On September 29-30, 2022, JiraCon22 online conference brought together Atlassian User and Marketplace Communities, and worldwide Atlassian Leaders to share what’s new and forthcoming in Jira, real-life use case stories, working solutions, and tips & tricks to advance the use of Jira for any team.
- Jira & Productivity - To explore the highly configurable & extensible Jira platform, and maximise taking advantage of this powerful tool.
- ESM & ITSM - To learn use cases & innovative ways to invoke work in Jira Service Management, not just for IT teams.
- Agile & DevOps - To adopt better processes, practices, responsiveness & connectedness and advance on an Agile journey.
In case you missed JiraCon22 this year, here’s a brief overview and key takeaways from 4 Jexo picks, talks we enjoyed the most on Day 1 of the event:
Scrumming My Family
by Chad Gallant, Founder, E3 Advisory Services, LLC
A fun (and grounded) way to understand these often misunderstood ways of collaborating, working, and flexing/adapting to change.
Or how agile principles help keep the family engaged and working as a team!
Imagine 5 adults managing 10 pets, buying a school bus to be rebuilt into a house, sharing household duties, advancing in their careers, and not getting crazy with anxiety!
This is why Chad, a pro Scrum master, founder of E3 Advisory Services, implemented some version of Scrum to organise the whole family.
First, they analysed the team’s skill sets and distributed the roles:
Mother - the product manager, who owns the roadmap and sets the priorities, Father - the product owner, who goes to the backlog and ensures they work on the right item next, Daughter - the scrum master, and other team members.
Next, they defined their vision and broke it down into a series of epics in Jira.
Every family member got on board and added their stories with child issues, attached to respective epics.
Like any Scrum team, the family has weekly meetings to celebrate everyone’s success, reflect on goals achieved/missed, prioritise the backlog and set the next goals estimates, including the meal plan for the week with assignees.
All to make sure no one is overloaded and they keep the right balance.
These weekly meetings work both as a sprint review and a family get-together.
Chad shared a simple and brilliant way on how to explain and teach scrum to new/converting to agile teams.
And his way had its benefits:
- Unleashed creative genius of every family member, taking into account everyone’s neurodivergence
- Cutting off on difficult conversations and reaching the desired balance
- Growing family dynamics and constant progress on family goals
How often would you hear a family member saying excitedly:
“Oh yes, I should put it in the backlog!”
Schrödinger’s Enterprise: Was Your Delivery On Strategy? How Do You Know?
by Alex Glabman, Director of Product Management at Appfire
Don’t let top-level strategy lose touch with team-level execution. This session focused on visibility for teams to better ideate, plan and deliver.
Or how a quantum physics concept can be applied to delivery on strategy.
Unlike Dr. Schrödinger 90 years ago, Alex, an animal lover, suggested an experiment on a Schrödinger’s caterpillar, giving its full consent to be placed into a natural, fully recyclable box, and be treated with an organic, vegan slice of avocado toast. The imagined experiment had a 50% expected outcome of turning a caterpillar into a butterfly within the next hour.
According to quantum physics, until the box is opened, the outcome is equally 50/50. It’s only after you open the box, the result is clear.
Likewise, the key to Strategy Delivery is Visibility.
3 Tips from Alex on how to use visibility in Jira to improve on your team’s delivery of strategy:
1️⃣ Visualise your Goals & Objectives to achieving strategy.
Where do we want to be?
To ensure that, we need to break down the company strategy into high-level objectives, and the latter, further into objectives and key results, where teams can take cues from and use for their planning and efforts.
A tool that offers this multi-level visibility is Big Picture, a powerful Project and Portfolio Management application for Jira.
2️⃣ Visualise your Outcome-Driven Plans to deliver on Goals/Objectives.
We know where we want to go. We know how we’re going to do that. What do we plan to do to achieve the outcome that we aim at?
We need to visually communicate that plan throughout delivery and execution.
Whiteboards by Appfire may come in help with that - the tool allows team members to virtually connect and collaborate in real time in a shared space for brainstorming, retrospectives, sprint planning, etc.
3️⃣ Visualise your Progress and Problems to ensure that strategy-related work is executed according to the plan.
Dashboard Hub, a BI and Reporting app, allows tracking progress at a glance and sharing it in predefined templates or custom charts. It works with Jira Software, Jira Service Management, Statuspage, Opsgenie, Confluence and Bitbucket, offering 70+ gadgets available.
An impressive talk about importance of visualization on each step of strategy delivery.
