Praecipio

Praecipio


Recent posts by Praecipio

5 min read

Praecipio’s Top Resources in 2022

By Praecipio on Jan 11, 2023 10:00:00 AM

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We’ve compiled a list of the most popular content determined by our readers from all of 2022. With recurring topics like Confluence Optimization, Atlassian Cloud Migration and Agile Transformation, it’s evident that 2022 was the year of getting things done. According to our research, the following resources are our most-loved and viewed throughout last year:

 

1. Whitepaper: The Connected Enterprise: Close the Gap Between Business Strategy & Execution

Together with the experts at Atlassian, we explore how Jira Align as a platform - when implemented well, can help to improve visibility and coordination so that organizations can adapt more quickly. We dive into how Jira Align provides seamless user experiences that leads to large-scale transformation success, the importance of properly configuring the platform, and how Jira Align helped enterprise clients uncover and resolve issues through real-time feedback loops and faster decision-making cycles.

 

2. Ebook: 6 Steps to a Successful Atlassian Cloud Migration

This eBook walks you through the steps that organizations should follow to plan, prepare for, and carry out an Atlassian Cloud migration. Learn what to expect before migrating, how to avoid common mistakes during the migration process, and how Praecipio used these six steps to guide Castlight Health through a successful Atlassian Cloud migration.

 

3. Ebook: How ITSM Drives Business Transformation


As customers continue to demand better products and always-on services from companies, ITSM sits at the center of meeting their expectations and delivering value faster. This eBook walks you through the ITSM practices that are essential for keeping up with today's fast-paced world and accelerating business transformation. Learn how to modernize your IT operations, facilitate collaboration, and deliver new services with agility by leveraging this customer-centric approach.

 

4. Webinar: Proving Value: How Business Leaders Use Jira Align to Connect Strategy and Execution

In this webinar we define the connection between strategy and execution from the Portfolio to the Program within Jira Align. We guide you from ideation through prioritization, planning for execution, commitment to the backlogs, and tracking progress, investment, and status. By the end of the webinar, Praecipio will demystify how Atlassian, and specifically Jira Align, can help you mature within Lean Portfolio Management.

 

5. Blog: How to Report in Confluence with the Jira Issues Macro

The Jira Issues Macro bridges the powerful, native link between Jira and Confluence. With it, you can report on Jira in Confluence seamlessly. This one macro can solve many of your reporting needs in Confluence. What's more, you can provide context around the data instead of just straight data. The Jira Macro is a great way to keep team members informed without navigating from Confluence to Jira and back again.

 

6. Blog: How to Solve Too Many Confluence Email Notifications

In this blog we walk you through all the ways to reconfigure your Confluence notification preferences so that your email doesn’t become clogged with notifications that are not important to you. Free up the space in your inbox and save yourself time later by updating your Confluence settings now using this blog as your guide.

 

7. Blog: Scrum Sprint Planning: How Long Should Sprints Be?

Teams new to scrum face lots of decisions – one critical decision for teams to perform efficiently is determining sprint length. Every team's needs are different, and there's rarely a one-size-fits-all approach to planning the length and organization of your sprint. While there are arguments for the varying lengths of sprints in scrum, this blog lays out some standard variables that you and your team should consider.

 

8. Blog: Affects Version vs. Fix Version in Jira: The Difference

Both the Affects version and Fix version are automatically created in Jira out of the box. They are related to Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC) projects and are the foundation of releases in Jira. While they are linked and work in tandem at some points, there is a best practice when using the versions inside of both of these fields. This blog defines what each field is and how to properly utilize them.

 

9. Blog: Best Practices for Jira Epics


Discover how to make the best use of your Jira instance with Jira Epics. We walk you through what an Epic is and the importance of knowing the various workflows and requirements uniquely available for Epics, how to use these features to get on track with your agile project management, and provide you with some basic do’s and dont’s centered around Epics.

 

10. Blog: Maximizing Jira Align's Value Prop to Deliver Value Faster


Jira Align is truly a unicorn product that brings teams and information closer together for improved visibility, faster decision-making, and greater agility. When configured correctly and in a way that meets the specific needs of the client, Jira Align helps organizations reach that sweet spot where they connect strategy to work execution and eventually achieve true enterprise transformation. In this blogpost, we dive into what makes Jira Align such a powerful tool and how organizations can maximize this enterprise platform to deliver value faster. 

 

We're on a mission to help teams execute on the work that matters most, through a customizable approach built on Enterprise Agility, Cloud, App Dev, Dev Ops, and the powerful Atlassian platform and beyond, we can help you GET IT DONE, by removing the systems-level obstacles preventing you from DOING. We hope this list inspires you to take the next step in achieving your business goals. Should you need assistance our team of experts is here to help.

We’re so excited to begin creating more helpful resources this year to help you continue to drive your business forward and add value to your organization’s digital infrastructure. 

Welcome 2023; let’s get things done!



Topics: jira scaled-agile confluence optimization jira-align agile atlassian-cloud
2 min read

Atlassian’s Jira Service Management Named Industry Leader By Gartner

By Praecipio on Jan 9, 2023 11:33:00 AM

802x402 - Blog Featured (7)In their 2022 report, Gartner named Atlassian’s ITSM platform, Jira Service Management or JSM, as a leader in their Magic Quadrant for ITSM. Gartner releases its influential reports each year using qualitative data to evaluate various tools and systems and help business leaders make the right decisions when they invest in platforms. 

Jira Service Management is the fastest-growing ITSM product for the second year in a row, with over 45,000 customers leveraging the platform to power their organizations’ internal and external service delivery. The reason for such tremendous growth in customers comes down to Atlassian’s substantial investments in the ITSM space – especially their recent acquisitions of tools like Insight, OpsGenie, ProForma, and Halp – making JSM a central hub for requests, incident reports, configuration, and asset management. 

Gartner Magic Quadrant Screenshot

Gartner praises Jira Service Management and Atlassian for their commitment to continued enhancements and expansion of platform capabilities, as well as their dedication to research and development to continuously improve their platforms and better support customer needs.

What does this mean for you?

In today's fast-paced business world, teams everywhere are experiencing growing pains due to disparate tools and delayed decision-making. Jira Service Management was designed to help organizations of all sizes across all industries deliver value fast, make work visible, and connect technical and operations teams.  

From the world’s largest Beverage and Brewing Corporation to a local Public Utilities Company, Praecipio has helped organizations improve collaboration and cultivate a customer-centric mindset among service teams with JSM. As an Atlassian Platinum Solution provider, we can help you get the most out of Jira Service Management by customizing and integrating JSM tools with your existing software and processes. We’ll help you keep your business moving forward and allow you to focus on the work that matters most. 

Read the Gartner Report 

Ready to learn more about JSM? Explore our eBook, Unlocking Enterprise Service Management with the Atlassian Platform or reach out for a technical assessment.

Topics: atlassian itsm jira-service-management
9 min read

8 Ways to Know If Your Organization Is Ready for Jira Align

By Praecipio on Jan 6, 2023 2:34:57 PM

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Plus 3 Ways Agile Coaches Can Help Businesses Close Their Readiness Gaps 

Almost every organization struggles to some degree with connecting strategy to execution–only 3% of companies say they have done it “very successfully.” 

Something gets lost in translation when the c-suite tries to communicate an organization’s strategy to delivery teams, and then lost again when delivery teams try to communicate progress back up to the c-suite. In fact, in a survey by Harvard Business Review researchers found that only “55% of middle managers can name even one of their company’s top five priorities.” 

The pain points exist in three main areas across a company’s people, process, and technology: Lack of visibility, lack of coordination, and an inability to adapt. 

To help improve all three of those pain points, many teams consider technology like Jira Align, which promises to “connect your business strategy to technical execution.” 

Jira Align is definitely not plug and play, and is not appropriate for every organization. So, how do you decide if your organization is ready for a platform like Jira Align? And how can you, as an agile coach or transformation office team member, begin to close the gaps in order to prepare the organization (and yourself) for this technology?

Let’s find out by looking at eight ways to know if your organization is ready for Jira Align.

Success with Jira Align Requires Agile Leadership

Historically, (including in the most recent State of Agile Report and State of Agile Coaching Report), the main blocker for an agile organization is leadership. So it is no surprise that the first two indicators that a company is ready to adopt Jira Align are also leadership focused.

  1. A c-level leadership team with a clear vision for an agile transformation is by far the top indicator that a business is ready for Jira Align. Jira Align can’t put an organization on a path of agile transformation, it can only illuminate the path that the business is already on.

  2. Many organizations have an executive sponsor who believes in the agile transformation and offers support. To be ready for Jira Align, your business needs an executive champion.

    What’s the difference between an executive champion and an executive sponsor? The executive champion takes an active leadership role in a Jira Align implementation and the concurrent agile transformation, and is positioned high enough in the organization to make decisions.

The leadership team is the first and most obvious place for you, as an agile coach or implementation lead, to begin to close the readiness gaps for your organization. Work with the c-suite to explain what agile is, how it affects their work, and their role in a successful agile transformation. 

Ask leadership to appoint an executive champion, perhaps a Chief Transformation Officer, who has real authority, can dedicate time, and will build a team to support the change effort.

To help educate others about the need for Jira Align, work with a Jira Align partner to hold a workshop with the organization’s leaders. In a few hours, a skilled Jira Align expert can demonstrate some of the most glaring problems separating strategy from execution, and talk through ways to close those gaps. 

Often, seeing the scope of a problem first-hand–and how the platform can give visibility to that problem–gives leadership much more energy around investing in agile transformation with Jira Align as the technology platform solution.

Success with Jira Align Requires an Investment in Change  

Forrester Consulting’s Total Economic Impact study found that Jira Align has helped customers achieve up to 340% ROI, so it’s clearly worth the investment. But beyond the tool-related investment costs, the organization has to be willing to invest in change, and to have the patience to go through the associated growing pains. 

Indicators three through five, then, are all about an organization’s commitment to change. 

  1. Investing in Jira Align is as much an investment in changing the mindset of the organization as it is an investment in technology. The funding for training and coaching (both for agile-at-scale frameworks like SAFe® and in Jira Align itself) should be on par with a transformation. Without training and coaching, businesses will not get the desired results from Jira Align.

  2. The organization must be willing not only to fund the change, they have to also have active change management in place to embrace that change. Successfully implementing Jira Align requires significant shifts in organizational thinking and processes. This will result in significant discomfort across the organization as process changes and mindset shifts are in progress. Working through that discomfort is painful, but ultimately worth it.

  3. Jira Align is designed to align teams throughout the organization. Doing this will likely require teams to change the way they work and the tools they use for that work to standardize data and reporting. Complying with standards will take not only strong change management, but also strong coaching on the why behind the changes.
Here’s the second place where you, as an agile transformation coach, can help prepare the organization for what’s coming. Start with why. Give teams a solid understanding of the problem, and of how pivoting  to a standard tool or dataset, can yield benefits not just for the organization, but for the team.

 

The whitepaper The Connected Enterprise: Close the Gap Between Strategy and Execution presents some valuable statistics and a model case study to help showcase how much more an organization benefits when its teams know they are building the right things, at the right time, for the right people.

Hold informational sessions such as lunch-and-learn programs around how much more autonomy and creativity teams will have when leadership can see in real time how the work they are doing is related to the strategy. Explore a quick demo of Jira Align’s “why” button, which when properly configured provides all of the context behind each feature, epic, and theme from inside Jira Software, including the business case behind an item’s priority.

Agile Coach PMI Blog Image

Source: https://www.atlassian.com/blog/jira-align/ask-why-to-unlock-organizational-change

If it does not already exist, create a transformation office. Once formed, the transformation teams can begin meeting monthly or quarterly to gauge progress, remove impediments, formalize processes.

Scaling is another coaching opportunity. Introduce teams to agile at scale within their current context.  Discuss how small but impactful changes at the team level can help create standardized metrics that add visibility not only to the c-suite but between teams as well. This automated visibility can eventually expose and decrease dependencies between teams, meaning less time spent in meetings and more time spent creating and delivering value.

Other agile coaching opportunities may include: formalized ways to prioritize programs to achieve strategic goals (e.g., WSJF) and/or lean portfolio management.

Success with Jira Align Requires Realistic Expectations

Before going all in with Jira Align, it’s important to set realistic expectations not only about what the platform does and does not do, but about how long it will take, and how much technical expertise will be required to realize all of its benefits. That brings us to the last three indicators that an organization is ready for Jira Align:

  1. To be successful with Jira Align, the organization and its leadership first must understand that Jira Align is not a reporting system. Jira Align is a living system. It is an enterprise agile transformation platform designed to enable collaboration at all levels, every single day. Sure, it has a powerful reporting component. But the greatest value enabling mindset transformation and value delivery are in the live views.

  2. Implementing Jira Align takes time. An initial pilot at the program (team of teams) level can be implemented within 3 months for a single program. A full implementation modeling the firm from Enterprise/Strategy to Team levels will take at least 12 months.

    Internalizing the related mindset, processes, and practices will take as long as a typical successful agile-at-scale transformation:18 - 36 months.

  3. Last but not least, the organization will need to bring in training and technical expertise. For Jira Align to work as intended, it must interface smoothly with team-level tools. That’s why it’s critical for the organization to have competent Jira or Azure DevOps (ADO) admins or reliable, dedicated Modern Service Management that can perform that function. In addition, organizations will need dedicated technical expertise to support the configuration and integration into the existing technical ecosystem.

