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Best team practices using Atlassian products

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51 comments

We have used Atlassian products for several year, across the company albeit only in R&D. We're running Jira, Confluence and Crucible (and a bunch of other non-atlassian services).

At this point we're trying to re-ignite the business unit and push more functional groups into primarily Jira to allow us to drive strategic planning all the way down to task completion in the same tool. It is a somewhat daunting task, mainly because it requires a lot of people to change their ways. And that is a lot harder than installing software :)

My view on the project feasibility is very positive. I really want to use the data all the functions already create and depend on in the same system, allowing for greater understanding of where we are and what process changes can be done to simplify our lives.

Getting buy-in is most difficult when everyone can operate according to "what's best for them." Start by creating projects, boards, dashboards for groups/teams that have the largest influence. If you can get a few mangers/directors to buy-in usually others will follow.  

Some persuasive points to make:

  • You can manage your team anywhere using the tool
  • Teams can create and house a backlog therefore ensuring tasks are not missed and are organized/assigned accordingly 
  • Teams have a centralized location for documentation that easily integrates to other products 
  • Reports (e.g., burndowns/ups, velocity etc) can help teams stay on track or plan if targets are missed
  • Better prepared to identify and contain risks

The list goes on - finding the issue the company wants to solve will also assist you with getting resources on-board.

What is one way Atlassian products have shifted the way your team works?

In JIRA and Confluence we are able to tag other team members for reminders, follow-ups, alerts, sharing files, etc, all while providing a documentation trail.  Our team is distributed worldwide, so communicating effectively, even if asynchronously, is important.

 

How have Atlassian products helped your team overcome a significant challenge?

Our "functional specification" documents guide how we create and test software.  They are the project's "requirements".  Without having Confluence to document, update, search, note, and reference the scores of functional specs our project uses, we would be in trouble. 

 

What was the main thing your team learned during this journey?

Once we switched to Confluence and JIRA, it took a while to understand the capabilities within the various programs.  We are still learning new features that allow us to be more productive, more accountable, and communicate better with each other.  

What is one way Atlassian products have shifted the way your team works?

In addition to our teams gaining more focus and organization using JIRA and Confluences our executive leadership was able to better understand cost surrounding a project with the assistance of Tempo. The data collected from time tracking provided an outlet to further analyze the ROI of each project IT consumed.

How have Atlassian products helped your team overcome a significant challenge?

First, development teams were able to improve the interior design of their space simply by removing scrum boards posted on the walls of the office. :)

Secondly, we were able to cultivate a process that allowed IT to categorize projects and assign them a sort of prioritization so that teams were in a better position to work on items that most benefit the company.

What was the main thing your team learned during this journey?

We learned many things using JIRA and Confluence including the benefits of scrum/kanban boards, backlogs, sprint planning, centralized documentation and getting the balanced team involved during each phase of development from inception to transition. One of the biggest discoveries we gathered from using JIRA and Tempo was how at times we worked on projects that gave no true value to the company. We are now in a better position to no longer focus on the individual wants of a team or single resource but what's best for the company as a whole.  

Ioannis Papikas Community Leader Mar 03, 2018

What is one way Atlassian products have shifted the way your team works?

The most important way that Atlassian products (mostly Jira) changed the way we work was through issue tracking and progress reports. Although there was an issue tracking before, now we could have a clear picture of how the team was doing and get conclusions and action items. It shifted the way the team works towards improvement and personal engagement.

How have Atlassian products helped your team overcome a significant challenge?

A significant challenge that our teams had was dealing with deadlines and delivering the product in time and in quality. It helped us a lot in looking forward and adapt based on the past and projected progress.

What was the main thing your team learned during this journey?

The team has learned that collaboration, openness and information sharing can boost the team's productivity a lot. There was significant progress when we started using collaboration and issue tracking tools, where the entire team was both informed and responsible for the team's progress and not only for their own.

What is one way Atlassian products have shifted the way your team works?

