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The Magic of Building a Connected Enterprise with Atlassian Tools - Part 1

December 7, 2023

Atlassian products are prevalent within the tech stack of thousands of companies around the globe, including 83% of the Fortune 500. If you're on the inside track regarding Atlassian's open architecture and comprehensive suite of integrated tools, you probably understand why.

If not, it's not surprising. For all the genius that's gone into Atlassian's many different products and how they all work together to help organizations deliver value across departments and teams, there isn't a lot of material out there that explains what's so great about it. Let's take a crack at it.

Atlassian Tools Aren't Just For Programmers Anymore

We'll spare you Jira's two-decade-old origin story, which has been covered many times. What's important to know about the term 'Jira' in this decade is that it's a work management engine and the brain behind products like Jira Software (product management for developers), Jira Service Management (ITSM software with service desks and request management), and Jira Work Management (a newer cloud-only product designed for non-technical teams).

Update: On May 1, 2024, Atlassian announced they would combine Jira Work Management and Jira Software to create a unified Jira platform where all teams can manage and complete work.  Read more in Atlassian's blog post about the next era of Jira.  


So, where’s the magic in all that for your organization, and why should you care?

The best way to explain Atlassian's secret sauce for team collaboration is to use an example of how their products work well together and help different departments do the same for Enterprise Service Management synergy.

Imagine a company, Example Inc., whose developers (be it software, hardware, or any kind of product development) are using Jira Software (JSWJira Software) to manage their development projects. That company also has a service team of agents that receive feature requests and bug/problem reports for those products using Jira Service Management (JSM Jira Service Management ). Because both teams are technically on the same platform (the 'Jira brain'), users from both teams can freely communicate with all the required context needed to address requests. 

Product developers in JSWJira Software can see and comment internally on the requests that agents on JSM Jira Service Management are getting, so those agents can provide updates and resolutions for customers more quickly. This happens for both teams of people in what they collectively consider 'Jira.' The interface and features for each department may vary according to their respective needs. Still, there's enough commonality and native compatibility between them to allow this kind of cross-team collaboration. This is just one of many, many examples of how Atlassian's ecosystem of tools works to break down silos between teams and help complete work with less friction.


It Doesn’t Stop There

Many of Atlassian's other products are similarly linked. Confluence, on the surface, is a corporate wiki where content creators can use prebuilt templates that make it easier for them to collaborate. If you dig a little deeper into this product, you'll find that Confluence can also be used to house and provide vital information for technical and non-technical teams in the exact place and time those people need it.

Let's go back to Example Inc., our fictitious organization that's leveraging JSWJira Software and JSM Jira Service Management. Making Confluence available to everyone at Example Inc. allows it to be used as a knowledge base for technical documentation along with everything else it does. Suppose Example Inc.'s JSM Jira Service Management agents are getting certain kinds of requests frequently. In that case, relevant knowledge base articles can be automatically served to them within the JSM Jira Service Management request they're working on to help them navigate a resolution for their customer.


What’s more, the same kind of magic can be deployed right on Example Inc's JSM Jira Service Management request portal, serving up solutions that customers can implement themselves so their agents aren't bogged down with problems that can be solved without them.


More Teams, More Collaboration: Jira Work Management

The third Jira product we mentioned earlier, Jira Work Management (JWMJira Work Management ), is essentially the same in its core functionality as JSWJira Software and JSM Jira Service Management. Teams work within a Project (Atlassian’s term for a container of related items) with epics, tasks, and configurable status options. Team members can reference the Project to see what state a given task is in at a glance. JWMJira Work Management differs from the other two Jiras mostly in its presentation of information, with additional UI tweaks that are more friendly to non-technical teams like Marketing or HR. If you'd like to see your team's tasks presented as a Kanban board, switch to that view. Would you prefer a spreadsheet view? It's got that too. Want to see when a task is due on the calendar? Click the calendar button. There's even a riff on the old Gantt chart model, showing timelines, issue dependencies, and more.


For those already leveraging Atlassian Cloud, JWMJira Work Management 's project templates are totally free to spin up and try out for users with an existing Jira Cloud license. This helps technical team members show off JWMJira Work Management 's features and capabilities to non-technical team members. Well played, Atlassian. Once non-technical team members get hooked, getting them onboard is as simple as adding enough additional user licenses.

So, where's the link between JWMJira Work Management for non-technical teams and the other Atlassian products? The answer is what Atlassian calls 'cross-project automation,' but you could also think of it as cross-product automation, which we cover in our follow-up article. See how these three versions of Jira leverage this magic to help the entire organization manage projects and complete work together.

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