Here’s the third and final place where agile transformation coaches can really dig in and use Jira Align for their own benefit as well as the organization’s benefit. Learn Jira Align well enough to use its built-in feedback loops to coach teams, measure the organization's agile transformation progress, and report on return on investment.

You’ve likely had to learn tools before to support and help teams: from Trello to Miro to Jira Software. Jira Align is no different. What is different, though, is how you can use the live views and reporting metrics inside Jira Align to measure your own success in enabling the organizational transformation.  

You can learn about features such as framework maps that let you map framework implementation activity to the Jira Align implementation, resulting in a visual map of the organization’s progress. Check out a process step Kanban board for all the teams’ work items, from stories to features to epics to themes. View and review the Work Tree using multiple filters such as the Strategy View, Top-Down View from Portfolio, or Bottom-Up from Story. 

Already, 14% of respondents in the 2022 State of Agile Report report using Jira Align. As that number increases, coaches will need to quickly interpret teams’ progress and areas for improvement as easily as they do today, but within Jira Align. Knowing Jira Align provides a competitive advantage within the industry. 

Get Ready for Jira Align

As more and more organizations begin to apply agility outside of just software teams, the need for technology like Jira Align is only going to increase. About half of State of Agile survey respondents say they apply agile practices to the entire application delivery lifecycle. And two-thirds are using Atlassian’s Jira to manage their agile projects already.

Jira Align helps to solve so many problems organizations face at scale, including real-time visibility, aligning every team to strategy, and optimizing for customer value. And, it claims to be the only platform that lets organizations implement and extend any framework at scale, including hybrid and custom frameworks.

It won’t be long before your organization is asking to implement Jira Align. Start getting them–and you–ready today.

Topics: atlassian scaled-agile scalability jira-align agile enterprise-agility
6 min read

Cloud the New Frontier

By Praecipio on Oct 17, 2022 10:00:00 AM

 

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The NIST Definition of Cloud Computing is "a model for enabling ubiquitous, convenient, on-demand network access to a shared pool of configurable computing resources (e.g., networks, servers, storage, applications, and services) that can be rapidly provisioned and released with minimal management effort or service provider interaction."

Is your cloud a place where platforms of services share a set of common security and monitoring tools linked to a data lake that safely and compliantly stores information such that you can rapidly create and introduce a new feature or service? If yes, welcome to the digital cloud age. If not, you need to reconsider where you are on your journey and accelerate the path to cloud and digital. While hybrid strategies will exist for the next few years, Gartner believes that by 2025, most organizations will operate out of the cloud with limited personal capacity.

The cost of maintaining your infrastructure is becoming prohibitive, but more importantly, no longer making sense. Where do you want your financial resources allocated: keeping the lights on or generating innovation? The COVID pandemic has forced your customers and staff to rely on internet-based services. SaaS and the cloud are now the only viable technology strategy. The way you work should no longer be underpinned by software you write, but instead provisioned by trusted partners (Cloud Service Providers – CSP). The only exception is for unique products associated with your organization, but even then, these should be supported by the cloud. To read about some frequently asked cloud migration questions and our expert advice, check out this eBook.

 

Cloud challenges and opportunities

A useful analogy is thinking of your migration as a journey to a new land. You will encounter a variety of obstacles along the way, but when you arrive, the benefits will more than reimburse your effort. 

Your journey must adopt these five principles to be successful:

    • Relentless customer and staff usage focus with frequent feedback
    • Never forget that continuity and sustainability of the business is a daily requirement (not an annual test)
    • The shiny tools are not the solution. The culture of technology is what leadership must embrace and portray
    • Data is king, and all of your design-thinking must be on how to obtain information safely that leads to the creation of quality and secure services
    • Agility is fact-based decision-making on a real-time basis, which can now be performed by AI and cloud services

Cloud is a subscription-based model, so you must understand how and when you will be charged. Think of a mobile phone. If used in your locality, it is inexpensive but utilized elsewhere, and you will get an unpleasant surprise at the end of the month. In order to be more cost-effective, consider these questions: 

    • Should I rewrite the applications, or is there benefit to lift and shift them?
    • If lift and shift, will this result in technical debt shortly?
    • Should we stop supporting our custom-built applications and instead use SaaS (cloud and internet)?
    • Do we have the skills to move to the cloud, and if not, how do we obtain them? Partnering with a CSP is a possibility, but we also want to avoid vendor lock-in.

It is easy for cloud initiatives to fail as the organization rushes towards automation and references architecture models without considering the impact on services, data flows, and security. You must learn how to take advantage of your CSP optimization offerings. Pilot, test, assess, understand, revise, and complete the move is the flow must be encouraged in small but rapid steps.

Software is the tool that underpins the way you work and services a customer or member of staff. Therefore, moving to the cloud does not begin with assessing what applications are in use but instead with how you want to work to take advantage of digital services. When you look at your applications, you can lose the ones that no longer fit with your future and apply the savings to cloud provisioning and skill training. 

Your new culture requires technology skills across all levels to remain in business. Your move to the cloud will impact budgeting, funding, procurement, HR, marketing, and other processes. CSP's and coaches can help you begin your journey acting as guides to highlight how to circumvent obstacles or take advantage of shared services. No single CSP will provide everything you want, so ensure that your strategy is flexible enough that you can blend their capabilities with your requirements. 

Currently, your applications probably do not provide you with real-time information on usage, cost, demand, and issues. Cloud services, no matter the source, all give this ability, which allows you to receive notifications that are customer and technology relevant, enabling rapid scaling to occur. Consider the news stories on organizations that have not planned for customer demand and therefore crumble under requests' weight. You need to scale up and down as necessary to service your customers and staff.

In your current infrastructure environment, you would never consider turning anything off until it was needed. Cloud finds this action expected: the development environment not in use, so turn it off. Even completely disassemble and reconstruct it when needed at the push of a button. Think of the savings as you consider the new ways of using cloud services.

Applications are no longer disparate pieces of code but instead modules of software that can be used by various users. Your services need to be blended such that a platform in the cloud can deliver them. Instead of hundreds of applications, think of 20-30 platforms (services or products) that your staff and customers need.  Build them with a mix of SaaS and your own software based in the cloud facilitated by APIs, service catalogs, microservices, and containers. Those that adopt a platform strategy see savings 30-40% faster than those that move applications in other manners.

The cost of cloud is not in what you place into it but instead is priced on the way you utilize data. Your information is the essential asset after your employees in your organization. Careful consideration on what data you have, you need, how it is shared when it is archived, and how long, the rapidity of retrieval and all compliance rules must be part of your information cloud planning. Get it wrong, and you might find your data in a location that breaches local government rules resulting in a hefty fine. 

DevSecOps is the data and platform design thinking that makes the cloud safe. Using zero-trust platforms ensure the best protection and cost model. Your security practices are now software modules embedded in your platforms to ensure that compliance is being met at all times. Test this rigorously and frequently. Trust nothing in your software until it passes these tests. Only by automating work and data flow wrapped around secure software can you keep your organization and customers safe. Cyber first thinking is mandatory to avoid hackers, data loss, and compliance breaches.

Cloud scalability is a push button or automated. The good news is then that what you need can be provisioned when you want it. The bad news is that this capability is not free. Think carefully as to how and when scalability will be allowed. The same goes with business continuity, whereby an outage can trigger the use of another location within seconds. This is not a given CSP service, and you must carefully plan and test (often) for its use.

Cloud encourages collaboration across your management team to work together to achieve the advantages of this technology. Cloud is no longer solely IT's domain, instead being an organization commodity for business product-platform owners. As such, avoid misuse with guardrail type governance. Avoid vendor lock-in by ensuring that your products can be quickly migrated to another CSP if required. Remove the human middleware where possible in your processes and rely on abstracted automation.

Conclusion

Moving to the cloud is a complicated journey. Learning from a cloud expert like Praecipio can help ease that complication and turn it into a flexible, tailored approach to your migration. We create custom migration plans to fit your organization's size so you can focus on the work that matters most. If you're looking to stay agile, deliver exceptional customer experiences and keep up with today's digital business infrastructure, drop us a line and jumpstart your Atlassian cloud migration.

Topics: cloud atlassian-cloud cloud migration
3 min read

Beyond ESM: The Enablement of Digital Workflows

By Praecipio on Oct 6, 2022 11:30:00 AM

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One of the biggest shifts in IT service management (ITSM) over the last half-decade has been the push for Enterprise Service Management (ESM), where proven ITSM capabilities are extended to other parts of the organization to improve operations and outcomes. You can read more about the benefits of enterprise service management here.

There have undeniably been great successes in many ESM strategies to date. That said, there’s one thing still holding it back — its name.

What’s wrong with “enterprise service management”?

The name makes sense, right? Right!

Well…

To a certain point, at least.

ESM is the use of ITSM capabilities across the enterprise, so “enterprise service management” is an easy sell to those who know what it means. However, that group may be smaller than some might expect, which is where the pushback starts.

Enterprise service management is unknown outside of IT

“Enterprise” is, simply put, an IT-way to refer to the organization as a whole. It’s not something that has caught on quite as much in all other departments, though, especially those where “enterprise” already has a separate, distinct meaning. This can make pitching ESM tough, as its success hinges on other business functions buying into it.

Ultimately, the business functions that are seeking help to improve their operations and outcomes aren’t looking for “enterprise” service management. Instead, they’re looking for digital transformation and a quick-and-easy way to introduce much-needed digital workflows to their operations.

An individual in human resources (HR) may not have read or heard about HR’s need for “ESM”. What they will have been subject to, though, is a constant push to “digitally transform HR operations” and that “new ways of working demand digital workflows.” This messaging is most likely coming from both external and internal sources, too, meaning the recipient is often very familiar with it. 

This is why it’s time to talk to potential customers of ESM in the language that they’re expecting — and wanting — to hear.

Let’s not underestimate the critical business need for digital workflows

Your organization and its many business functions, having so far weathered the storm of the global pandemic (and its commercial and operational impact), are likely looking for a solution to support new ways of working. For many, the need for this solution has doubtlessly been accelerated by now-distributed, rather than centrally-located, employees and teams.

For any business function needing help with issues or opportunities such as:

  • The inefficiencies and failures of its manual operations
  • Missing enablement elements such as self-help tools and knowledge management
  • The workflow and working issues caused by remote working
  • The lack of insight into demand, performance, service quality, and outcome delivery.

It’s time to think beyond “enterprise service management” and speak about the ready-made solutions to these needs using terms that non-IT personnel will know and understand.

These business functions, teams, and employees all need the power of digital workflows and everything that can come with them. Things like rules-based and AI-assisted automation, self-service catalogs and chatbots, knowledge management, notifications and alerts, platform-based bespoke workflow/app creation, and other capabilities that are readily available and extensible in modern ITSM tools will help to vault your functions and teams to the level needed — if you can get each to buy in. Check out this blog to learn how to create buy-in with teams in other departments.

Let’s talk about enabling digital workflows going forward

None of this diminishes the opportunity and power of “ESM” — it just comes down to how the solution is sold. It’s time to start packaging it as “digital workflows” or “digital enablement” instead, selling the power of ESM to other business functions using the language they expect (and perhaps want and need). This will ultimately be an easier way of helping each improve their operations and outcomes. Check out this eBook to learn about ESM use cases for diverse business teams including HR, Legal, Operations, Marketing, and Sales.

If your organization and its business functions need fast access to flexible digital workflows, then let's connect.

Topics: workflows itsm digital-transformation enterprise service management
6 min read

How Atlassian Cloud Enables Organizations To Scale ITSM Practices

By Praecipio on Sep 8, 2022 10:00:00 AM

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Cloud-based ITSM use is rapidly becoming prevalent across several different industries. The global cloud ITSM market is expected to increase with an annual growth rate of 22.3 percent between 2022 and 2030.

Why is this?

Choosing a cloud-based solution for your ITSM strategy can significantly increase the speed of your IT service delivery and save you money by reducing admin costs. But what works for a small organization can quickly fall apart when presented with the challenges of big-scale growth and the impact scaling has on your resources. 

To help you scale successfully, Atlassian Cloud offers features that enable you to extend your ITSM practices across different teams in your enterprise. 

Scaling ITSM with Atlassian Cloud

Atlassian Cloud allows you to scale IT Service Management (ITSM) seamlessly with features that help your organization overcome the barriers and difficulties of introducing new tools, services, and processes.

Uptime 

With ITSM, your entire planning, development, and release processes are grounded in customer satisfaction. If you experience an outage or other downtime, the ITSM goal of serving your customers well isn’t met. Not only is this disappointing and frustrating to your end-user, but it can result in poor business reviews, a loss of customers, and high costs.

As your business grows, your ITSM processes will need to grow with you. Changing your process and the tools can cause downtime. Atlassian Cloud adheres to strict Service Level Agreements (99.90 percent uptime for Premium products and 99.95 percent for Enterprise), which means that your systems will be available nearly 24/7, helping prevent any negative impact on your user experience. 

Security 

Scaling your ITSM practices enables you to consistently — and satisfactorily — meet your customers’ needs. However, rapidly expanding your services and ITSM can have some security risks.

Maintaining secure data access is one challenge your organization can face while scaling. Some strict security measures can be neglected during this transition, making your network vulnerable.

How do you stay on top of these security challenges while scaling your ITSM? 