  • Consistent and clear documentation and smart/embedded links to all supplemental information makes reproducing good results easy, and preventing bad results from recurring even easier!

How have Atlassian products helped your team overcome a significant challenge?

  • Documentation and knowledge sharing is always a significant challenge for any distributed software development team. Confluence and Jira being properly linked and updated allows us not only to quickly onboard new team members, share knowledge, and improve processes and practices, but also share important information with our stakeholders. 

What was the main thing your team learned during this journey?

  • We learned a few lessons:
    1. Tools are only as good as your etiquette. If you aren't updating your tickets or documentation, no one will trust it or the reports you are pulling out of it.
    2. Confluence is NOT SHAREPOINT. Don't use Confluence as some file-store with no organization. 
    3. Transparency is key, don't lock-down permissions on every page or sub-space. It creates massive headaches and overhead to keep up-to-date, and not having visibility promotes duplicate pages and multiple and inconsistent definitions of truth.
    4. Use the available macros. Have multiple pages you need to leverage the information but hate having text-based hyperlinks everywhere? Use 'Include Page' macro and have that information mirrored in-line in multiple pages! update it once and have it flow everywhere.

What is one way Atlassian products have shifted the way your team works?

Our team has evolved form a semi-scrum team to a full-scrum team in less than a couple of months. Using Jira and Confluence has help us manage the day to day tasks and become way more organized around tasks, deadlines, important work and meaningful meetings.

  • What is one way Atlassian products have shifted the way your team works?
    • These products are relatively new to me, but just seeing how everything is intertwined and so easily accessible, makes things flow much easier!
  • How have Atlassian products helped your team overcome a significant challenge?
    • Recently, our team was all over the place with multiple to-dos or items that needed prompt action - having a space and tools to really utilize, helped get everything in line and moving towards a best practice for the whole team.
  • What was the main thing your team learned during this journey?
    • We are learning how to make the most out of products and resources available to us which is a huge help!
Scott Theus Community Leader May 17, 2018

Hi All,

I can't really say how Atlassian products have changed the way the team works, rather I have to say Jira and Confluence (and a few add-ons) have changed how I work. When I joined in December I had never used Jira; I was stuck in MS Project.

Since then I've been given great latitude with our Jira instance and am working with my program manager to write new processes for project management, governance, etc. etc. etc.

It would take forever to go into details (which I am happy to do sometime), but using Atlassian has changed by entire outlook on how I approach managing projects and I am still evolving.

-Scott

  • What is one way Atlassian products have shifted the way your team works?
    • They've given us the transparency needed for an enterprise development team to work effectively.
  • How have Atlassian products helped your team overcome a significant challenge?
    • JIRA (with the Portfolio plugin) has given us a way to implement Scaled Agile Framework.
  • What was the main thing your team learned during this journey?
    • Really think about your JIRA architecture before you set teams loose on it.  We've spent a lot of time on rework, based on things we learned on the way.

What is one way Atlassian products have shifted the way your team works?

Getting everyone onto a consistent Build/Deploy process (with Bamboo) is huge. Previously, each service had its own "proprietary" process, which was a maintenance nightmare.

How have Atlassian products helped your team overcome a significant challenge?

Previously, each service had its own "proprietary" build/deploy process, which was a maintenance nightmare. The challenge was that with no consistent corporate wide process, developer mobility was limited, and back-filling attritions from another team was more difficult than it needed to be.

What was the main thing your team learned during this journey?

That we should have done this a long time ago :^)

  • What is one way Atlassian products have shifted the way your team works?
    • Transparency into our agile workflow/process.  All work is started and completed through Jira.
  • How have Atlassian products helped your team overcome a significant challenge?
    • Each team has customized their own labels, card colors, to help them understand where their work is at a glance.  As an admin, I have created workflows, screen, fields, and dashboards to help surface metrics that give transparency into our agile health as well making it easier to meet the definition of ready and done set by our engineering organization.
  • What was the main thing your team learned during this journey?
    • We learned the balance of using what is "out of box" vs customization.  
Vichofu Community Leader Sep 30, 2018

What is one way Atlassian products have shifted the way your team works?

