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Praecipio Consulting

Praecipio Consulting


Recent posts by Praecipio Consulting

6 min read

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

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

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 Consulting, 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 Consulting 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 Consulting team to support you through your migration journey. 

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

Atlassian Cloud Migration Webinar Q&A

By Praecipio Consulting on Jul 22, 2022 1:15:00 PM

No cloud migration is created equally, and because there are several factors to consider when planning your migration, it can all feel overwhelming. As an Atlassian Specialized Partner in Cloud, our goal is to help guide you through the messiness of migrations and develop a path that fits your specific business needs and leads you to a successful Atlassian Cloud Migration.

Our team of migration experts recently hosted a Q&A-style webinar about the most common issues they see with cloud migrations and provided their insights about moving to Atlassian Cloud. Below is a list of all the questions that were asked and the answers that our team gave.

 

Q: What is the easiest way to determine if all the add-ons are still in use in the system prior to the cloud migration/test?

A: Have Praecipio Consulting run a database query.

 

Q: How do I migrate from Server to Cloud? What are the options?
A: Outside of a custom solution, there are 3 potential methods of migrating server data to cloud.

  1. Leverage the Jira and Confluence cloud migration tools developed by Atlassian.
  2. Run a full site export/import.
  3. Use an add-on like Configuration Manager for Jira from Appfire.

Of these options, Atlassian only supports 1 and 2, and 2 will be deprecated as a supported method in the near future. None of these methods are perfect, there are pros and cons to consider for each, and potentially have additional objects and elements that would have to be solutioned for.

 

Q: Do you see any challenges with having a hybrid environment with, for example, a Cloud Confluence linked to an on-prem Jira?

A: The main challenge to a hybrid approach is going to be related to security. In order for the applications to communicate rules and allowances will need to be put in place between the cloud site and the internal network. If the current scenario is that both Jira and Confluence are on-prem, and Confluence is migrated to Cloud, there are some additional challenges to consider with existing issue links between the two that would have to be overcome depending on the migration method.

 

Q: How to deal with SSO for our partners whom also have different IdP at their end on Jira Cloud configured with Atlassian Access SSO.

A: When talking about Atlassian Access, the main consideration you have to take into account is that in the server setting, all user accounts belong to the individual application, but in cloud, all accounts are Atlassian accounts and exist independently from the cloud sites. This allows a user to have permissions on multiple sites but potentially be governed by a different organization. If you have partners that you wish to grant access into your cloud site, and they have their own SSO policy in place, you can freely grant them access without any impact to your current user base.  As an example, for our customers we frequently leverage our @praecipio.com accounts, which we have managed by our own IdP.

 

Q: 1. Do you have any automated way to clean up an on-prem instance of Jira before migrating to cloud, things like filters and boards that belong to legacy projects that no longer exist?

2. Can the ability to have team-managed projects be disabled to ensure teams do not create a mess and stick to enterprise standards?

A: 1. We have developed several scripts and queries over time that can be used to help identify orphaned boards and filters, but this process is seldom completely automated and often requires additional input and context.

2. Yes, in cloud there is a global permission associated with who can create team-managed projects.

 

Q: When it comes to merging of Jira Server projects into an existing Cloud instance (where the projects are replacing previous existing projects), is there a preference of whether going on-prem to cloud or go to a cloud instance and then go cloud to cloud?  Or is that hop unnecessary? Do you have a preference as to whether to use Appfire's cloud migration tool or Atlassian's native migration tool?

A: Going from server to cloud and then cloud to cloud is more than likely going to be an unnecessary hop, but this depends largely on the migration method and the context surrounding the environments involved. We tend to leverage Atlassian's cloud migration tools when possible to gain the benefit of having support from Atlassian, but there are scenarios where Appfire's Configuration Manager for Jira needs to be leveraged, especially if there's a more complex instance merge happening.

 

Q: When migrating Jira from on-prem to cloud, is there a way to migrate a project without its data (i.e. keep issue types, dashboards, etc BUT not the issue tickets)?

A: This functionality does not exist natively within the migration toolset developed by Atlassian, but it is certainly a scenario that could be accomplished. There are several factors that would have to be considered such as preference of data archival.

 

Q: Do I need to have Atlassian Access to use the claim domain?

A: Yes, Atlassian Access is required to claim domains and set up authentication policies, including the use of SSO.

 

Whether you're looking for a speedy, low-cost migration or have complex enterprise requirements, we have a path for you. While the journey to Atlassian Cloud comes with its fair share of challenges, our experts are equipped with a deep understanding of migration intricacies and have helped hundreds of enterprise organizations successfully move to cloud. With our team as your guide, start planning your migration with confidence. Watch the full webinar on-demand!