Atlassian Cloud handles compliance on your behalf, minimizing internal resources spent planning and executing compliance roadmaps and working with auditors. Atlassian Cloud also offers data residency, which enables you to choose where your in-scope product data resides for Jira, JSM, and Confluence. You can choose whether you’d like to host your data in a defined geographic location or globally. Data residency allows you to keep your data secure and meet compliance requirements that accompany highly-regulated industries.

Additionally, Atlassian Cloud provides user provisioning and de-provisioning, reducing the risk of information breaches. Based on the principle of least privilege (PoLP), user provisioning and de-provisioning allow you to control user access to your resources tightly. Additionally, de-provisioning automatically removes user access for users that leave the company, eliminating the security risks that former employees — especially disgruntled ones — can pose.

Finally, Atlassian Cloud implements thorough security measures and constantly monitors for issues related to your cloud infrastructure. If any issues are detected, Atlassian handles these potential threats before they cause damage to your cloud resources and app functionality.

And, because Atlassian Cloud is backed by multi-level redundancy, your system won’t go down while Atlassian handles any unexpected issues.

Flexibility 

As your business grows, you’ll adopt new features, tools, and perhaps more Atlassian products to your stack. With this growth, you’ll also need to extend your ITSM principles across different teams without worrying about hardware-related complications. 

Atlassian Cloud provides a comprehensive stack of Atlassian products that you can implement in ways that align with the capabilities and needs of your organization.

Furthermore, with Jira, you have access to flexible application and project types so you can manage projects in the best way for your teams. Additionally, Atlassian Cloud allows you to upgrade and downgrade resources depending on your business needs. 

Atlassian Cloud Suite of ITSM Tools and Your ESM Strategy 

Atlassian Cloud’s suite of ITSM tools helps your organization improve your Enterprise Service Management (ESM) strategy by supporting core ITSM principles. Some of its features include the following.

Incident Management 

In developing your ESM strategy, your organization must include plans or processes for responding to service disruption resulting from unplanned events and restoring the services to normal. To do this, ITSM teams rely on multiple applications and tools to track, monitor, resolve and even anticipate incidents. 

To keep up with the velocity of today’s incident management, the Cloud versions of Jira Service Management (JSM) and Jira Service Desk place all these functions in one place, enabling your ITSM team to have a transparent and collaborative response to incidents. With this, you can track and manage incidents from the incident report to its resolution in real-time and resume normal operation with the least possible hindrance.

Asset Management and Configuration

One key aspect you need to consider in your ESM strategy is Asset Management and Configuration. You can store hardware assets, software licenses, facility assets, and more using JSM’s cloud-based asset management and configuration services.

Jira Service Management Cloud provides a centralized asset database, making searching for asset and resource information less stressful.

Multiple members of your ITSM team can access assets and asset information from any device with an Internet connection — and in any location — without error or conflicting information. It also synchronizes your asset database across all your organization’s branch offices in real-time, reducing or eliminating asset loss.   

Service Delivery 

To provide an effective service to your end-user, you need to identify customers’ needs and any issues that arise. A quality ticketing/response system improves your service delivery through increased awareness and ability to triage, enhancing visibility into potential issues.

With JSM, your teams can receive incoming issues and requests from customers and team members. This enables you to better prioritize and understand the scope of issues and service requests so you can first address time-sensitive requests.  

Additionally, you can configure JSM to direct tickets to the appropriate ITSM team automatically. With this, the appropriate team can address the customer’s request and escalate issues if further assistance is required to address customer requests — while skipping the process of determining who should handle the ticket.

Conclusion 

Operating in Atlassian Cloud enables your organization to expand ITSM capabilities throughout your entire organization. 

While scaling your ITSM practices may seem daunting, it doesn’t have to be with proper guidance and support. Praecipio Consulting, an Atlassian Platinum Solution Partner, can help you take the guesswork out of scaling ITSM. From developing a solid ESM strategy to tips on how to increase efficiency and eliminate downtime, Praecipio Consulting is here to help. Contact Praecipio Consulting today to start scaling your ITSM practices with Atlassian Cloud.

Topics: scalability security incident-management itsm atlassian-cloud
7 min read

Cloud Versus Data Center: Exploring Use Cases For Both Solutions

By Praecipio on Sep 2, 2022 10:00:00 AM

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Atlassian offers many products to help you increase your productivity, including Atlassian Cloud and Atlassian Data Center. Though both Atlassian Cloud and Atlassian Data Center give you access to a full stack of Atlassian tools, they serve different purposes depending on the needs of your organization.

 Atlassian Cloud is a managed and hosted solution, meaning Atlassian handles all required infrastructure and hardware for you. By maintaining and hosting your infrastructure for you, Atlassian Cloud helps you innovate faster with less management required.

Atlassian Data Center, in contrast, requires a self-hosted environment, meaning you have an on-premise center that you maintain, upgrade, and secure. Although you have to perform these management tasks yourself, Atlassian Data Center promotes flexibility and enables you to build a custom-tailored solution.

Both versions of the Atlassian suite include core applications like Jira SoftwareJira Service ManagementConfluence, and Bitbucket. However, some applications like Trello and Opsgenie are available with Atlassian Cloud only, while others, like Bamboo and Crowd, are only available in Atlassian Data Center.  

Whether Atlassian Cloud or Atlassian Data Center is the best choice for your organization depends on your use case. This article highlights use cases where Atlassian Cloud or Atlassian Data Center would serve you better, helping you decide between Atlassian Cloud and Atlassian Data Center.

Atlassian Cloud Versus Atlassian Data Center: Use Cases

To understand the differences between Atlassian Cloud and Atlassian Data Center, you can compare the features, accompanying stack of Atlassian tools, and infrastructure management requirements for each solution. However, it’s also helpful to compare the use cases for each solution and understand how their capabilities and limitations match up to your organization’s business goals. 

 

Atlassian Cloud

 

Global Product Teams

Globally-distributed product teams need tools that enable collaboration without adding friction. Atlassian Cloud tools like Jira and Confluence let remote teams brainstorm, plan, and track the development of new product features from anywhere, on any device, without requiring anyone to sign into a company VPN to use on-premises tools.  

Security and Governance

Integration with Atlassian Access means Atlassian Cloud apps work seamlessly with your existing single sign-on (SSO) and identity management infrastructure. Atlassian Cloud is compliant with strict regulations like PCI DSS, SOC 3, and GDPR, so you can spend more time being productive and less time worrying about compliance and governance.

Reliability

Global enterprises need tools that work 24 hours a day because downtime is expensive. Atlassian Cloud offers service level agreements (SLAs) up to 99.95 percent — meaning your productivity apps are always available when needed. 

Looking to Leverage Cloud-Only Atlassian Tools

Some Atlassian tools are only available in Atlassian Cloud, such as: 

  • Trello for lightweight project planning and collaboration
  • Opsgenie for IT incident response and on-call management

 

If applications like these are essential parts of your organization’s workflows, Atlassian Cloud is an ideal choice.

 

Atlassian Data Center

 

Requiring More Infrastructure and Environment Control

Large, established teams that require more control over their infrastructure than Cloud offers can use Atlassian Data Center. While Atlassian Cloud offers excellent flexibility, Atlassian Data Center lets you control how and where you run your applications. Atlassian Data Center is the ideal choice if you require a traditional on-premises deployment or want to deploy to a private cloud. 

Additionally, if you’re working in an industry that requires a high level of control and security, like a government agency or financial institution, using Atlassian Data Center would be an ideal solution because it gives you tighter environmental control and customizability to maintain security and meet regulatory conditions.  

Retaining Customizations Over Time

Atlassian Data Center is the best choice if your teams are moving from previous versions of Jira Software or Confluence and you want to retain customizations built into your products over time. Many long-time users of Atlassian applications have built deep integrations between these apps and internal line-of-business systems. Making those integrations work with Atlassian Cloud may range from difficult to impossible.

Adding New Customizations

Organizations looking for more customization options to meet their exact business needs without sacrificing performance or security are better-suited to Atlassian Data Center. Although Atlassian Cloud offers many integration points via APIs, on-premises Atlassian deployments are easier to integrate deeply with the rest of your enterprise’s applications. 

Needing to Meet Compliance Criteria

Organizations with strict compliance and regulatory requirements may not be met by Atlassian Cloud’s capabilities (though note that Cloud does support SOC2, SOC3, and PCI DSS). 

 

With Atlassian Data Center, you are fully responsible for managing your system’s security and ensuring it stays compliant with industry regulations. This means additional work for your organization, but that application security and compliance are as strict as you need.

Thinking Long-Term About a Cloud-first Future

Migrating to the cloud offers notable long-term benefits, including server savings of 30 percent, which is due to right-sizing servers, IT cost savings of 20 percent, and giving your organization a competitive edge by enabling staff to spend more time on strategic, business development tasks and less time on infrastructure maintenance and planning. These benefits have led to widespread cloud adoption, with Gartner predicting that more than 50 percent of IT spending will shift to the cloud by 2025.

Although you can use Atlassian tools in your data center, migrating to Atlassian Cloud offers additional benefits that help future-proof your business and enable you to get the most out of Atlassian tools, including: 

  • Improved team collaboration and easier access to Atlassian experts if you need support, training, or mentoring.
  • Reduced IT resource costs associated with maintaining your in-house infrastructure.
  • Better scalability to meet peak demands without downtime; data centers cannot be easily scaled vertically like SaaS.
  • Get faster time to value with Atlassian’s latest apps, features, and integrations. You can use the newest apps and features as soon as they are available rather than waiting for an upgrade cycle.
  • Moving your Data Center products to Cloud means you can take advantage of Atlassian’s SaaS-only tools.  

 

Conclusion

Choosing between Atlassian Cloud and Atlassian Data Center is not always a clear-cut decision. It’s important to fully understand what you’re looking to achieve by using an on-premise or Cloud-based solution and what tools each solution offers to help you meet your goal.

Migrating to Atlassian Cloud reduces costs, minimizes maintenance times, and enables you to develop faster. However, performing a migration can be challenging, especially if you’re not starting with a fresh instance. You must migrate your users, apps, and data, meaning the chances of downtime and overall complexity are high. Similarly, when working with Atlassian Data Center, you take on significant maintenance, security, and configuration responsibilities. Though this independence provides you with more control over your instance, it also means you don’t have direct support from Atlassian if there are any problems with your infrastructure.

Fortunately, you’re not alone. Praecipio is an Atlassian Platinum Solution Partner, and we’re ready to help you select — and implement — the best Atlassian solution for your enterprise. Contact Praecipio to help guide you through the journey of a successful migration to Atlassian Cloud or Atlassian Data Center.

 

Topics: reliability security cloud compliance data-center atlassian-cloud
4 min read

Enterprise Service Management Platforms: Why There’s No One-Size-Fits-All Solution

By Praecipio on Aug 30, 2022 10:00:00 AM

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Enterprise Service Management (ESM) demonstrates how broadly applicable the processes and frameworks behind service management are. Although the principles were initially developed for IT, the scope of service management has widened considerably. 

The right ESM implementation should further business goals, enhance customer experience, and even improve employee satisfaction. A survey of 500 C-Suite professionals found that 72 percent of business leaders felt that cross-department collaboration benefits employee engagement and experience. With ESM tools reducing silos within organizations and creating a collaborative ecosystem of tools and workflows, organizations have a unique opportunity to improve their operations holistically. 

What a Successful ESM Implementation Looks Like

To create an effective ESM strategy, you first need to look at your existing processes to determine what should be refined. Tools from the Atlassian platform can help you achieve your goals of implementing ESM best practices, whether you’re trying to improve the efficiency of a single department by providing a modern service desk or improve the collaborative capacity of the entire enterprise through communication and project management tools. The combination of ESM principles and Atlassian tools can help you achieve your business goals.

Moving Into the Future 

For example, when one of the world’s largest legal and business news providers turned to Praecipio Consulting to help them remove silos in their organization and transition from outdated tools and antiquated workflows. By implementing the full Atlassian platform, this organization standardized tools and practices across teams and projects, gained better performance insights, and provided developers with integration to code repositories. 

With the help of a Jira and Confluence, this organization defined standardized processes that also accounted for the unique workflow needs of different teams. Praecipio Consulting leveraged Jira’s custom fields to meet the needs of individual workflows while also providing a standard for cross-project collaboration that keeps everyone on the same page.

From Ideation to Execution with ESM 

When world-famous shoemaker Crocs sought to improve its innovation workflows, they turned to Jira Service Management. Praecipio Consulting helped Crocs replace their outdated method of creating tickets via Google Forms by implementing  Jira Service Management (JSM), which automatically routed incoming innovation ideas and bug reports to the appropriate channels based on the request type. 

Making the change to Jira Service Management enabled teams responsible for evaluating suggestions and implementing changes to quickly take a holistic view of new ideas via a simplified Jira interface. It removed the need to manually assign tickets and enabled employees to focus on more high-priority activities. Simultaneously, project managers were able to track tickets and gain valuable insights into workflows quickly.

Unique Challenges Demand Unique Solutions

When a major enterprise in the digital payments space decided to make the switch from their legacy Customer Relationship Management (CRM) platform to a modern ITSM solution, some major challenges involving their operations were brought to light. With over 4,000 employees working in  34 countries and handling $14 trillion in transactions per day, this organization required a robust tool capable of operating on a massive scale and across diverse business teams — all while still being able to support the unique nuances of individual workflows.

