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(non-technical) aspects of a workflow feedback option within Jira

Daniel Ebers
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April 18, 2020

For several Jira projects we plan to introduce an 5-star-rating feedback option on a per issue basis. It should be offered to all reporters who raised an issue.

We are inspired by the article of @Rachel Wright in her book "Jira Strategy Admin Workbook". Page 19 is about the idea of a feedback option.
The technical part is clear to us (and works already) - we even finished a chat with staff to get them into the loop in an early state. The reception was quite negative. This is why I'd like to kick off a dicussion on a feedback option here. I am happy for any kind of thoughts and response.

Rachel mentioned that a person giving feedback might not necessarily be open in all cases - as it is visible who gave the feedback. This is something we discussed but we accept the probability of missing the one or another feedback due to this.

Here are some remarks we heard from colleagues, please note: always in their role receiving feedback. We are not sure yet how to deal with it.

1. The feedback for an individual can be accessed by every Jira user - even over time.
Chance: A person can improve skills if he/she is receiving feedback which was not so great. Also colleagues could help more easily - Alice can look which topics Bob could improve and offer training to improve skills.
Risk: Quality of handled issues can be tracked down to specific persons.
Example for a risk: John Doe handled 10 issues in March, so did Bob Smith. John received an average of 2 stars. Bob received an average of 5 stars.
Cultural questions: will John's manager ask to see him in May when his numbers are similar to them for April? Will John work on finding out the reason? He then could improve skills.
Will there be some kind of "competition" between team members?

2. Quote: "I am trying to do my job well, I don't want to be judged by a feedback system".
Chance: Maybe the person changes mind and considers the feature useful at a later time.
Risk: Team members reduce the amount of issues handled, probably leading to an overall reduced productivity.
Things to consider: we found no easy way to let a single person to opt out on receiving feedback.

3. Feedback is given on the personal connection to the assignee, not on the service received.
Risk: Not the service which the reporter received is considered and the feedback needs to be sorted out/clarified in some way.

Some remarks might be a contraint with company values whereas others are more general considerations - I am happy for any insight you can share.
The core question that we have to answer for ourselves will most likely be like: "what are we trying to show by the numbers?".
We would also have to assure all teams that it will be a good feeling when receiving positive feedback and an opportunity to improve answers when it wasn't soo good ;)
It's a quite tricky topic, though.




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