Topics: webinars cloud configuration atlassian-cloud cloud migration
5 min read

6 Things To Consider When Building Salesforce Apps

By Praecipio Consulting on Jul 18, 2022 10:01:00 AM

To keep up with the fast-paced digital landscape, businesses depend on software for carrying out day-to-day business operations, connecting teams, and simplifying workflows. This probably explains why the global application development software market is anticipated to reach $733.5 billion by 2028.

After helping some of the world’s leading brands drive business innovation with our custom software solutions, we've learned a thing or two (or six!) along the way about building custom software that keeps teams and their tools connected. Specifically with Salesforce, our applications and integrations (whether those be specific customer use cases or general ones via the Atlassian Marketplace) have brought systems together, increased productivity, and empowered sales teams to win more deals

Through our experience with developing custom solutions for the world's leading CRM platform, we've identified some key things to consider to help get you started when building Salesforce apps.

#1 – Hit the Trail(head)

Salesforce is a big, well-established environment. There’s a lot you need to know about the REST API, the development process, and packaging and distributing your applications. The Salesforce Developer Training available at https://trailhead.salesforce.com provides free training courses along with sandbox environments to do the exercises. It’s a great way to quickly come up to speed on the topics you need to know more about.

The courses are not limited to development topics. If you need to learn more about using Salesforce or just want to understand the ins and outs of the Partner program, the Trailhead is the place to go.

#2 – The REST API is nice

The Praecipio Consulting development team does a lot of integration work, helping our customers improve their workflows by connecting different systems together. We work with many platforms, and have seen many APIs that are REST in name only. Often these are thin wrappers over an older XML API, or they don’t handle relationships in a RESTful fashion. Salesforce gets it right. The API is clean, consistent, and easy to use.

The API also provides a lot of useful metadata, which can help you make your software exceptional. When working with any object, you can get a list of all of the object’s fields, the labels for those fields (which may have been customized or localized), each field’s type, and whether a field is required or not. For any field whose value is selected from a list, there is an API call to return the list of valid values for the field.

#3 – Leverage a library for your stack

While the API is well-designed, it is large and feature-rich. Starting from scratch can be daunting, and you might not even be aware of some of its features. Instead of rolling your own code, take advantage of open source projects that wrap the API in your language. To achieve this, we use the Restforce Ruby GemSimple Salesforce is a well-regarded Python customer, and jsforce is available for JavaScript developers.

#4 – Deploy with the force (CLI)

Books, tutorials, and Trailhead courses on Salesforce development typically have you developing in the Salesforce GUI. There are times when that is valuable. The Developer Console provides a REPL that is handy for testing out ideas and debugging problems.

However, if you are like most developers, you have invested a lot of time getting your development environment just the way you like it. Fortunately, it is possible to integrate the Salesforce development process into just about any workflow. The folks at Heroku, a Salesforce company, have developed a Command Line Interface called Force, that allows you to interact with Salesforce using an API, instead of the GUI. You can upload and download templates and code, test snippets, view logs, inspect and change settings, plus much more. You can do just about anything you could do in the Salesforce GUI and while doing it in a scriptable, repeatable way.

#5 – Not all Salesforce instances have API access

Salesforce offers a number of editions, each with different pricing and features. One of the features that is not available on the lower cost plans is API access. Trying to access the API of an organization with the Contact Edition, Group Edition, or Professional Edition will raise an error. It’s also possible for the administrator of other Editions to turn off API access. Full details can be found in this article.

However, it is possible for a developer to get API access in these editions, which bring us to our final expert tip.

#6 – Managed packages and unmanaged packages. Choose wisely.

One of the topics that can be confusing for new Salesforce developers is Packages. It’s an important topic to understand because your choice can limit who can use your application and how.

Packages are ultimately bundles of customizations created by you that other Salesforce users can install into their organization. You customize a Salesforce instance and then, using a Salesforce-provided tool, you package up those customizations and publish them.

Once you have created a package, you can simply share a link to it. This is then considered an Unmanaged Package. Alternatively, you can submit that package to Salesforce for review, after which it will be published as a Managed Package, available in the Salesforce AppExchange.

Pros of Unmanaged Packages

  • Free to create.
  • Can be released at any time.
  • You can sell them directly to your customers.

Cons of Unmanaged Packages

  • Not in the AppExchange, you have to market directly to your potential customers.
  • Some companies will not install Unmanaged Packages, preferring only Salesforce approved applications from the AppExchange.
  • As noted above, API access is unavailable in some Salesforce Editions.
  • No automatic upgrades. If you make changes, your customers will have to manually install the new version.