They decided to partner with Praecipio Consulting to guide them through the process of implementing ESM strategies. Our team quickly identified that the organization lacked consistency across different teams since each of them had a unique way of working. To address this challenge, we implemented ESM best practices in combination with dynamic Atlassian like Jira, Confluence, and Jira Service Management. This enabled all departments standardize workflows, templates, data reporting, and processes, which improved service delivery across the enterprise.

We also worked closely with different teams to understand the unique needs of their workflows and created distinct custom fields and data reporting methodologies tailored to each department. Additionally, Praecipio Consulting assisted with establishing a universal language to improve interdepartmental collaboration and closely align teams with overall business goals.

After completing the ESM implementation, the worldwide leading enterprise experienced simplified workflows and operational efficiency across all departments, saving them $4 million in licensing fees year-over-year.

What Can ESM Do for Your Organization?

Curious about how your organization could benefit from an ESM implementation? Contact Praecipio today to learn more about how we could support your business with a custom ESM deployment. 

Topics: jira atlassian confluence jira-service-management enterprise service management
3 min read

Why ESM Should Be Part Of Your Business Strategy

By Praecipio on Aug 22, 2022 10:00:00 AM

1102x402 - Blog Featured (21)You need effective communication across your organization’s departments to boost productivity and service delivery. Managing workflows, operations, and complaints in a growing workforce can be challenging, especially when dealing with siloed teams. Rooted in IT Service Management (ITSM) principles, Enterprise service management (ESM) is one of the most effective frameworks for managing collaboration and improving efficiency across IT and non-IT workflows. 

The Service Desk Institute found that in 2021, 68 percent of organizations employed ESM strategies and that 80 percent of those organizations accelerated their digital transformation in 2020 with the help of ESM processes and tools. This widespread use of ESM is driven by its ability to manage and encourage corporate collaboration by providing an efficient portal for real-time communication and resource monitoring — ultimately boosting productivity.

Benefits of Adopting ESM in Your Business 

There are numerous advantages to adopting ESM, but today, we’ll discuss five of these benefits.

Reduce Operational Costs

Having many support personnel on the payroll will inflate the cost of running your business. ESM has incorporated tools like chatbots, virtual assistants, and smart analytics to significantly reduce the number of staff required to manage employee and customer issues. Additionally, automation can reduce maintenance and training costs by making workflows more efficient.

Improve Customer Experience

Satisfied customers are the key to meeting business objectives. One way to improve customer experience is by offering fast and real-time responses to inquiries. It’s difficult to guarantee a fast response time when your company is over-dependent on human interaction. 

ESM technologies use artificial intelligence (AI) to handle basic customer inquiries and complaints, helping to ensure that no customer issues are missed and that customers have access to support when they need it. Additionally, using ESM can help to ensure that all of your teams play an active role in delivering value to your customers and that the customer experience is treated as a top priority across your organization.

Improve Department Efficiency

When the departments in your company operate efficiently, the overall productivity of the enterprise increases. ESM provides effective collaborative and communication tools that can be used among departments, reducing or eliminating the need to manually print and distribute memos or reports.

 ESM also helps in task monitoring to keep up with project specifications and due dates. You can use project management tools backed by automation to handle corporate tasks, including scheduling and resource monitoring. This can greatly reduce unnecessary human errors and oversights and minimize the time and financial investment in performing repetitive, manual management tasks.

Reduce Siloing 

ESM helps to reduce or eliminate siloing among teams in an enterprise. One of the leading causes of overall low productivity and performance in the enterprise is poor interaction among team members. When teams work independently vs. collaboratively, status reports may not always be communicated, and business objectives could hold different weights — or shift entirely — from team to team.

ESM offers a fast and efficient interaction among unit members. Using a central line of communication helps different teams interact with each other and offers a space to share relevant documents, analyses, and workflows. Plus, our experience shows that employees like working collaboratively within a single system.

Improved Incident Management

Managing emergencies and unexpected challenges is difficult, but it’s easier when you apply ESM capabilities. ESM tools like Jira Service Management have AI-enabled capabilities and automation incorporated into the management processes. This means that incidents are quickly flagged and the appropriate mitigation protocols are initiated.

Conclusion

In today's fast-paced business world, teams everywhere are experiencing growing pains due to disparate tools and delayed decision-making. ESM enables organizations to break down silos, drive business agility, and deliver high-velocity service experience, leading to increased customer and employee satisfaction. 

To learn more about where ESM fits into your business strategy and for guidance on how to adopt ESM, contact Praecipio.

Topics: incident-management itsm jira-service-management enterprise service management
7 min read

Atlassian’s Jira Service Management Tool

By Praecipio on Aug 18, 2022 10:40:00 AM

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As the management and structure of enterprises continue to evolve, more and more companies are jumping on the modern business management approach and setting up enterprise service management (ESM) platforms. In fact, a 2021 industry survey found that most businesses use IT service management (ITSM)  practices outside of their IT department. 

With more innovation and technology come novel business models, new workflows, and an expansion in staffing. While this expansion is exciting, new challenges arise when it comes to cross-departmental collaboration, as teams run the risk of trapping themselves in silos. According to a 2021 report of aggregated data from 4,200 organizations around the globe, ITSM helped teams adapt to remote work, enabling them to resolve tickets 23 percent faster while working away from the office. 

Atlassian’s Jira Service Management (JSM) is an ITSM solution that streamlines workflows and enhances the collaboration of developers, IT operators, and other departments within a modern organization. While initially oriented toward ITSM and DevOps practices, JSM has grown into a powerful solution for implementing ESM strategies as well. ESM empowers every employee — regardless of whether they work in IT — with the right tools to communicate and collaborate.

Managing Work with Atlassian’s Jira Service Management

Atlassian released JSM in 2020 as an improvement to traditional service desks. With more ITSM functions to help departments of all shapes and sizes, JSM takes the concept of service desks to the next level. 

Traditionally, service desks are the point of contact between a service provider (IT department) and the service user (employees seeking IT help). The implementation of ITSM principles makes it possible to offer IT as a service, creating a streamlined process that enhances the user experience, regardless of the service user’s level of tech knowledge. 

IT service aside, Atlassian’s JSM solution also enhances DevOps workflows by allowing continuous feedback between the production team and customers throughout the entire development lifecycle. With automation and an open communication channel, JSM empowers DevOps teams by managing support tickets, client reviews, and incident reports all in one place. 

Applying these ITSM techniques to the rest of the business structure and using ESM throughout the company are fundamental to modern multi-departmental businesses. Fortunately, Atlassian’s JSM solution provides a single platform for ITSM and ESM capabilities. Let’s look at some core features and explore how they help you enhance productivity, visibility, and quality of service.   

Request Management

JSM enables you to manage requests by consolidating data from emails, messaging apps, your service desk, and other mediums. Machine learning (ML) technology groups these requests into actionable categories for your team to process. ML can help workers respond to tasks up to 15 percent faster by using past data. 

JSM enables you to build an intuitive service desk that’s easy for your employees — even those with limited tech knowledge — to navigate and streamline requests to make them easier to handle. 

Atlassian’s JSM also offers a ready-to-use knowledge base to help you set up a self-service portal quickly and efficiently. This enables your employees and clients to get answers to commonly asked questions without going through a live agent, saving you time and resources. 

For example, consider how request management can benefit your human resources (HR) department. Instead of manually processing every leave and vacation request, your employees could submit their requests through the service desk and watch the approval status. Setting up this user-friendly ESM platform can improve your HR department’s efficiency, keep your employees informed and improve the employee experience. 

Incident Management

Atlassian’s JSM solution is a boon to incident management, covering everything from escalation to communication to analytics, helping make your DevOps teams’ lives easier. 

JSM mediates critical incidents by immediately notifying the correct teams to start working on resolutions. You can open chats using Slack or Microsoft Teams and set up video meetings to collaborate with your colleagues without leaving your ESM platform. Additionally, JSM enables you to link support tickets to the incidents, keeping everything organized on a consolidated platform. You can keep everyone on your team and your clients up to date about incidents with notification options such as email, SMS, and push notifications. 

JSM also provides detailed reports and analytics throughout the incident management process. With these reports, you can pinpoint the cause of incidents and keep track of your teams’ progress as they work to resolve them.

Suppose a system fails, leading to downtime that impacts the customer or employee experience. JSM facilitates the incident management process by centralizing and filtering alerts from monitoring, logging, and CI/CD tools. This ensures teams respond to issues quickly while avoiding alert fatigue. Additionally, you can customize on-call schedules, routing rules, and escalation policies to handle alerts differently based on their importance and origin.

Problem Management

JSM simplifies problem management by grouping related incidents to identify repetitive issues, helping you launch investigations to determine the root causes and assign the right people to fix problems. 

By providing a clear overview of the entire process and all the related incidents, JSM helps you find resolutions and minimizes any potential lasting consequences of the problem. Reports and analytics can also identify if any issues are recurring and where they start, ensuring you can tackle them at their roots. 

For example, your general operations team can benefit from JSM’s problem management ability. By grouping all the incidents into broader categories and providing you with reports to see the big picture, this platform can help you streamline your problem-solving processes throughout your organization.

Change Management

When it comes to developmental changes within your company, problems may arise as you shift your team members from one methodology to another. Atlassian’s JSM empowers your teams by providing risk assessments and managing approval workflows. 

JSM automation can score the risks of a change to determine the level of risk and whether it qualifies for automatic approval for implementation or requires escalation for review. You can also assign specialized authority to specific teams on the approval line, so everyone understands their responsibilities. Delegating specialized authority will, in turn, help you avoid bottlenecks during your change process.

For instance, JSM’s change management capabilities can help your IT operations team by providing change requests with full context about a change, the teams involved, and any related work. JSM delivers a single view of information about CI/CD tools, affected services, risk scores, and required approvers. By providing everything the team needs to know on one ESM platform, your IT operations team will always be able to make optimal decisions with clear ideas about the impacts of these decisions.

Asset Management

Atlassian’s JSM solution offers a flexible system to help your teams manage assets of all kinds. These can include everything from equipment to employees. 

JSM keeps track of inventory and data for auditing and organizes the details to help you make informed decisions to tackle incidents. Because all the data is directly in Jira, it’s easy for teams to access the information they need to manage, maintain, upgrade, or deploy any asset. 

While asset management is crucial for the IT department, other teams can also benefit. For example, HR can use this open database structure to keep track of all the employees within the enterprise and stay on top of each person’s salary, vacation dates, status, and more. 

Configuration Management

JSM supports configuration management by giving you complete visibility into your projects and assets. With dependency mapping, you get a clear picture of the entire project lifecycle to assess risks, resolve problems, and quickly get to the root cause of any discrepancies. And with JSM automation, you can also automate status updates, create new tickets based on changes, and add new assets.

For example, JSM’s configuration management can help you minimize change risks by giving developers a clear view of which configurations and services may be affected by the change. And if there are any problems, teams can address them quickly with the valuable insights provided, as JSM keeps track of all incidents and changes. Additionally, because all updates to configuration items are tracked automatically, JSM can save you a lot of time when audits come around. 

Knowledge Management

Atlassian’s JSM solution’s knowledge management capability provides a single source of knowledge, so your employees and clients retain near-immediate access to accurate, adequately documented information. 

By leveraging the power of Confluence, JSM encourages self-service by providing users with an easy-to-use access point to relevant instructions and articles in your database. Self-service empowers your teams to be more self-sufficient and saves your service team time. 

JSM’s machine learning algorithm also ensures that search results are specifically for your users. Additionally, JSM offers statistics to determine which articles solve the most problems and where there might be knowledge gaps you can fill.

For instance, consider your legal team’s applications of JSM and Confluence as an ESM solution. With a knowledge management platform that offers detailed articles on commonly asked legal questions, team members outside this department can stay informed and get their questions answered before contacting the legal department. If they do have to reach out to the legal team, JSM offers a self-service platform that enables clients to check the statuses of their legal requests without having to locate or take time away from their legal team members.

Conclusion

Atlassian’s JSM platform is a one-stop solution for your ITSM and ESM needs. Although Atlassian originally oriented JSM towards IT service management and DevOps practices, you can apply Jira Service Management’s capabilities to a wide variety of workflows throughout an organization. More than just a service desk, JSM has everything you need to help your teams manage their work and empower every department to provide a high-velocity service experience. 

From request management to knowledge management, it’s time to step into the future by implementing ITSM practices in every corner of your enterprise. Ready to leverage Atlassian’s JSM to support your ITSM and ESM strategies?

Reach out to Praecipio Consulting, an Atlassian Platinum Solution Partner, to learn how we can support you journey to unlocking the power of ITSM and ESM in your organization.

CONTACT US

Topics: atlassian service-management tools itsm jira-service-management enterprise service management
6 min read

Why Jira Service Management Makes it Easy for Teams to Manage Work

By Praecipio on Aug 4, 2022 11:30:00 AM

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It’s no secret that happy customers mean better business. On average, a delighted customer contributes 2.6 times more revenue than a slightly satisfied customer, and up to 14 times more revenue than an unhappy customer. In the real world, 84 percent of companies that focused on enhancing and improving their customer service reported an increase in their bottom line. Making a conscious effort to ensure smooth and satisfying customer service experiences is well worth it for your enterprise. 

