Atlassian: Tools for every team and more agility in projects
Let us compare Atlassian with 20 years ago, we are now seeing entirely different business models emerge, developed by quick start-ups which turn new ideas into marketable products with astonishing speed. Organizations benefiting most from this success are those that are versatile, flexible or agile enough to be capable of uncompromising customer orientation. A start-up is usually established by the decision makers from scratch, allowing them extensive creative freedom. But what about the many organizations whose decision-makers see the need for agility, but whose structures and culture have developed far from the market?
Understanding users and requirements
For the most part, software developers do not need to be told about Atlassian tools and their benefits – they generally use them as a matter of course and without major difficulties. However, for business teams in the fields of design, IT service management (ITSM) or human resources the implementation requires more explanation and is more challenging. And even here there is a strong culture gap. While young employees often demand up-to-date marketable work tools – and are thus often the drivers behind the introduction of Jira or Confluence – older employees are frequently afraid of, or have at least strong reservations about these modern tools. Functions we know and are familiar with from social media, which enable the mentioning of colleagues in a text or the sharing of articles without sending an e-mail, require explanation. Needless to say, project teams which are forced to use collaborative tools are doomed to fail. The lack of interest or acceptance, and in the worst case a boycott, all prevent progress. This applies more than ever to the introduction of new working procedures. We have thus found that the success of a project depends entirely on taking in the entire team, with all its different roles and diverse (cultural) prerequisites, and on arousing enthusiasm in individual cases for the implementation.
After all, the product owner’s requirements for an application differ from those of the colleague on the support desk, or the tester. The Atlassian suite has the right tool, specific extensions as well as plug-ins for all parties.
Knowledge management with confluence
In our projects, Confluence has proven itself as an entry point. Depending on the requirements of the project, additional tools from the suite complement the enterprise wiki. Easy to use, it can replace Word and, thanks to its central location, complement or in some cases replace the classic e-mail. The collaboration team at EPOS uses this wiki for working together on documents, creating and maintaining a manual, setting up FAQs or drafting offers and exporting them in one click as a PDF; these are just a few examples of the diverse application possibilities. It may sound simple at first, but there are still hidden risks. Therefore, the EPOS team has created an overview with several rules for successful project implementation. For example, new accounts require new passwords or an authorization structure that ensures that only your own team members have access to specific areas. Once again it is important right from the start to reduce inhibitions and minimize hurdles. Why not ask new colleagues to introduce themselves to the team in the wiki instead of writing a portrait for the intranet? Or encourage new colleagues to organize their entire training on Confluence in order to become familiar with the tool and its features.
Project organization with Jira
According to Atlassian, Jira is the most widely used project management add-on for Confluence users. While it is well-suited to agile processes in software development, Jira is more of an organizational tool to most business teams. The tool lends itself to restrictive processes that require traceability and transparency or that need to be evaluated; budget approvals or decision making processes are examples of possible applications.
It is also obvious that tools are only put to everyday use if they are simple to operate and their functions are mastered. Accordingly, training and coaching as well as the subsequent support of the user are important. The training courses are mostly short standardized introductions to convey the features by demonstrating best practices and use cases. In addition to these basic training courses, there is also individually tailored coaching on Scrum, Kanban and plug-ins for software development and test management.
Learn more about Jira.
Learn more about Confluence.