Pros of Managed Packages

  • Customers can find you in the AppExchange.
  • Automatic upgrades are available.
  • Salesforce manages payments and licensing.
  • Full API access for all Editions. Editions of Salesforce that are not normally allowed to use the API are granted access for Managed Packages.

Cons of Managed Packages

  • Setup cost. The review process for a Managed Package includes a security review, which is expensive and time consuming. If your application will be free, this fee is waived, but you still must complete the security review.
  • Review time. The initial review process can take several months.
  • Salesforce takes a percentage of all sales through the AppExchange.

Ultimately, it’s a business decision. If you want to be in the AppExchange or have API access to all Editions of Salesforce, then you will need to have a Managed Package. However, if you want to move fast, sell directly, and avoid upfront costs, then an Unmanaged Package may be for you.

What's Next?

Still feel like you need some guidance on your custom development initiative? The award-winning team at Praecipio Consulting can bring our Salesforce expertise and software development best practices to your next project. Let us know how we can support your organization and help design innovative solutions that scale with speed of your business.

Topics: rest-api salesforce workflows integration software-development custom-development
2 min read

Praecipio Consulting’s Innovative AI-Powered App for Jira Cloud: Intelligent Image Classifier

By Praecipio Consulting on May 31, 2022 10:51:43 AM

blogpost-display Image-herro_Blog - Image Classifier

As machine learning and artificial intelligence continue to transform the way we use our technology platforms, the potential for innovation skyrockets. Praecipio Consulting’s Intelligent Image Classifier for Jira Cloud takes Jira’s existing automation to the next level through intelligent image recognition. Developed as part of Atlassian’s global Codegeist hackathon using the revolutionary Forge development platform, Intelligent Image Classifier enables teams by bringing the power of artificial intelligence to Jira. 

Award-winning App Combines AI and Automation to Boost Service Quality

With Intelligent Image Classifier, teams are able to automatically classify issues using multiple artificial intelligence algorithms, based on the AWS Rekognition platform. The app improves user experience in searchability, automation, and issue classification by filtering based on detected text or content within an image attached to a Jira ticket.

When asked about the origins of Intelligent Image Classifier, VP of Software Services Phil Maddaloni said, “Given our work with machine learning and AWS and our dynamic expertise within the Atlassian ecosystem, it was a perfect fit for us to apply these skills in a way that would add significant value for end users.”

Praecipio Consulting has discovered many use cases for the Intelligent Image Classifier, but the initial need was brought to the company by a local municipality. This customer wanted to improve service to their residents by identifying certain types of “work items” within their town, and classifying them based on content attached to tickets submitted through their Jira Service Management portal.

Improved Customer Service through Intelligent Image Classifier

We’ll explore a common application of this app with the story of Mrs. Smith and her cat, Mittens:

Mittens climbed the tall oak tree in the backyard, and now she’s stuck! Mrs. Smith quickly takes action, snapping a picture of Mittens and submitting a ticket with the picture through the municipality’s Jira Service Management platform. Intelligent Image Classifier automatically starts processing information. The app scans the picture of Mittens and recognizes the animal, even picking up text from a nearby street sign and adding that to the ticket. It automatically assigns the ticket to Animal Control’s service desk. Animal Control immediately dispatches a vehicle to the scene to rescue Mittens. Intelligent Image Classifier saves the day, streamlines the process, and Mrs. Smith is a happy citizen.

Later, the municipality completes an annual review of how its Animal Control department performed, and how many calls were serviced. To do so, an Atlassian administrator quickly and easily searches keywords like “cat”, “dog”, “animal”, “coyote,” etc. to find how many issues were automatically tagged with these keywords.

Future Uses with Image Recognition

In addition to image recognition and issue tagging, Intelligent Image Classifier can scan images for file types and integrate with Jira’s existing automation to incorporate into issue filters and customize Agile boards. Soon, the app will be able to automatically hide detected specific content based on targeted words and images. These use cases all improve overall user experience and security.

Praecipio Consulting is dedicated to developing innovative software for our customers, and we are excited to be recognized for our Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence capabilities by one of our most innovative and foundational partners, Atlassian. To learn more about how Praecipio Consulting can help your team propel innovation through exceptional software development and custom apps like Intelligent Image Classifier, contact us today!

Topics: automation artificial-intelligence marketplace-apps jira cloud
5 min read

Hassle-Free Atlassian License Management with Praecipio Consulting

By Praecipio Consulting on May 31, 2022 10:05:47 AM

blog_licensemanagement_Blog - License Management-1

Designed to scale with enterprise needs, the Atlassian platform offers flexible licensing models to support all levels of software deployment. Whether you choose Cloud or Data Center, you can freely evaluate the products and purchase them under one common Atlassian Software License Agreement.