Providing great service experiences starts on the inside — happy employees mean happy customers. Businesses with engaged and satisfied workers outperform their competitors by up to 147 percent. Therefore, it’s essential to look at ways to set your teams up for success.

This is where Enterprise Service Management (ESM) and IT Service Management (ITSM) come in. ESM is the application of principles to all departments of an organization. Whereas traditionally, ITSM best practices were used solely by IT teams to provide service, ESM uses these strategies to empower every team. With a proper ESM platform, businesses can streamline their workflows in all departments and provide a better service experience for their customers. After all, productive and collaborative teams contribute directly to delivering better and faster service.

Built for all types of enterprises, Jira Service Management is Atlassian’s end-to-end service management solution that helps your teams set up efficient service desks, enhance process visibility, and break down the silos that tend to isolate different departments. With a vast selection of third-party applications and services, you can create and customize your service desk to fit your unique business model.

Simplifying Work Management

There are many components involved in setting up a cohesive work management system. Let’s take a look at a few examples.

Service Desks

Service desks connect service providers and users. In the traditional sense, service desks typically refer to the system in place to help customers. However, as discussed above, providing support to your employees and ensuring their satisfaction is just as important. So in the modern age, you can think of service desks in the context of ITSM and ESM. 

service desk, in this case, refers to the point of contact between the employees (service seekers) and the IT team (service providers). The team provides many services, including:

  • Incident management
  • Service request management
  • Knowledge management
  • Self-service
  • Reporting

These are just some of the solutions a service desk can offer, and yours will be unique to your business. However many you may employ, keep in mind the goal is to provide high-quality service for your employees so they can, in turn, provide an excellent service experience for your customers. 

Visibility

With so many teams working alongside each other with their own goals and processes, it is easy to lose track of the larger picture. That’s why setting up a system to give you and your teams a clear view of your projects and systems is so important. 

Visibility enables managers, team leads, and team members to quickly see the stages of various tasks and act accordingly to reach their goals. And having a clear view of where incidents may be and the status of each employee can help you develop solutions and implement actionable steps based on real-time data. 

Jira Service Management enables you to have a clear view of incidents by providing an open and collaborative platform. You can link and sync issues and service tickets in Jira and incorporate data from the wide selection of ITSM tools, giving every team a clear view of the processes within your company.

ITSM

The ongoing management and implementation of ITSM infrastructure is necessary for all modern businesses. The International Data Corporation (IDC)’s research shows that organizations that use ITSM practices to set up modern ESM platforms are consistently outperforming their competitors. 

They outperform rivals because modern service management systems streamline collaboration by facilitating efficient incident management and cross-departmental collaboration. As a result, businesses that implement these systems can better equip their employees, speed up their internal IT service turnaround times, and provide better customer service experiences. 

This is where Jira Service Management can help. Jira Service Management can set your business up for success because it is an end-to-end, fully functional, and customizable ITSM solution. Jira Service Management is your one-stop shop for all your ITSM needs, from asset management to advanced escalation processes to analytics and more. 

To fully adapt to your unique business structure, Jira Service Management offers many ITSM integrations. Let’s look at some of the top performers on the market:

ScriptRunner for Jira

ScriptRunner is at the top of the automation market. It’s an all-in-one solution to automate, customize, and extend your Jira functions. Using Groovy scripting, ScriptRunner enables you to automate bulk actions, build workflows, create scripted fields, and much more. 

Jira Misc Workflow Extensions (JMWE)

JMWE allows you to tailor your workflow to fit your unique work processes quickly. With a collection of 30 plus point-and-click post-functions, JMWE gives you the ability to build and automate your workflows without the need to know code. 

Email This Issue

Email This Issue lets you keep in touch with your fellow employees and customers without needing to use a separate email client. With Email This Issue, you can process emails, upload attachments, and send Jira issues easily to anyone inside or outside your team to facilitate clear and timely communication in every department. This streamlined communication solution is a great tool to improve the service experience of your clients. 

Time in Status

Time in Status helps you identify bottlenecks in your workplace. With so many departments managing multiple projects, it’s only natural for complications to arise. This integration enables you to identify problem areas by reporting how much time you spent on each issue, who’s responsible, and where the incident is stuck — allowing you to tackle obstacles quickly. Time in Status is valuable for preventing your employees from running in circles and ensuring an excellent service experience for your customers by promptly resolving their problems.

These are just some of the many ITSM integrations you can make with Jira Service Management. Check out the marketplace to find endless possibilities which can upgrade your ESM platform. Want to learn more about how ITSM practices deliver value faster? Download your copy of our eBook below.

How ITSM Drives Business Transformation

Download your guide to empowering teams & delivering value faster

 

Conclusion

Running a successful business means providing excellent service experiences for your customers. And that starts by empowering your teams with a good ESM platform. More than just a service desk, JSM has everything you need to help your teams manage their work and empower every department to provide a high-velocity service experience. 

From incident management and triaging service requests, it’s time to step into the future by implementing ITSM practices in every corner of your enterprise. Ready to leverage Atlassian’s JSM to support your ITSM and ESM strategies? Contact Praecipio, an Atlassian Platinum Solution Partner, to learn more.

Topics: itsm jira-service-management enterprise service management
8 min read

How to Achieve an Effective Data Migration

By Praecipio on Aug 1, 2022 10:00:00 AM

If your Atlassian Platform is the heartbeat of your organization and you are still on Server, then you already know that cloud migration is in your future since Atlassian will no longer provide support for its Server products as of February of 2024

So, there is no time like the present to start putting your Atlassian Cloud migration in motion. Every organization is unique and will require a different approach. If you're overwhelmed about the entire migration process, a good place to start is getting familiar with these four Cloud Migration Strategies and the pros and cons of each one.

The strategy you choose will determine the success of your migration outcome, so it’s important to spend time designing one that best fits the needs of your organization and investing the time to properly prepare your instance and teams. This blog post will discuss how to prepare, plan and carry out a successful migration strategy, including which Atlassian tools can help you along the way and how working with an Atlassian Solution Partner can support you throughout your migration journey.

Preparing for an Effective Data Migration

As an Atlassian Cloud Specialized Partner, we’ve seen it all when it comes to cloud migrations and can attest to the importance of investing the time in planning and preparing for an Atlassian Cloud migration. While many organizations mistakenly think that the migration itself is the most critical part of the process, it’s actually the prep work that will set you up for success. For example, we’ve helped our customers achieve a 100 percent migration success rate thanks to these 6 steps that involve diligent planning and rigorous testing:

Assess

During this phase, you'll find out what you need to prepare your environment for Atlassian Cloud. Take stock of your Atlassian footprint–including current applications, integrations, and customizations–to understand the complexity and level of effort required to migrate your instance to cloud.

Plan

Now that you know where you are going and how to get there, it's time to start planning the technical and operational aspects of your Atlassian Cloud migration. You'll also choose your migration strategy and method, as well as establish a timeline. 

Prepare

With your migration plan and timelines in place, you're ready to prep your instance and teams for the big move. You'll also want to clean up your data and build a communication plan for keeping users and key stakeholders up-to-date with migration milestones. 

Test

Doing a test run of your Atlassian migration is a critical step to ensure the process goes as smoothly as possible. This is also an opportunity to uncover any issues and determine how long the migration will take. 

Migrate

It's go-time! Now is your chance to resolve any last-minute issues and carry out your migration by moving your instance over to Atlassian Cloud. You're finally on the path to brighter days.

Launch

You've made it to your final destination! Now that you have successfully migrated to cloud, it's time to get your users onboarded and resolve any post-migration issues or questions.

Minimizing Downtime and Risk During the Migration

Organizations want to protect their data and systems to comply with industry regulations and earn customer trust. While migrating to Atlassian Cloud may feel somewhat intimidating—considering the level of risk and resources involved—there are several strategies you can use to minimize both downtime and risk.

Effective Project Management

Having a clear migration plan helps to set out the processes, workflows, and individuals that will make your cloud migration successful, as this planning enables you to avoid expected surprises that could cause downtime.

During migration planning, you can establish KPIs and performance baselines that you can use to determine how well your application/service is performing once migrated and highlight any errors that can cause downtime post-migration. You might select areas related to user experience (latency and downtime), overall performance (error rates and availability), and infrastructure (network throughput and memory use). Having these baselines in place helps you determine potential risks of downtime or other areas that can cause delays during migration.

As you prepare for migration, you should prioritize migration components and establish your migration plan. Will you migrate at once, or in pieces? Understanding system dependencies can help you prevent downtime from occurring, which is especially important to prevent downtime snowballs.

Before migrating, perform refactoring or other work on your applications/services as needed to ensure they’ll work properly once migrated. This helps to reduce any downtime that could stem from application performance. Additionally, paying attention to the resource allocation of your application helps to prevent any unforeseen resource consumption that could lead to downtime or application unavailability as a consequence of nonexistent or over-extended resources.

Establish Good Communication

Having a solid communication plan can minimize downtime and risk during the migration process. Everyone involved in the migration, whether taking on a more active or passive role, needs to be familiar with the established plan, who to contact in the case of an unforeseen incident, and how to respond to incidents if they do occur.

Additionally, since cloud migration does pose risks to security and can cause potential downtime if not handled in a thoughtful and well-planned way, it’s important to communicate with stakeholders, too. 

Communication and project management tools like Jira and Trello help everyone understand what they need to do to ensure a smooth migration. If downtime does occur, or resources and data aren’t available and working as anticipated post-migration, these tools help notify those in the migration process about the issues so that teams can move swiftly to begin resolving incidents to minimize interruptions. 

Secure Your Data and Resources

Before migrating, it’s good practice to encrypt data with secure network protocols (like SSL, TLS, and HTTPS) to minimize the risk of a data breach. Encrypting your data helps to keep it secure, preventing bad actors from being able to capture, distribute, or generally see sensitive or critical data during migration. 

Not having adequate security protocols in place when migrating data can expose your system to malicious or unauthorized users and systems. So, you need to prioritize security to ensure systems aren’t compromised and protect data both in transit and at rest.

To maximize your security measures and limit the blast radius, you can also adopt a security information and event management (SIEM) solution that centralizes alert management to identify and respond to suspicious behavior in real time.

For example, Atlassian Access is available as an enterprise-wide subscription, providing added security across all your Atlassian Cloud products. It comprises a central admin console for complete visibility into your system. Gain insights into your network, proactively repel cyberattacks, customize authentication policies, and effortlessly orchestrate everything across your environment.

Practice Identity Management

Before, during, and after the migration, all users accessing your resources should be identified and verified to ensure that they’re supposed to access data, resources, and other sensitive information. Having a central governance system ensures that no unauthorized users can access the system and minimizes risk during the migration process.

Identity and access management tools like Atlassian Cloud IAM help ensure only the correct people and tools access the new cloud system and data. Atlassian Access’s helpful features include SAML single sign-on (SSO) for increased security and seamless authentication, audit logging for monitoring activities, automatic product discovery to identify shadow IT, enforced two-step verification upon login for improved security, and integration with CASB software McAfee MVISION Cloud to monitor suspicious activities. These features help ensure the correct people and systems access the new cloud environment and data during migration.

Perform Frequent Testing

Testing your data management tools helps you to identify—and prevent—potential issues that you’ll encounter during migration, thereby helping you minimize disruption and prevent delays. This form of testing is called migration testing, and its goal is to verify that the migration will be smooth. 

In addition to reducing the risk of downtime, migration testing also helps you ensure that your migration won’t result in data being lost, data integrity being sacrificed, and helps you ensure that all data is available, accessible, and functional in its new environment.

Effective Planning

Every migration is unique, so what holds for one company may not apply to another. For instance, the technologies you use, the applications you need to migrate, or the compliance rules you must follow differ from organization to organization.

Accordingly, you should establish a migration strategy that helps you get the most out of your investment in Atlassian Cloud and sets you up for success throughout the entire migration process. When deciding on your migration strategy, you should consider:

  • Long-term goals
  • Budget
  • Migration process duration
  • Apps and integrations
  • Compliance privacy requirements
  • Recovery point objectives (RPOs) and recovery time objectives (RTOs) of applications that you plan to migrate
  • The total cost of ownership (TCO) of cloud infrastructure

Atlassian has resources available to help you with planning and carrying out your migration. For example, the Atlassian Cloud free trial enables you to test new Cloud-only features, helping you build your case for migrating cloud and gaining stakeholder buy-in. Also, Atlassian’s free Jira Cloud Migration Assistant helps migrate projects from Jira Service Management, Jira Software, and Jira Work Management on-premises to Cloud.

However, even with these helpful tools, migrations are still a complicated undertaking and come with unexpected roadblocks, especially when dealing with more complex instances. We recommend bringing on an Atlassian Solution Partner–specifically one that is Cloud Specialized—to do the heavy lifting and guide you through the entire migration process.

Conclusion

While migrating to Cloud can be challenging, taking the time to properly plan in advance and prepare will minimize those unexpected roadblocks and set you up for success throughout the migration journey. 

To learn more about how to plan, prepare for, and carry out an Atlassian Cloud migration, download our free guide: 6 Steps for a Successful Cloud Migration, which is packed with insight on what to expect before migrating, how to avoid common mistakes during the process, and how Praecipio Consulting used these six steps to guide Castlight Health through their migration journey. 

If your organization is ready to migrate to Atlassian Cloud or Data Center, reach out to the Praecipio team to support you through your migration journey. 

