting” portal. Or if they must use it, broadcast that it is at the bottom of the SLA pile and that customers would receive attention/resolution faster via the portal…of course the client needs to be able to back such statements up with delivery to their portal SLAs.

But I do have another scenario and this one happened to me recently and is what sparked this article. An existing client who has several JSM projects in use already, came to me with a request “Could I build a Gift register in JSM for them?”
They provided a clear set of requirements as part of their Friday afternoon email. I knew it would not take long, but could I do it faster than baking a cake?

So, I decided to set my timer and see how far I could get in an hour.

With 7 minutes and 47 seconds left, I had:

  • Created a conditional form (I used the Gift Register form template as the starting point)
  • Created and mapped 9 custom fields to the form (as they wanted to be able to report on all their requirements)
  • A new issue type of “Gift” created and added the configured into the new (company managed) project.
  • Added a workflow with approvals to the Gift issue type.
  • An automation rule created to enhance the Summary with the name of the recipient.
  • Functionality tested and Project hidden from the Help Centre until the client can review.


Sure, it is a one trick pony, but as you can see it was most definitely customised to the specific requirements.
The only thing left to do (once I catch up with the client) is configure the exact approval process required. As other than mentioning “can it have approvals similar to XXX” the details of the actual approval process were lacking.

But!! the alluded to approval workflow is in position, the Manager, Approvers and Approver group fields are all there waiting, so 7:47 should be enough time to configure that, even if another version of the workflow needs to be created to satisfy the outcome required.

So, there you have it. Several potential working, viable products in the clients’ hands as quickly as you could bake them a cake and get that on a plate for them to consume.

Anyone got other such scenarios that fit in this timeframe? Faster timings? Anyone been burnt by such speed to market?

I’d love to hear your thoughts or adventures with JSM.

For the record, I’ve only been working with JSM for about a year, so do still feel relatively new to it.

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