Atlassian tools are a major innovation investment for many enterprises. Like any investment, it pays to develop a clear plan and unified strategy for managing licenses, including third-party apps, across the organization.

Creating a strategy isn’t easy. Keeping track of licensing intervals for different software, evaluating business priorities to determine when to upgrade or downgrade user count, and moving from the Atlassian stack offering to individual software licensing all take time and can be complicated, especially in large organizations with multiple teams using different tools and apps.

That’s why experienced leaders choose to outsource license management to Atlassian Solution Partners like Praecipio Consulting. We can help you choose the best licensing model to support your organization’s growth plans, unify licensing across teams to minimize costs, manage renewals, and effectively support it all to ensure that you get the most out of your tools and teams.

Below, you’ll learn more about Atlassian licensing models, key considerations for license management, and how Praecipio Consulting’s Managed Services can help organizations like yours stay on top of your licensing strategy.

Atlassian Licensing: A Strategic Investment to Support Your Growing Teams

Basic licensing models for all Atlassian products:

 

Pricing

Evaluation

Purchasing and Installation

Cloud Subscriptions

  • Monthly or annual subscription
  • Freely switch between subscription plans
  • Monthly plans are billed per active users. Deactivate inactive users to avoid unnecessary costs. (Annual plans billed by user tier)
  • Use Atlassian’s Cloud Calculator to estimate costs.
  • Enjoy a discounted price for upgrades from Server instance (Restrictions Apply).
  • Initial free 7-day trial
  • 30-day extension of evaluation period
  • 30-day money back guarantee following evaluation period
  • Billing can be manual or automatic
  • Subscriptions can run monthly or annual
  • Any purchase, whether monthly or annual, can be managed through an Atlassian Solution Partner.

Data Center Term Licenses

  • Annual term subscription per instance with expiration date.
  • Enjoy a discounted price for upgrades from Server instance (Restrictions Apply).
  • Renewal cost is the same as the original annual term.
  • Activate Data Center evaluation license to start a 30-day free trial.
  • Self-hosted on internal systems such as AWS or Azure.
  • Data Center apps can be installed in a multi-node environment.
  • Licensing uses a subscription model paid in 12-month increments.

 

When selecting your licensing model, you should assess the number of users, operational needs, and administrative requirements to determine the most cost-effective deployment option for your organization. Especially for enterprise-wide adoption, you should consider the effort required for application setup, maintenance, user growth and customization, as well as potential downtime that might affect your business.

For example, if you are piloting discrete agile teams with Atlassian, choosing a Cloud deployment would be ideal, since it’s rather simple to get the system up and running. The software can quickly scale up or down, depending on your team size. However, if you require extensive customization or compliance requirements (i.e. FedRAMP), you may want to opt for a Data Center deployment. HIPAA compliance is now available on Atlassian Cloud.

It’s important to constantly evaluate your licenses and system scalability as your team grows. This requires a strategic approach to license management to ensure that you’re still using the most appropriate licensing model, your Atlassian tools and Marketplace apps are coordinated across teams, and your licensing tier is correctly sized for your business.

Get More from Your Atlassian Investment with Praecipio Consulting Managed Services

Your job doesn’t just stop when you purchase Atlassian software–the software is critical to keep your business running. In addition to establishing a governance strategy to ensure a unified deployment, you need to continuously evaluate licensing to avoid unnecessary costs.

“Sounds great! But why should I outsource Atlassian licensing to a Solution Partner?”

We’re glad you asked.

As a Platinum Solution Partner, Praecipio Consulting can help you evaluate the best licensing to fit your growth now and in the future, while simplifying the purchasing process and renewal plans, assessing user activity to determine the appropriate license tier for your organization, and more.

Here’s exactly how we can help:

Evaluate New Licenses

If you’re new to Atlassian, you may feel overwhelmed by the sheer amount of deployment options. Our team of expert Atlassian admins will help you develop a clear roadmap for your tools, select the right solutions, and deploy with confidence.

Existing Atlassian customers will benefit from a thorough evaluation of your systems and requirements to identify potential cost savings, select the right user tier, and evaluate upgrade options.

Unify Licensing Across the Enterprise

Once Atlassian begins to scale across the organization, many businesses lose track of the various Atlassian tools and Marketplace apps used by their teams. This can be a costly problem, resulting in businesses paying for multiple licenses when one correctly-sized licensing tier would do. It can also cause governance issues with teams using different apps to accomplish the same function (e.g., time tracking).