 

 

Topics: data-center atlassian-cloud cloud migration
4 min read

Jira Service Management Design Structure: How It Streamlines and Simplifies Support

By Praecipio on Jul 26, 2022 9:11:00 AM

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One of the more compelling reasons to use Jira Service Management (JSM) is to take advantage of its request management and service desk functionality. JSM is designed to streamline both the fulfillment and intake of requests, across all teams.

JSM works to remove the frustration of having to manage requests from multiple sources through multiple channels, increasing overall efficiency by automating repetitive tasks. Teams can even measure their performance with JSM, tracking how many total requests come in, and how long it takes to resolve those requests. 

JSM clearly simplifies the process of streamlining service support, but what does the process actually look like? How are support requests so easily managed? To understand that, you’ll need to understand the JSM design structure.

Understanding JSM

At its core, JSM was designed to be a highly customizable tool. Atlassian understands that service delivery teams can often have unique needs, particularly when it comes to communication.

JSM functions as a singular place where team members can go for help. By using a centralized customer portal, both employees and customers can quickly access every service desk across an organization.

On the receiving end, service request management projects come with request types and workflows that are easy to review and edit. They also come with:

  • Flexible Service Level Agreement Settings
  • Customizable Queues
  • Automated Request Management
  • Email Channels 
  • Adjustable Notifications
  • Real-Time Reporting Capabilities

How Service Request Management Works With Jira Service Management

Before we dive into the actual process, it’s important to understand a few key elements of the JSM design. 

Let’s imagine that the customer/team member has a problem they need support with. They would start by accessing their customer portal and submitting a support ticket. The user that interacts with the customer portal is defined as a “customer” and does not require an Atlassian JSM license in order to access that portal.  

Support tickets within the customer portal are batched into specific portal groups. For example, you might have one portal group specifically for hardware which would include any hardware-related requests.  This way, the customer/team member can continue to find more granular tickets under those options. 

While tickets are placed in a particular portal group, the tickets themselves are not locked to a certain portal group exclusively. Some tickets may belong in multiple portal groups, and JSM accounts can account for this requirement. 

Within each portal group are the request types.  Request types are the actual tickets that a customer will fill out.  A few examples of request types for an IT Service Desk would be: locked account, new hardware request, new software request, software outage, etc. Once the request type is entered, the request goes into JSM, which is what the internal user (or agent) will interact with the ticket.  

Internal users of JSM are referred to as agents within Atlassian.  Agents are often members of service teams that perform the actual work for the tickets to be resolved.  These users require an Atlassian JSM license in order to view and move tickets through the workflow.  

The agent receives the request type as an issue type, and it’s worth noting that you can have multiple request types linked to one issue type. For example, the agent you may have multiple different request types (software outage, server issue, security vulnerability,etc.) that link to one issue type of incident. 

Simply by looking at the design, you can begin to say what makes JSM such a useful tool to both customers/team members and agents. Customers/team members are able to interact with a customer portal designed to simplify the support ticket submission process. Agents, instead of having to sift through a variety of different channels and sources, are able to quickly and easily sort by request type and address problems efficiently.

The Power Of Automation And The Overall Utility Of Jira Service Management

When your teams are supported properly, they’re able to waste less time fixing what’s broken and more time on the tasks that matter. Likewise, when your support team has a simplified support process, they can address problems much more quickly and help keep your teams moving forward.

Now that we understand a bit more about how JSM was designed, it’s time to find ways to improve the experience for all your teams. That’s why one of the first action items you’ll want to focus on is finding ways to implement smart automation

When you’re able to properly incorporate automation into your service request experience, you’ll be able to reduce the frustration of dealing with common, repetitive tasks for your service team. 

A great example would be using automation to help agents quickly move through their follow-up communications. Not only will this improve the way your support team can communicate with customers and employees, but it will also help improve estimated resolution times.

This is what JSM does best, making support simple for the customers/team members and making it efficient for agents. By building a distinct workstream for service requests, your business can use JSM to help your teams focus on delivering more valuable work. By standardizing the process, you’re able to increase both overall efficiency and service quality. 

As an Atlassian Platinum Solution Partner, Praecipio understands what it takes to get the best results from your JSM deployment. Our experts are ready to evaluate your existing processes and get you started with JSM quickly. Plus, we’ll standardize and optimize your JSM implementation on day one, so you start getting great results as soon as possible.

Want to learn more? Give us a call; we live and breathe Atlassian!

Topics: automation workflows service-desk jira-service-management
10 min read

How To Decide Between Cloud and Data Center

By Praecipio on May 19, 2022 9:30:00 AM

Everything is Easier to Manage in the Cloud_Featured

Software and data have become the most valuable resources for modern businesses. As such, a central part of your overall business strategy should be fully harnessing the infrastructure on which you host your applications and data. Identifying the right hosting platform – like Atlassian, AWS, or another – enables organizations to remain flexible. It helps them scale successfully, meet their objectives more quickly, and respond with agility to business trends.

Not all businesses are created equally, which is why a “one-size-fits-all” hosting solution doesn’t exist. 

In this article, we’ll compare the benefits and drawbacks of hosting on the cloud vs. on-premises specifically related to Atlassian Cloud vs. Data Center. Additionally, we provide insight to help you make an informed decision about which is the best fit for your business.

Cloud Versus On-Premise Data Center

Cloud software is hosted on a third party’s infrastructure and is accessible to an organization through a web server. The underlying hardware is often widely geographically distributed and complies with global regulations.

Traditionally, on-premise software was installed locally on data centers run by the organization. This model of data center has evolved to include “on-premise” data centers that use hybrid or outsourced infrastructures, including co-located servers running your apps, VMs, or private clouds. Although the servers aren’t on a company’s premises, the hardware is physically accessible and on-premises that you can visit and inspect.

Atlassian offers both categories of products for enterprise teams: Atlassian Cloud and Atlassian Data Center. First, let's introduce the options.

Atlassian Cloud

Atlassian Cloud is a delivery model for Atlassian products that hosts software on Atlassian’s globally distributed infrastructure. It enables your company to stay agile and invest more in your core business by freeing up your resources from having to manage security, upgrades, and maintenance. 

Atlassian offers a suite of collaborative tools to get work done at scale in a hosted environment. These tools include Jira Software, Jira Service Management, Trello, Confluence, and Bamboo just to name a few.

Atlassian Data Center

Atlassian Data Center is a self-managed solution that lets you control product hosting and perform version upgrades yourselves. Unlike Atlassian Cloud, your company is responsible for managing security, upgrades, and maintenance, but you have the access and flexibility to build a custom-tailored solution. Atlassian Data Center also offers a similar suite of tools for teams to the one available on Atlassian Cloud.

In early 2021, Atlassian began the process of ending support for Atlassian Server, leaving Data Center as the only self-hosted option for organizations joining the Atlassian platform. Organizations with existing licenses can continue to use Server, but support for Atlassian Server products is scheduled for early 2024.

Breaking Down Pros and Cons

Let’s discuss the differences in control and support, ease of deployment, and cost benefits between hosting software in the cloud and on-premise.

Control and Support

Cloud environments are managed by a vendor that offers support, monitoring, and built-in reliability functions. These environments are highly available and can be set up quickly.

On-premise hosting, on the other hand, is controlled by the organization. This means that you can customize your systems and choose which tools to deploy. But this also gives you or an external partner the responsibility of managing them effectively.

Ease of Deployment

Atlassian Cloud and Data Center both present unique challenges when setting up infrastructure.

Cloud infrastructure is the simpler option when starting fresh with a new instance, but any other type of migration requires more careful planning and preparation. Setting up the new instance is normally simple, as it only requires you to sign up for a subscription, choose your configurations and then your new software is in place almost immediately and Atlassian takes care of any installation.

However, if you need to migrate an existing instance — which entails your users, apps, and data — you’ll be balancing cost, downtime, and complexity. We don’t recommend doing a cloud migration on your own, so it’s important to bring on an Atlassian Solution Partner to help successfully guide you through the migration process. 

In contrast, deploying applications on-premise involves setting up new hardware or configuring your existing hardware before you install any software. It also requires you to perform maintenance on your hardware and ensure software is updated and patched.

Even if you choose to deploy your application on a non-clustered architecture, much of this work is time-consuming and requires additional specialized staff. A more complex setup provides all the performance, scalability, and reliability you’d expect from a clustered architecture, but demands a correspondingly greater investment and more work.

To successfully deploy on-premises, you need to hire staff — not only to build and implement your infrastructure but also to maintain it and ensure it meets regulatory requirements. You then need to document and benchmark your existing processes before optimizing your application.

Testing your deployment is the most intensive part of a deployment or migration. It can take 3 to 6 months to fully test your application for functionality, performance, and integration, after which your team is then responsible for ongoing infrastructure monitoring.

If you decide to hybridize your Data Center infrastructure, you can deploy Atlassian Data Center via cloud hosting infrastructure, like Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services (AWS). Although this removes the burden of physical server maintenance, migrating is still a work-intensive and lengthy procedure.

Cost

Cloud service models free you from the expense of hardware, software, and additional IT professionals. Many businesses, especially startups and small companies, choose this option for its low upfront cost. Cloud hosting’s excellent scalability and high availability are expensive features to achieve in on-premise solutions. You don’t need to purchase the infrastructure (capital expense) with cloud environments you’re only left to deal with operational expenses.

Atlassian Cloud's monthly or annual subscription model can help organizations save money by eliminating upfront infrastructure purchases. A subscription also includes frequent updates to maintain up-to-date security features, which can become a significant recurring cost if your organization is responsible for its own updates. Additionally, Atlassian works around the clock to ensure that your data is secure, so once again, once less cost that your business has to incur. 

On the other hand, some organizations may have specialized needs that require data to remain within their jurisdiction. These companies must usually purchase and maintain all their hardware, ranging from the obvious — like servers, routers, and networking software — to the less obvious and often surprisingly expensive — like HVAC, fire suppression, and backup power solutions. In general, on-premise systems require significantly more upfront capital than cloud solutions.

Although it gives you precise control over your deployment, Atlassian Data Center requires an investment in staff. Even if you decide to run a hybrid architecture and avoid the costs of maintaining physical servers, your team still needs to maintain your infrastructure’s software layer. Security patches, integrations, and network performance become your organization’s responsibility. 

Comparing Atlassian Cloud and Data Center

Let’s look a little more closely at Atlassian Cloud and Atlassian Data Center. We’ll evaluate them based on a few factors that most organizations prioritize.

Time and Expense of Initial Setup

Depending on the scale of your infrastructure, setting up an on-premise architecture could take weeks. You need to install and configure all of the Atlassian products and infrastructure you need, and then migrate any data you currently have. You’ll need to do this for every product.

Atlassian Cloud is quicker to set up because Atlassian manages everything for you. If you are starting fresh with a completely new Atlassian instance, you could begin using your Cloud infrastructure within minutes — or seconds, if you use SSO.

If you are migrating your Atlassian instance to Cloud, things get a bit more challenging. While Atlassian itself provides free tools to support your team through the migration process, including the  Jira, Confluence, and Bitbucket migration assistant resources. However, even with this help from these tools, cloud migrations present unexpected roadblocks — especially during more complex or specialized migrations.

That’s why we recommend going a step further and getting help from an Atlassian Solution Partner. An Atlassian Specialized Partner in Cloud, like Praecipio, guides you through the entire migration process, sharing their proven expertise to accelerate your journey to cloud. For example, during a migration with Praecipio, any legacy or duplicate tooling is adjusted and your architecture is cleaned up, giving you peace of mind and a refreshed final product at a lower cost than if you were to complete the move yourselves.

Required Skills and Expertise 

Atlassian Cloud customers don’t need to manage instances because Atlassian provides and maintains the infrastructure. Cloud services are updated automatically, so you don't have to perform regular maintenance updates or worry about version compatibility.

At the other end of the spectrum, Atlassian Data Center offers more customization options, but it requires a higher level of expertise to manage successfully. You’ll need dedicated internal resources and skilled personnel to install, configure, upgrade and maintain instances.

Security

Atlassian handles all security concerns in its Cloud offering, which includes compliance with a broad set of industry standards, network security scans of both internal and external infrastructure, and regular penetration testing.

One of the main features of an on-premise setup is the additional control you have over your data. When using Atlassian Data Center, you have control over hardware and network security, but Atlassian manages application-level security for you.

Scalability Potential

Atlassian Cloud is inherently much more scalable than a Data Center. Atlassian Data Center also offers a solution with scaling potential, but the scalability is limited to the infrastructure deployed.

When using Atlassian Data Center, you need to forecast and build out capacity ahead of time to meet your predicted peaks. Many data centers are somewhat capable of being refitted to scale vertically, but horizontal scaling demands more space and power. You can easily scale out horizontally using Atlassian Cloud to get higher throughput and configure the environment to accommodate additional resources as needed.

Ability to Work Remotely

Atlassian Cloud is a hosted platform that you can use from anywhere, at any time. Team members can easily access Jira issues, Confluence pages, Bitbucket repositories, and other tools remotely from anywhere around the globe.

Atlassian Cloud also allows you to have teams of any size in the cloud and on-premise, working together in real-time. Employees working remotely can collaborate and access company products securely from mobile apps and browsers without signing in to a VPN. 