Coming to Jira from Trello
by Brittany Joiner, Innovation Engineer at Elastic
Transitioning from Trello to Jira can be overwhelming for certain users.
Or how to join the "big guys' club" and not experience an extremely painful switch.
Brittany, a Trello guru, tech and productivity expert, stepped into the shoes of those team managers, who were forced to leave the comfort of Trello for the versatility of Jira when they start working for larger organizations.
If we compare Trello and Jira, the concept behind the two platforms is similar in terms of task organization and management, board layout, some UI elements, customizable automations, and an excellent template library provided.
What may cause challenge in the beginning for Trello-to-Jira immigrants, is different naming for entities used in the two systems, as well as setup and starting times. Jira requires initial training and more initiation steps to get going.
However, the misconception that Jira is the tool only for developers is busted for a hundredth time.
Both tools offer outstanding filtering, reporting and dashboard views, but Jira filtering is much more customizable.
Out of clear benefits of Jira for a Trello adept, Brittany pinpointed:
- Advanced control settings that allow leaders to manage permissions and control team accesses to different boards/projects
- Access to documents and pages as part of functionality
- JQL search, inherent in Jira, and many more options to juggle data
The key message is to start the transition slowly, by using that common functionality for both Trello and Jira, and gradually master the pro-level Jira skills.
If you need help with basic Jira concepts and want to quickly kickstart using Jira with your teams, check out Jira How-To Video Series by Jexo.
Designed to help you learn how Jira works in an easy step-by-step manner, this Jira Guide for Beginners will help you get started in no time.
The Future of Work and What it Means for Jira
by Biro Florin, Co-Founder of Jexo & Cody Wooten, Channel Manager at Appfire
Jira is taking a bigger role in today’s world of work. How will work evolve and why is Jira poised to help teams stay ahead of the curve?
Key takeaways from Biro and Cody's forecasting chat.
What work trends have been evolving lately?
The changes Atlassian is going through is a reflection of the broader digital work market.
The Shift to cloud trend has evoked significant investments in making the cloud a hospitable place for customers.
Data residency is a bright example of recent releases Atlassian had. The ability to host data in a specific region is a popular topic when it comes to compliance for large organizations.
Upgrade Control: Unlike other SAAS platforms, Atlassian provides the ability to control when you see changes implemented to your software infrastructure. It has the same level of control you get with on-premise software, and it helps mitigate adoption issues and eliminate ad-hoc delays to important projects due to required training for employees.
Asynchronous collaboration, a fast-growing trend that provides for different time zones and work styles. It allows people to digest information better and give feedback in their time and on their terms. A more beneficial alternative to real-time meetings, it will free up much time spent on planning and scheduling.
How often do we hear "I barely check emails anymore, it’s best to message me on Slack"
What existing work practices might fade away in the future?
Traditional meetings. Meeting fatigue from the number of meetings has reached its peak lately.
However, companies try to lure people back to the office by creating coworking spaces. Offices start to look more like collaborative spaces with more kinetic and flexible meeting rooms.
Manual review processes. Sophisticated document management systems are going to remove the manual, tedious work of reviewing documents.
Manual time tracking. A major shift to ambient time tracking is anticipated, when the system detects when work is done and eliminates the need to track time manually.
What changes to how people work would be great to see?
Team performance in ever-evolving work environments should be achieved by focusing on wellbeing at work.
This can be pursued by moving companies’ perception of people from a transactional/resource perspective towards the acknowledgement that people at workspace are part of the living and breathing ecosystem.
Thus, the aspects to be conscious of should be team culture, healthy habits, personal development, and access to mentorship. Aiming for the quality of life, both at the workplace and beyond, we want to see as a standard.
Adopting agile for non-technical teams. Value-driven, adapting to change, and continuous feedback are characteristics of agile any team would benefit from, not just product development teams.
How will Jira and Atlassian look in the future?
Hopefully, we will see AI intelligently crafted to augment any team towards peak performance levels. We’ll see how much time and revenue can be saved by using Jira and AI to optimize the critical paths in projects, to better forecast and mitigate risks, and so on.
Atlassian has already started creating smart features. More machine learning algorithms, combined with Atlassian already acquiring some successful AI creators, will reinforce the trend.
Continuous product connection & integration and smooth product-to-product transition will allow teams to work with what they want, facilitating cross-department collaboration. This integration strategy and leadership in the work universe will ensure lower cost of acquisition and easier tool onboarding for teams.
For software vendors, Jira will be more platform-minded, offering more capabilities to build on their stack and providing more unique and flexible solutions for Enterprise customers.