This is where it really pays to work with an Atlassian Solution Partner. We’ll help evaluate your complete environment, identify opportunities to improve governance and save costs through unified license management, and help you avoid the organizational headache of building and driving a clear roadmap and policies for your business.

Managing Interval License Renewals

Every software deployment, including Marketplace apps, comes with a 12-month validation period. Keeping track of all these licenses can be a hassle. We offer co-terming to transition all your product interval renewals into a single order. You’ll be notified by our team 90 days before the expiration date to avoid any interruption to your service.

Dedicated Expert Support

To help you get the most out of your Atlassian investment, we offer periodic assessments to determine if you need to upgrade to the next tier or downgrade your instance. We will also keep you on top of any security vulnerabilities, allowing you to leverage our full service from start to finish.

Move Your Business Forward with a Sustainable Atlassian Deployment

With Praecipio Consulting’s Managed Services offering, you can rest assured that your Atlassian technology stack is always performing at its best, at any scale. We’ll help you manage everything from your native Atlassian software like Jira, Confluence or Bitbucket to your Marketplace Apps.

Contact us today to learn more about our support packages and how we can help you with all of your licensing needs.

Topics: managed-services consulting-services licensing atlassian-solution-partner
10 min read

How To Decide Between Cloud and Data Center

By Praecipio Consulting 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 Consulting, guides you through the entire migration process, sharing their proven expertise to accelerate your journey to cloud. For example, during a migration with Praecipio Consulting, 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 Consulting 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
3 min read

Our Atlassian Team '22 Recap

By Praecipio Consulting on Apr 11, 2022 12:51:46 PM

2022 Q2 Blog - PCM-10055 Atlassian Team Recap - Hero
Team '22 has wrapped and what an exciting week it was. The event served as an impactful place for innovators and problem-solvers to come together and interact with attendees and Atlassian customers. We're feeling so inspired to be at Atlassian's flagship conference helping teams focus on what matters most and discovering the power of their Atlassian investment. 

Our theme revolved around amplifying what's possible for teams everywhere. As a platinum sponsor this year, we participated in events like a Lunch 'n Learn Session on Work Management presented by Larry Brock, a Theater Session on Jira Align presented by Amanda Babb, an on-demand Breakout Session on Atlassian Cloud by Suze Treacy, and an on-demand Demo Session on Jira Service Management by Brian Nye.

Praecipio Consulting also delivered several training sessions, which allowed their students to utilize best practices and build on their existing skillsets. The team-led trainings included:

  • Jira Align Program Essentials delivered by Jack Harding and Brian Nye
  • Atlassian DevOps Essentials delivered by Luis Machado and Christopher Pepe
  • Planning with Advanced Roadmaps delivered by Amanda Babb, Ian VanHover and Dean Rizzuto
  • Bitbucket Pipelines Configuration delivered by Shannon Fabert and Jim Easterly
  • Managing Boards in Jira delivered by Shannon Fabert and Larry Brock

We heard motivating stories from speakers and listened to informative presentations about new Atlassian updates. Attendees were inspired to work differently, together. Some highlights of the keynotes include Jay Shetty's, "How connected thinkers will build the future", "Work differently, together: A new vision for Work Management" by Joff Redfern and Erika Trautman and "In conversation with Bob Iger", an inspirational talk with the Former CEO and Chairman of The Walt Disney Company Bob Iger and Scott Farquhar, the Co-Founder and Co-CEO of Atlassian.

"Being able to connect in-person after two years felt like an extended Atlassian family reunion. The continued growth in Atlassian and Marketplace products will provide lots of great tactical and strategic features. Team ’22 really renewed my excitement about our ability to help customers maximize the value of their Atlassian investment." - Joseph Lane, COO

Thank you to everyone who stopped by to say 'Howdy!' and to those who attended any of our talks. Keep scrolling to read about our recap of the ultimate teamwork experience. 

2022 Q2 Blog - PCM-10055 Atlassian Team Recap - Keynote

We learned a lot during the Atlassian Team '22 Keynote Address. Atlassian continues to transform how teams collaborate and drive cultural change through ITSM, DevOps & Agile, and Work Management.

2022 Q2 Blog - PCM-10055 Atlassian Team Recap - Bottles

Praecipio Consulting had some of the coolest swag. Pictured above are the water bottles we handed out.

2022 Q2 Blog - PCM-10055 Atlassian Team Recap - Larry Brock  4ED5D3EC-C146-44C1-B797-9A66E62EDF39  2022 Q2 Blog - PCM-10055 Atlassian Team Recap - Shannon

Left: "Streamlining the DevOps Lifecycle with Jira Service Management" with Larry Brock
Center: "Jira Align Program Essentials" with Jack Harding
Right: "Bitbucket Pipelines Configuration" with Shannon Fabert

AMPLIFY WHAT'S POSSIBLE FOR TEAMS EVERYWHERE

We loved seeing old friends, making new ones, and connecting over all things Atlassian last week. Let us know if you have any follow-up questions about Team '22 and how we can amplify what's possible for your business teams. 