Data Center lets you stay flexible while retaining control over the security and stability of your instances. You can freely add nodes to your cluster to handle large numbers of geographically distributed users, and then use built-in features like rate limiting to prevent instability caused by external tools, automation, and infrastructure quirks outside of your organization’s control.

You can alleviate some of these concerns by using a content delivery network (CDN) to reduce peak load times on application instances running on Atlassian Data Center. This increase in performance extends to all your users, not just those who are geographically distant from your servers.

Cloud

A business with fluctuating needs requires a tiered pricing solution based on the number of users who access an instance in a certain period.

Organizations often have information spread across several different platforms. Your business may have messages on Slack, spreadsheets in Excel, and other documents in Google Docs. For example, you can bring these resources together using dynamic pages in Confluence Cloud to distribute communication materials and create company policies and marketing plans.

Confluence Cloud is used by many companies — such as Netflix, LinkedIn, Facebook, and Udemy — to create collaborative workspaces and consolidate information into unified dashboards.

Data Center 

In contrast, Data Center is better suited for organizations looking to meet specialized needs. It allows businesses to access their system’s back end and databases and create tailored integrations and add-ons.

For example, if you use Jira Service Management Cloud, you’re limited to specific customizations in some Jira plugin features, such as BigPicture Dashboard Gadgets or ScriptRunner scripting functions. However, you can use and freely customize these plugins by using them on Jira Service Management Data Center. 

Organizations that want to collaborate with their teams at a high velocity while meeting strict compliance standards can use Jira Service Management Data Center. Instead of having to build in-house ITSM systems, JSM Data Center acts as a single source of truth and allows you to extract and share data between teams without the complex processes of a conventional ITSM platform.

Conclusion

Unless an organization fully understands what it needs from its infrastructure and how the business might grow in the future, it can be difficult to determine whether to move everything to the cloud or run production systems in a data center. To evaluate how you can best serve your customers and employees, you must weigh the increased control and flexibility of Atlassian Data Center against what it could potentially cost your organization to operate out of the Cloud. 

Avoiding the switch to Atlassian Cloud will be more difficult to justify in a couple of years as support for Atlassian Server ends. So, organizations looking for longevity have an even stronger incentive to begin their migrations soon. Outside of specialized use cases, it’s often more beneficial to switch over to Atlassian Cloud.

Although migrations have a reputation as formidable undertakings, there’s no need for them to be overwhelming. The tools provided by Atlassian offer a good starting point for simple migrations if your IT department is provisioned to handle the risks.

However, working with an Atlassian Solution Partner like Praecipio to help with your migration will save you a lot of time and headache. Experienced migration experts provide peace of mind by helping you mitigate potential risks and by supporting your teams throughout the entire process, from deciding on the best migration strategy to onboarding users in the days following a migration.

If your organization is ready to migrate to Atlassian Cloud or Data Center, reach out to the Praecipio Consulting team to learn how we can help you achieve a successful migration.

Topics: cloud data-center atlassian-cloud cloud migration
4 min read

Best Practices for Jira Epics

By Praecipio on Feb 8, 2022 10:00:00 AM

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The popularity of Jira Software has skyrocketed in the last few years, thanks to its excellent features and easy adaptability to agile development models. If you are considering using Jira or are already using it, ask yourself a fundamental question. How do you make the best use of the various features Jira presents? 

Let’s start with Jira Epics. Often, development teams tend to jump right ahead into crafting user stories, sprint planning, and so on without huddling around Epics. While sometimes it could be because of the nature of the user story, it is often because the end-users are unaware of what an Epic is and how it helps organize your stories and streamline the development process. 

Here is a simple guide that will help you understand the concept of Epics and how to effectively use them in Jira.

What Are Jira Epics?

Epics are, in essence, a big goal or a task that can be broken down into related sub-tasks. While this is the general idea behind Epics, every team may have a slightly different way of implementing Epics. Some consider it similar to a project hierarchy. Some make it strictly goal-based, some base it on features, and so on. In Jira, Epics are created as special issue types similar to tasks and stories. Each Epic can have associated users, workflow, states, and so on.

Epic Vs. Story Vs. Task

So what differentiates a task or story from an agile Epic? While tasks and stories tend to be standalone pieces of work, Epics are more complex, with several tasks grouped under them. 

They have custom fields that help identify the issue hierarchies within the Epic, such as the parent-child tasks.

  • The various tasks within an Epic could be executed in a parallel manner or may have dependencies.
  • Epics also have data fields, such as a start date and a target date.
  • Epics are coarser and span several sprints, whereas tasks and stories are more detailed and are planned for a limited sprint length.

What Is The Difference Between Epic And Feature In Jira?

Often used interchangeably, Epics and Features tend to confuse Jira users. While Epics and Features are similar issue types that can be broken down into smaller tasks or stories, the significant difference is how they are placed in the issue hierarchy.

Epics are much bigger and are are often the topmost parent in issue hierarchies. Epics can consist of Features, and these Features can further be broken down into individual user stories. Epics represent a more extensive set of requirements or project goals, whereas Features are more focused. 

Why Are Epics Important In Jira?

There are many reasons why using Epics is an excellent way to plan your agile software development projects. Let us list out a few:

Organized Project Outcomes

It helps organize project outcomes in terms and makes it easier to communicate project progress to concerned stakeholders. 

Not all stakeholders can have the technological knowledge to understand the project progress via individual user stories. Epics present an easy way to abstract the project’s status and quickly raise the measurable outcomes to stakeholders.

Helps Achieve Specific Targets With Ease

Lists of Epics allows teams to establish the priority goals and the necessary metrics to track such goals.

Facilitates Optimized Project Execution

Epics are organized to allow for a detailed design before user stories are taken to implementation. They, thus, help with an optimized workflow and flexible decision-making as the project progresses.

Allows For Better Innovation

By allowing DevOps teams to define and design their project via Epics, you can promote innovation and excellence in terms of product design and development.

How Do You Create Jira Epics?

Jira is well equipped to help you integrate Epics into your project planning phases with ease.

Here is how you can create an Epic issue in Jira:

  • Create a new issue
  • Select issue type as ‘Epic.’ Fill in the details such as epic name, description, and such. Click create.
  • Once created, you can link other issues or create new issues from within the Epic view.

Cool Things You Can Do With The Help Of Jira Epics 

  • Integrate Epics with project backlog for efficient project planning
  • Track project progress with roadmaps
  • Derive useful visualizations such as Epic swim lanes and Epic link on cards on the kanban agile boards.

So what else can you do to make the best out of this feature? Let us start with the basics. First, understand what an Epic is and know the various workflows and requirements uniquely available for Epics. 

Then, use these features to get on track with your agile project management and other methodologies.

Try not to create Epics that do not have a defined scope. Epics should close unless the Epic you are running is actually a theme and not new in reality. Make sure you're aware of the subtle difference so you can utilize Epics appropriately.

The sooner you implement Jira, the better your results will be. Jira is incredibly comprehensive, and many struggle to get the most from the platform. Praecipio can help you make use of the various automation and process optimization tools that Jira gives you. Having expert guidance will go a long way in helping you save costs, time, and resources. Reach out today!

Topics: jira automation workflows
2 min read

Agile 101: What is a Spike?

By Praecipio on Dec 7, 2021 11:59:00 AM

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What is a spike in agile software development? 

 

A spike, a term often used in SAFe, scrum and other agile frameworks, is a task designed to answer a question or gather information, rather than produce a product. An agile team will choose to include a spike in their sprint to support or prepare for future work if that work requires more information before it can be started. In short, a spike is an opportunity to research, test or explore the unknown before work begins. Creating a spike allows your team to dedicate time in a sprint to finding out more information in a defined time-box – or a set amount of time. 

 

Why Should I Use Spikes? 

The benefit of using a spike is that it helps agile teams anticipate and prepare for the amount of work they will need to do to accomplish a task. For example, if the work turns out to be either more or less effort than you expected, it could throw off the team's ability to complete the work they committed to. In other words, a spike helps scrum and agile teams with estimation and prevents them from falling behind on sprint goals. 

Who Typically Initiates a Spike?  

Anyone on a scrum or agile team can and should initiate a spike if they feel they are not prepared to begin a specific task or story. Typically, if a team member takes on a task and recognizes that they need more information before they can begin, they can create a spike to help them prepare. It can be frustrating to find out mid-sprint that a story is much more work than you thought because you didn't really know what it required yet. When running in sprints and trying to manage velocity, it helps to build in room for uncertainty. It may be that there's a piece of work that needs to be completed, but we're not really sure how much work that's going to take. In these cases, using spikes can be a huge help. 

Related Article: Sprint Planning: How Long Should Sprints Be 

How do I use spikes in Jira?

One of the ways to manage spikes in Jira, is to establish them as their own issue type and then, once solved, convert that issue type from a spike into a story when you are ready to begin work. You can link it back to the spike using the JIRA issue links for record keeping. To start your first spike, follow these steps: 

  1. Determine who on your team will take on the spike
  2. Create a ticket to represent a spike in your backlog
  3. Determine the amount of time, or time-box, that you are willing to spend on your spike 
  4. Complete the necessary exploration or design during the sprint to create an estimate for the original story
  5. Close out the spike and update the original story with the new estimate 
  6. Convert your issue from a spike to a story 

Using spikes in your sprints can make your teams more reliable – by giving you a better idea of what's going on, with less pressure to know everything up-front.

Looking for more guidance on your agile transformation?  Contact us, one of our experts would love to talk with you and see if it's a good fit for your organization.

 

Topics: blog scrum tips agile
5 min read

Tips for a More Organized Confluence Space

By Praecipio on Aug 9, 2021 10:00:00 AM

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What makes a great team? Is it the people, process, or tools used?

Of course, all three components are essential to make a successful team. But even with the right technology and incredibly talented people, sometimes you don’t always get the desired results.

This has been the case for the hugely popular Atlassian tool, Confluence. The online knowledge base and wiki solutions are of immense help for teams to get real-time hyper-access to all types of information from anywhere, anytime, and from any device. Confluence also provides a great way to build team collaboration and helps track all your essential documents with a centralized version control system. But not everyone seems to be using it to its fullest potential. Here are some excellent tips that can help you unlock the true potential of the tool.

Confluence Best Practices: What Is The Best Way To Organize Your Confluence Space?

Confluence serves as the centralized knowledge base across your organization. So, you have to understand that it is not just for personal use or for a particular team’s benefit. Everything stored in Confluence should be named and organized to make it easy to search for and navigate the topic in question. The main goal of Confluence is to make information sharing and knowledge discovery more accessible and more collaborative. Consider making your documents easy to find for anyone, even when they’re complete beginners to the system.

Here are some significant criteria you should keep in your mind when creating new Confluence pages and organizing your current information:

  • Information organization and structuring of your spaces and pages
  • Formatting and style
  • Ease of information gathering and search
  • Integrations with other tools

Why Does Having A Mature Confluence Space Matter?

So why is it essential to keep your Confluence Space neat and clean? Well, for starters, the very reason why you use Confluence is to make discovery and information-sharing easy. When pages and spaces are sloppy and disorganized, searching for information and keeping track of all the different versions of data stored in Confluence becomes too difficult.

Here are some reasons why you should always aim to maintain a mature confluence space:

  • A mature Confluence space is decluttered and helps you search for and make edits to the information quickly.
  • By reorganizing the page trees, you can identify obsolete pages and make sure they are correctly tagged to get accurate information.
  • With proper version control of your pages and documents, you can ensure that information is up-to-date and accurate.

A well-organized Confluence space can easily integrate with other Atlassian marketplace apps and efficiently incorporate page archiving, page discovery, and information identification.

When you have a well-organized Confluence:

  • It becomes easy to identify outdated data and take the necessary action to archive them or update them properly.
  • You’ll save disk space and lower database storage requirements by identifying duplicate data and removing old and inaccurate data from Confluence.
  • If your Confluence space is mature, deletion of data, identification of large attachments that are no longer needed, backup, and restoration become more efficient.

Some Tips On Decluttering Your Atlassian Confluence Space

Here are some tips to help you achieve a mature Confluence space required to make your team more efficient.

Start Making Use Of Spaces

Many beginners tend to create pages and store them in their Confluence just as a standalone document. This method can be an organizational mess when you have thousands of documents that range in topic from installation instructions to meeting notes stored in one space. Start creating and making use of spaces. Spaces help create an information hierarchy and act as a home for various types of content. Spaces are also a great way to implement effective content management and knowledge management within Confluence.

For instance, you can create a separate space for a particular project or team, Confluence allows you to create as many spaces as you want. It's important to remember to associate your pages with the relevant space to avoid orphan pages. You can also have team spaces, project spaces, and personal spaces. Once your spaces are ready, assign parent pages and child pages to organize the pages and form a meaningful content hierarchy.

Make Use Of Page Templates

Remember, when you add something to Confluence, it is not just for your use. It is shared, stored and versioned as more people access the document. So it makes sense to follow a proper structure and consistency to your documents. Use pre-defined templates or create a custom template that makes it easy for anyone to understand and navigate through a page quickly. You need to ensure that your pages are aptly formatted and easy to navigate. Making use of templates will help you achieve that and more by enforcing uniformity across your pages.

Space Layouts Help You Highlight The Most Important Content

When designing your templates and page content, use a hierarchy that will display the most critical content at the top to make it more visible to readers. You can also customize the space around the page to add custom sidebars and search bars or any custom macros to enable faster information discovery.