Using the various Atlassian products have helped to increase visibility and effective collaboration amongst members of my team (Product Managers, Developers, QA, and Data Scientists )

 

What is one way Atlassian products have shifted the way your team works?

Bitbucket has helped improve the quality of codes been deployed by ensuring every line of code to be deployed passes through Code Review.

 

What was the main thing your team learned during this journey?

We learnt the power of effective collaborations and the importance of visibility amongts members of our team.

What is one way Atlassian products have shifted the way your team works?

My team is dispersed across the country.  In the past, we relied on email and chat to share information.  We also used spreadsheets to manage our projects.  Moving to Jira helped us to have visibility into our processes and allowed to manage our projects more effectively.  

How have Atlassian products helped your team overcome a significant challenge?

Once we added Confluence, things really came together because we no longer had to hunt through Jira to find critical information.  Confluence has become a place for us to store mission critical documentation and allows us to collaborate.

What was the main thing your team learned during this journey?

We learned that by taking a moment to share information allows everyone to feel more connected to each other and the work we are doing.  We no longer worry so much about 'tribal knowledge' that is passed word of mouth.  We also learned that by collaborating, we are truly leveraging our diverse strengths to compound our efforts.

Mikey Hartinger Community Leader Oct 08, 2018

What is one way Atlassian products have shifted the way your team works?

The move to Bitbucket was a huge jump in how we handled code changes. Getting everyone into the wonders of git was huge. We learn so much from each other by reviewing each other's code.

How have Atlassian products helped your team overcome a significant challenge?

We typically have monthly releases that require us to plan effectively. The backlog, kanban, and variety of sprint tools have made planning go much more smoothly. We still have a chaotic release every now and then, but now we can pinpoint where in the process we went wrong and improve for the next release.

What was the main thing your team learned during this journey?

Agile methodologies and teamwork through specialized roles.

Hi everybody,
In the beginning, it was hard to set up Atlassian Jira and confluence, that's why we first started to work with Jira. We also needed tempo to track hours on different projects, after a while when everybody finally got used to using Jira the processes were much faster and efficient. Now we could not imagine working without Jira and confluence. Confluence also showed us how to use proper documentation and link them with the issues, so you have everything in the same place.

sarah.hiller Community Leader Nov 09, 2018

What is one way Atlassian products have shifted the way your team works?

We use Trello for recruiting, and it's incredible. I get a lot of oos and aaas when I show people how it works. ATS's are expensive! Ours isn't!

How have Atlassian products helped your team overcome a significant challenge?

 

Actually recruiting was a huge time suck for me. Huge! And expensive. 

What was the main thing your team learned during this journey?

That we can build things we need. Building a Trello board with triggers and automation has been a game changer.

  • What is one way Atlassian products have shifted the way your team works?
    • Structure sign-off on requirements and better technical design. We have started managing that via Confluence!
  • How have Atlassian products helped your team overcome a significant challenge?
    • The above challenge is still to be overcome - but we make progress week by week! 
  • What was the main thing your team learned during this journey?
    • Signing-off requirements with the client and having a baselined tech design before starting dev'ing is way better than being shouted at by Andy. :D

What is one-way Atlassian products have shifted the way your team works?

Before implementing the Atlassian products the company processes were not well documented, the management was quite bureaucratic. With the implementation it was possible to centralize the information and streamline the processes much more. The processes became more transparent.

How have Atlassian products helped your team overcome a significant challenge?

In Confluence we centralize all the documentation and we use the Team Calendars plugin a lot to plan events, meetings, book rooms and birthdays. With Jira we made transparent and streamlined all processes. Productivity increased considerably.                       

What was the main thing your team learned during this journey?

Changes can have many benefits.