Topics: atlassian events
3 min read

Scrum Sprint Planning: How Long Should Sprints Be?

By Praecipio Consulting on Mar 29, 2022 10:05:18 AM

2021-q4-blogpost-Agile vs. Scrum Methology- Whats the Difference?-1

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.

What is Scrum? How long should sprints be?

What is Scrum? Scrum is an Agile framework that gives teams guidelines on how to complete their work. It contains sets of roles, ceremonies, and considerations for how your work is completed.

An Agile sprint is a concept in scrum that represents a time box, i.e., a short amount of time the team has committed to complete the work. And how long is a sprint in Agile? Sprints in scrum can be as long as you want; however, it's most common for sprint length to be between 1 and 4 weeks. Teams running Scrum sprints need to decide what makes sense for them.

We often see that team's first instincts lean toward the extreme: Either 1-week sprints or 4-weeks sprints. While there are arguments for the varying lengths of sprints in scrum, here are some standard variables that you and your team should consider.

Sprint Planning for Planned vs. Unplanned Work

Before sprint planning begins, it's essential to define what you want to accomplish during that sprint. Instead of using overarching strategic objectives to guide your team, sprint goals should be smaller, more attainable chunks of work that can be completed in a shorter timeframe. 

If you are an Agile Scrum team with high variability in your work, longer sprints may give you the necessary buffer to complete the job. If you've got a 1-week sprint (with 1 of your 5 days already dedicated to ceremonies), even one or two random pieces of work can prevent your team from completing the work in the committed scope.

On the other hand, if the team has unplanned work with a lower level of urgency, Scrum sprint lengths that are shorter allow you to include the work in your Scrum sprint planning within a shorter period.

As far as how to best manage work, Jira is a great tool to help teams achieve this. Here's a guide on starting, managing, and completing a sprint using Jira. 

Time Dedicated to Scrum Ceremonies

How much time per week should sprint planning to be spent in scrum, retrospectives, backlog grooming, and demos? Shorter sprints mean more time is spent in these meetings. This becomes even more essential if you do not have dedicated roles (scrum master, product owner).

What we see in 1-week sprints is that teams can lose a full day (twenty percent of the sprint!) of each sprint to demos, retros, and planning. So the shorter your Agile sprints are in scrum, the more often you're having these ceremonies.

Size and Scope of Tasks

Is your work small enough to be completed in the sprint length? For example, if you are often not completing work in 1 sprint, a longer sprint in scrum may make sense (or you may just need to work on improving properly sizing your tasks).

Feedback Cycle

How often do I want to see and evaluate completed work? Is it acceptable to go 4 weeks without demonstrating the work that's being done? Do you need to know every week? Sprint length determines how often you see sprint demos and complete sprint retrospectives.

Inspection and Adaptation

There's no one-size-fits-all answer to optimal Scrum sprint length, and iteration is the key to scrum - so don't worry if your first choice doesn't work for your team. That's what your retrospectives are for, after all!

For more background on how we do Agile at Scale, read our case study on how Praecipio Consulting helped an enterprise client accelerate their Agile transformation.

Is your organization going through an Agile transformation? Learn about this robust framework and how our team can help your organization drive successful business outcomes through our Agile at Scale implementations. 

Please reach out if you have questions or are considering how to migrate your team to an agile approach.

Topics: scaled-agile scrum sprint
3 min read

Join Praecipio Consulting at Atlassian's Team '22

By Praecipio Consulting on Mar 15, 2022 4:32:37 PM

2021 Q1 Blog - Event - Atlassian Team 22 - Hero

We're excited to share that we'll have our boots on the ground at Team '22, Atlassian's flagship conference, and the ultimate teamwork experience. It's an extra special event for Praecipio Consulting this year, as it's our first time back in person since 2019 and our new 6kites family is joining us as well.