Categorize Your Spaces

By categorizing your spaces, you can help Confluence users get access to related information quickly. For instance, content marketing space, customer insights, user persona, and such can be grouped into the marketing category, whereas your project management documents can be grouped in another category.

Archive Old Pages

Eliminating old pages helps you maintain an organized page track and helps people find what they are looking for quickly. For example, if the user searches for a topic and finds two documents on the same topic, they might get confused about what to follow. Archiving old and outdated pages allows users to gain clarity and always receive the most up-to-date information.

Promote Collaboration And Engagement

Make it easy to share the confluence pages across your team members. Confluence can be of enormous help as a collaboration tool to create transparency at work and promote productivity. Allow users to get ownership of the confluence pages and enable sharing options. You can also promote internal blogging to enhance a transparent and open culture. You can also measure your engagement with the analytics functionality provided by Confluence to see the active reader count, most active users, the popular spaces, and common searches.

All this information can also help you build better Confluence governance and a user experience that fosters collaboration.

Creating a Confluence infrastructure to support your ITSM and other teams can be a time-consuming task, mainly as your organization is growing and information updates begin to be overwhelming. As an Atlassian Platinum Solution Partner, we'll help you get the most out of your infrastructure and enhance it to meet your business goals now and as your company grows. Contact us today!

Topics: confluence tips macros organization atlassian-products
6 min read

Atlassian SSO: When is it time for Single Sign On?

By Praecipio on Jan 28, 2021 12:54:01 PM

1102x402 - Blog Featured-1Praecipio has partnered with our friends at resolutionan Atlassian Gold Marketplace Partner based in Germany that specializes in software development and network security, to bring you a series of blog posts about how to successfully implement single sign-on (SSO) with Atlassian tools. With more than 7 million users from 58 countries, resolution is the market leader for Atlassian Enterprise User Management Apps.

 

General Symptoms Implications for Atlassian User Management
Loss in productivity for the end user Time wasted logging in and/or re-logging into Jira, Confluence, or BitBucket due to constant session time-out
Applications used infrequently - such as open enrollment apps - are highly prone to forgotten passwords Both Jira and Confluence can be in that position if users don't need to access them every week, as is the case for HR Help Desks
Password frustration and low technology adoption Jira Service Desk can have a poor reputation among non-technical users who only request support with a sense of urgency
Poor password hygiene; passwords used are easy to remember, re-used for multiple apps, or written down on post-it notes If users are prompted to log in again each time the session expires, most users will employ an easy password that they can type without thinking
A high volume of password replacement calls to the Help Desk If you already have an SSO in place that doesn't connect with Atlassian applications, a high percentage of this will be for Jira, Confluence, etc. 
Low productivity of Help desk employees and staffing issues for global companies A lower number of critical tickets solved per agent, and poor license utilization

 

 

The password syndrome 

Passwords are the weakest link in tech: we use them every hour, we forget them every day and ask for recovery emails constantly. We replace passwords with less complex alternatives so often that we have assumed it's fine to let them degrade: in the end, the only problem I have to deal with as a user is not gaining access to my accounts. Who would ever want to exploit my accounts? 

Single sign-on kills password fatigue by killing passwords- in plural. But oftentimes, many business stakeholders still view SSO as a nice-to-have supplement that eliminates user friction, failing to recognize the web of security risks that it solves.  

An overview of the symptoms of password fatigue for the different corporate ranks can help technical leaders kickstart the journey to onboard a suitable SSO solution. Having a solid case can also make them more persuasive security evangelists.  

 

Pain points for users 

Many employees will just reuse the same memorable password in order to maintain access to their accounts. Many others will not access certain applications if an unwanted login blocks their way. User fatigue will then result in low tech adoption for applications that are not central to the employee's job description, with compliance and open enrollment software as two front runners in this race to oblivion.  

When business processes are not followed, information will be lost or remain siloed, and business productivity and collaboration will suffer. Employees whose performance relies on the compliance and open enrollment software everybody has dropped will have a very hard time completing their job. Many companies using Jira Core to support these types of processes fail to recognize the threat that login friction poses to the general adoption of the mandated tool. 

 

Group WorkflowPain points for security officers 

In the long run, poor password hygiene results in infections. How long until someone loses the paper notebook where her passwords are written? How long until it's found by the wrong hands on a plane or at a workshop outside the office? 

Security officers have many reasons to panic in a culture of security last with no SSO. Besides password leaks, outdated user accounts can easily expose classified information to roles that lack the required clearance. Or disgruntled employees may discover they can still access the company's code repository on Bitbucket. 

 

Pain points for administrators 

A very revealing symptom that a company is in urgent need of an SSO solution is buried in the recurring tasks of system administrators. Discontinuing accounts of leavers in a timely manner or adjusting the permissions of an employee who has moved to a different department are extremely difficult tasks without a centralized user management function. 

Besides eating up the available seats in your licenses, lacking an automated method for provisioning users into applications has serious repercussions. For starters, new users will have to wait in a queue until an administrator is available. 

Administrators must also enforce security measures when credentials are compromised, often at the cost of major productivity setbacks. Have you ever had to set new credentials for all your accounts? Yes, it feels pretty much like your first day at the job again. 

 

Pain points for Help Desks 

Password frustration is a more visible phenomenon on the user side. But make the experiment of asking a Help Desk agent working at a large corporation without SSO in place how many password recovery calls he must attend every day. And how that work ranks in his important vs urgent matrix. 

High volumes of password replacement calls are among the key factors associated with the low productivity of Help Desks. In ITIL jargon, they are technically requests, but in practice, they're just a manifestation of the recurring problem: the dire need for an SSO. With an SSO in place, password recovery requests will be rare. They will still happen, particularly if you still have a password expiration policy (and there's a reason why Microsoft has abandoned that recommendation). But ownership will be much more effective, and you will have a maximum of 1 request per user. 

 

A single source of truth 

As much as single sign-on solves the password management problem, it's important to remind stakeholders that it also has the important benefit of centralizing employee accounts for all mandated enterprise software.  Admittedly, one immediate effect of that centralization is that users will have only one master key to all their applications. But the other side of the story is even more important: single sign-on connects user management for individual applications to a single source of truth, maintaining tight enforcement over access rights that eliminates the need for IT heroics. 

The good news is that many enterprises already have the necessary infrastructure in place to easily set up an SSO solution. Customers of Office 365, for example, can enable their central directory on Azure AD for free. A continuation of this article will offer a practical overview of your available options. It will detail what kind of identity resources are necessary to set up a single sign-on, what are the most common configurations of centralized user directories for Atlassian applications, and what tricks can get you a leading Identity Provider at an affordable price.

Topics: standardize security verify resolution sso
2 min read

Leading Wireless Retailer Makes the Shift from Zendesk to Jira Service Management

By Praecipio on Aug 26, 2020 10:00:00 AM

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One of the leading exclusive premium retailers for Verizon, offering a full range of wireless devices including phones, tablets, mobile broadband, wearable technology, accessories, and product insurance made the switch to Jira Service Management(JSM). With over 1000 locations, this retailer has a stellar reputation for excellent customer service and was even honored as Agent of the Year in 2016. As such, having a reliable ticketing system for customer service issues, as well as technical support, human resources and other critical aspects was non-negotiable.

Challenges with Zendesk

Poor Customer Service/Communication

This retailer was using Zendesk as its ticketing system for internal employees with a total of 12 portals for various business functions. The Zendesk contract was coming up for renewal and they were having significant issues communicating with Zendesk sales representatives.

Migration Needed with Fast Turnaround

With just a few weeks before their contract was set to expire, there was the risk of either discontinuing the Zendesk contract and losing over 300,000 data records or renewing at a hefty price tag just to have the account long enough to migrate their data off the platform.

Limited Customization

This retailer was unable to achieve some of the customizations they needed through their use of Zendesk. They needed a partner who could turn around a large migration, replicate their custom environment, test to ensure functionality, and build a knowledge base that would enable requesters to do self-service if possible.

Praecipio Chosen to Handle Atlassian Cloud Migration to Jira Service Management

For this special project, Praecipio was selected for their depth of knowledge with Jira Service Management, and confidence in their ability to deliver a migration from Zendesk to JSM on an aggressive timeline. Jira Service Management enables employees to submit tickets over the internet or via email. Additionally, not only was it a more affordable option, but JSM was also able to provide the unique customizations to their environment that the retailer needed.

Results

Custom Built Jira Service Management Environment

To complete the migration, Praecipio engineers met with the retailer’s representatives to get their requirements, review their Zendesk instance, and build out the Jira Service Management environment per their requirements. This project required 12 service desk portals for employees to create tickets for various departments within the company.

Specialized Migration Done on a Tight Deadline

Praecipio migrated 11 projects from ZenDesk to JSM, including a build out of 12 new Service Desk Spaces in Jira with associated fields, screens, workflows, email handlers. With over 300,000 records needing to be migrated--the history, field data, attachments, and more--this challenge would’ve been difficult, even in the best-case scenario. Praecipio performed the bulk of changes outside of normal business hours to avoid any business interruption.

Created a Knowledge Base & Conducted Post-Project Support

Praecipio created a Confluence knowledge base linked to Jira Service Management Projects. This knowledge base was created to host articles that can help employees solve their issue directly before submitting a request. This saves the IT department time and reduces the number of IT resources needed to support employees. Praecipio also provided expertise on 3rd party apps to help enhance Jira Service Management functionality and provided post-project support and guidance on best practices.

Topics: atlassian-cloud jira-service-management cloud migration
4 min read

The Importance of an Information Technology Escalation Process

By Praecipio on Dec 18, 2017 10:00:00 AM

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It’s almost lunch time and the phones are lighting up in the IT department. The email system is down, and everyone from the President to the Receptionist is calling to say there’s a problem. Of course, thanks to your monitoring system, IT had already noticed that something was wrong, but the calls are providing immediate feedback regarding how widespread the problem is. Because email is a mission-critical system at your company, if the Tier 1 engineer cannot quickly fix the problem, your Information Technology escalation process will kick in.

What Is An Information Technology Escalation Process?

An Information Technology escalation process is a formal process for addressing IT issues and problems when they arise. It is built on IT monitoring, which—when properly configured—will provide you with alarms and warnings whenever something is amiss.

All IT departments should have a written escalation process in place, with the entire IT staff trained on its use. Your escalation plan should remove all guess work, making actual emergencies a matter of simply implementing decisions that have been made in advance. Your escalation process should assign priority levels to different types of issues (thus eliminating judgement calls), delegate responsibilities to specific personnel, and define how much time personnel at different support levels will spend attempting to fix a given issue before the problem is “escalated” to the person or people at the next support tier. Just as important, one of the purposes of the escalation process is to have a plan in place for informing and alerting those who are impacted by the problem itself.

Within IT, who needs to be notified about a problem, called in to help fix the problem, or communicated with about the problem? Outside of IT, what functional groups need to be informed that there is a problem in the system that affects them and impacts the business? And who is responsible for making sure that all of this communication takes place?

For example, here is a sample Information Technology escalation process and timeline that an organization might follow for critical issues:

The Importance of an Information Technology Escalation Process

 

What Are IT Escalation Drills?

IT escalation drills are tests to see if your written process and plan actually work. When we run IT escalation drills we like to create a mock situation, make it as realistic as possible, and then take the drill all the way through escalation to the highest tier contacts in the plan. Why? Because it is important that the drill not be confined to IT staff. To be most effective it must include everyone in the escalation chain company-wide.

For clients of our Remote Monitoring and Management Service the process is a little different than what’s outlined above, because our escalation process involves people both within the Praecipio chain of command and at the client site. In most cases we will start by escalating issues internally before we escalate to the client.

Why Is Testing Your Information Technology Escalation Process So Important?

Your overall goal is to avoid prolonged outages, and your Information Technology escalation process is there to help you reach that goal. However, even if your IT escalation looks great on paper, until you test it you won’t know if it actually works.

Through IT escalation drills you can:

  • Discover problems with your written process  If you don’t run drills, you run the risk that you won’t discover your procedures don’t work or your contacts are no good until you’re in the middle of an actual emergency situation. Testing often uncovers flaws in the IT escalation plan itself, as well as problems with out-of-date information for the people in the escalation chain. It seems like when personnel change jobs or change their contact information, no one ever remembers to update the escalation plan.
  • Gain proficiency - As the saying goes, practice makes perfect. IT escalation drills allow your IT personnel to get so comfortable with the triage, troubleshooting and escalation processes that it all becomes second nature to them. All of this practice helps your team to be more proficient at resolving problems more quickly, and at communicating effectively with everyone in the escalation chain.
  • Realize you're missing vital skill sets - Of course, it's also possible that by running a drill you’ll discover that no one on your team has the ability to troubleshoot complex problems at all! Perhaps they’re excellent day-to-day administrators, but once the more “basic” potential root causes are eliminated, they are completely out of their league.If this is the case, the solution is to bring on an outside service company such as Praecipio to provide Remote Monitoring and Management Services for you. For example, with our “Manage” service level we’ll take care of everything from basic monitoring to Level 2 technical service, all without any need to interrupt or alert your staff.

Conclusion

If you want to be sure that your team is prepared to quickly and appropriately address outages and problems, running IT escalation drills is vital. If you need help getting monitoring in place, and/or creating and testing an IT escalation plan, give us a call. This is one of our areas of expertise.

Topics: process technology information itsm

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