I choose to link to the presentation I gave at Atlassian Summit 2018. It is named "A Journey From Bureaucracy to Enterprise Agility in Government". 

https://www.atlassian.com/company/events/summit-europe/schedule/by-track?tab=scaling-atlassian

What is one way Atlassian products have shifted the way your team works?

  • All work-related communication is done through JIRA, Confluence, Bitbucket.


How have Atlassian products helped your team overcome a significant challenge?

  • Sure.
    Previously, there were several work multi channels.
    Atlassian products made this one channel.
    So the decision is faster.


What was the main thing your team learned during this journey?

  • Agile-based company culture

What is one way Atlassian products have shifted the way your team works?

Collaboration efficiency has skyrocketed! Fewer repetitive questions. Automation initiatives have taken huge steps forward.

How have Atlassian products helped your team overcome a significant challenge?

JIRA project configuration allows us to set permissions and accessibility at levels never achieved previously. Automating builds and deployments have never been this easy as with Bamboo and Bitbucket. Collaborating using Confluence helps keep larger teams in the loop on everything.

What was the main thing your team learned during this journey?

There is always room for innovation!

- What is one way Atlassian products have shifted the way your team works?

We had personal knowledge or knowledge centered in the departments. Today, knowledge is much more widely spread and made available across the company. Every employee experiences the benefit and is ready to contribute and use the tools.

- How have Atlassian products helped your team overcome a significant challenge?

We have managed to create a central documentation platform by storing and versioning our documentation in Confluence. Our service Deks is thus able to have information from the departments immediately at hand. Thus, a much faster suppression occurs. This also pleases the customer when his concerns are more quickly disrupted.

- What was the main thing your team learned during this journey?

Short and sweet: The team has learned how beneficial it is to share information openly with other colleagues.

Antonio Ferruz Community Leader May 04, 2019

Atlassian products , not only changed the way my organisation works, also changed my life (but that 's another story ;))

Using Jira and Confluence + Service Desk  in a high growth company helps us to organise our work; Jira is key, having more than 100 active projects (+600,000 issues created in the last years) and where do you document anything? "Confluence" is the right answer! 

+2,500 active users work  everyday using Atlassian tools. 

Agile coaches are also JIra admins . We have a no dependencies culture , 

We learnt a lot in this journey and we keep learning everyday! 

What is one way Atlassian products have shifted the way your team works?

Our project requirements and many of the needed project artifacts were buried deep in folder hierarchies on a large drive that the whole organization used. Nothing was easy to find or keep up to date. Integrating Confluence with Jira to keep our project requirements tied directly to the Jira tickets that they relate to is a major step forward for us.

How have Atlassian products helped your team overcome a significant challenge?

Using Jira and Confluence together to create dashboard style reports for our C Suite has been revolutionary. The transparency gained by this step has opened up communication and understanding between the data team and the rest of the organization. This was important because our data team is behind locked doors with sensitive health data, and was physically as well as mentally separated from the rest of the organization. Through Jira we can show what is happening behind those doors and how much work is being done without compromising any of the sensitive data with which we work.

What was the main thing your team learned during this journey?

When I joined the organization, the team was using Jira, but was not using boards, sprints, or releases. They were tracking Jira tickets in a spreadsheet for their weekly progress meetings. I had never used Jira, but once I dug into it and discovered its full capabilities, I was able to lead the team to use Jira exclusively and ditch the spreadsheets. We are still progressing on our Agile path, but everyone is much happier and more productive having all of our information in one central repository instead of buried in a spreadsheet on someone’s desktop.

  • What is one way Atlassian products have shifted the way your team works?

We love the flexibility of Atlassian: different teams have different needs (especially workflows). Before we had very static issue tracking tools which were hated by everybody - but (e.g.) Jira can provide a perfect solution for all the different needs.

  • How have Atlassian products helped your team overcome a significant challenge?

In the past we had a lot of broing, manually tasks to do. The Atlassian APIs were very useful to automate many standard tasks and save a lot of time.

  • What was the main thing your team learned during this journey?

We learned to become more fleixble & agile in our daily work.

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