How to find us at Team '22

From April 5-7, stop by our booth and chat with us about new ideas, process-powered solutions, and all things in between. We look forward to seeing old friends, making new ones, and connecting over how we amplify what's possible for teams everywhere through the power of Atlassian. In addition to our booth presence, here's a rundown of where else you can find Praecipio Consulting people:

Training Sessions on Tuesday, April 5:

  • "Jira Align Program Essentials" with Jack Harding from 9:30 am - 3:30 pm
  • "Atlassian DevOps Essentials" with Luis Machado from 9:30 am - 4:30 pm
  • "Planning with Advanced Roadmaps" with #BigInKorea Amanda Babb from 8:30 am - 4:30 pm
  • "Bitbucket Pipelines Configuration" with Shannon Fabert from 8:00 am - 12:00 pm and 1:30 pm - 5:30 pm

Lunch ‘n Learn Session on Wednesday, April 6:

  • "Streamlining the DevOps Lifecycle with Jira Service Management" Lunch ‘n Learn Session with Larry Brock from 12:30 - 1:30 pm at Lunch 'n Learn Area B

Training & Theater Sessions on Thursday, April 7:

  • "How Jira Align Supports SAFe®: Accelerating Your Digital Transformation" Theater Session with Amanda Babb from 12:15 -12:30 pm at Theater A
  • "Managing Boards in Jira" Training with Shannon Fabert and Larry Brock from 10:00 am - 10:45 am and 3:15 pm - 4:00 pm

Also, for anyone interested in joining our team and helping build the future with us, we'll hold in-person interviews in our meeting room during Team '22. If you'd like to schedule an interview, send an email to team@praecipio.com.

Amplify possibility

We’re proud of our rich history and the strong values that have guided us for the past 16+ years. As our company grows with the addition of our 6kites family and beyond, we’re excited about the new adventure that lies ahead of us.

Our Atlassian Team '22 theme this year represents the boundless opportunities we have to help teams get back to their purpose through good process, well-practiced. As we embark on this journey together, we invite you to get inspired by the endless possibilities to solve big problems, enable innovation, and create space for people to dream big in all areas of life. 

Be part of our journey

Stop by the Praecipio Consulting booth and join our in-person sessions to learn more about how we're helping teams focus on what matters most when you perfect the process with Atlassian products. Let us know if you have any questions about the event and for those wanting to learn more about our career opportunities, send an email to team@praecipio.com to schedule an interview.  

Topics: atlassian events atlassian-solution-partner
2 min read

Should my Jira Service Management instance be separate from Jira Software?

By Praecipio Consulting on Jan 29, 2021 2:04:24 PM

Blogpost-display-image_Should my Jira Service Desk instance be separate from Jira Software-As companies grow either organically or inorganically, many are faced with the decision of whether they should consolidate or keep their Jira instances separate. Today I'm going to address one specific flavor of this conundrum that I am often asked about, specifically with regards to separate instances of Jira Software and Jira Service Management. Some organizations choose to have separate instances for Jira Service Management and Jira Software, but I am here to tell you that is probably not necessary!

Although Jira Software and Jira Service Management are different products, there is no need to keep them separate. The most efficient companies use both in a single instance, so that teams can collaborate much more easily. As organizations adopt DevOps or start to think about it, one of the first things that is looked at is how IT interacts with the development organization. If these two groups are working in separate Jira instances, collaboration and clear understanding of ownership and handoffs is much more difficult. For example, It is much easier to link an incident that was submitted to the service desk to an associated bug if all of those tickets live in the same instance. While you can link to tickets in other instances, that requires users be licensed in both and have a clear understanding of where the work lives. Working in a single instance removes the need for potential duplicate licenses and ensures teams can communicate clearly. 

Occasionally teams use separate instances due to security considerations. However, in almost all situations your security concerns can be addressed by project permissions, application access, and issue security. There are few cases that Jira's native security features won't account for. 

Finally, let's look at this from a user experience perspective. One of the most prominent complaints that we see as organizations undertake their digital transformations are that users have to keep track of too many tools, a pain that I've felt in my career as well. Trying to remember where to log in for a specific subset of your work can be a headache. If your Jira Service Management and Jira Software instances are separate, they'll have two separate URLs that users have to navigate to. Signing into multiple locations and using different URLs adds an extra step where there need not be one.

Since you've already made the great decision to use both Jira Software and Jira Service Management, you might as well reap the benefits of the easy connection between the two so your teams can focus on what matters, rather than managing their tools. 

Are you looking to merge your Jira instances? Contact us, we know all about how to do that, and would love to help.

Topics: jira atlassian optimization tips integration project-management jira-core merge jira-service-management
3 min read

Why do only developers have to estimate their time and effort?

By Praecipio Consulting on Jan 21, 2021 10:20:00 AM

Blogpost-display-image_Why does it seem like only developers have to estimate their time and effort-

Nearly a decade ago, as an intern at a now-defunct startup in Austin, Texas, I got a question from a developer that haunted me for years after because I didn’t have a clue how to answer it:

“Michael, why is it that only the developers have to jump through the hoops of estimating our work, spending hours in sprint planning and retrospective meetings and making sure every hour of our day is accounted for and attached to a work item?”

After incredulously wondering how anyone could possibly question the divine and holy agile methodology that I had been zealously learning and implementing that summer, I realized that the developer had posed a wonderful question. Why was it that we only had these requirements for developers? Why didn’t we impose this same process on sales or HR or accountants or any other part of the business? Why wasn’t anyone asking upper management for a timesheet that said exactly what they had worked on every hour that day? I’ve thought about this question for a long time and have built up an answer, or rather a few answers and some capitulations, over the past several years of agile work.

First, development work is hard to understand. Even for developers it’s hard to understand, but for those without computer engineering degrees or years of experience, it’s nearly impossible. How do you explain to someone that developing a section of code that does something seemingly trivial is actually exceedingly difficult and can take several hours?

Second, the work is invisible. You can see code, sure (even if you can’t understand it), but you can’t really see data fetching, processing, rendering, or anything else going on behind the scenes. Coupled with the difficulty of understanding development work in the first place, this poses a serious issue for people trying to understand what’s going on in that bullpen. In contrast, people can see a sales call, an HR training meeting, or an accountant’s spreadsheet and understand quickly and intuitively the value that it brings to the business.

Which brings us to our third and perhaps most important point: it’s important for the business to know what development projects cost. Part of what product managers should be doing is understanding the economics of a given feature, bug fix, or other development effort: how many hours did the team spend writing, testing, rewriting, and deploying this code, and how does that translate to cost?

In my mind, these three reasons sufficiently answered why the business typically loves these processes and imposes them on development teams. But, they didn’t do a good job answering why other teams didn’t tend to have the same processes, often seen as restrictions, imposed on them. After all, isn’t some sales and accounting work invisible and hard to understand? Isn’t it important for the business to understand the cost of HR work? 

Because of this, I’ve come to firmly believe that there are several processes, standards, actions, and overall contributions, usually all attributed to the amorphous “agile”, that every team and business could benefit from. Stand-up meetings, among teams of 15 or less, can be a great way for the team to understand what everyone is working on, reduce duplicate work, and quickly squash problems. Kanban boards (or any similar variants) are wonderful for seeing all of the work in progress, matching different team members to their respective strengths, and prioritizing and organizing ongoing projects. Sprints, or at the very least increments of time which demand continuous planning and feedback, will certainly expose problems and bring about process improvements for a given team. 

It turns out the developer who asked me that question years ago was on to something. The business tends to pick on development teams because their work, in most offices, is the hardest to understand, the least visible, costly, and they’d like to get a better understanding of what’s going on. However, many agile practices would clearly benefit teams across the firm, including and especially those outside of development. Here’s to hoping we see businesses move in that direction in the coming years.

Topics: developers agile
4 min read

How to Have a Stress Free Holiday

By Praecipio Consulting on Dec 4, 2020 2:01:00 PM

Blogpost-display-image_How to Have a Stress Free Holiday Vacation (1)

In just a few weeks, the holidays will be here. Your partner may be already making needed plans to enjoy the much-needed downtime at home. But inside, you may have an uneasy feeling about work projects. Can you afford to take off and not fall woefully behind? Will important software-based projects stall? Or worse, crash and burn?

If the thought of taking PTO comes with mixed feelings, this article is for you. 

At Praecipio Consulting, we’re business process experts. Every day we work with executives from the world’s most respected companies. We surveyed our partners to learn their advice on how you can take time off to recharge your batteries and have your team keep projects moving at the same time. 

Christian_LaneChristian Lane, our CEO, begins the conversation. “I love taking time off. It’s essential for my well being, and we require everyone in the company to do the same. It’s a non-negotiable. But when we do have key team members out, we have set expectations.”

 

 

Announce your plans and block off your schedule

Let your coworkers know not to schedule anything for you during this time, and be aware of these dates when you are discussing project deliverables. 

Bust your tail for 3 weeks prior

Put in extra hours if you have to, but I prefer to better use the time already allocated for work. Staying focused and being productive now will help you have peace of mind later. 

Empower your #2

For executives in senior management, there may be time-sensitive decisions that need to be made in your absence. It’s important to have a second-in-command that has full authority to make most decisions while you are gone. Have a meeting with this person about the parameters of this responsibility and make sure the other players on your team are aware of who you have delegated to. In addition to leaving decision authority in capable hands, you’ll likely see this person respond well and appreciate the trust. Understand that mistakes may happen, but it’s also a learning opportunity. 

Joseph Lane, Atlassian automation expert and one of our partners at Praecipio Consulting, takes a more tactile approach. He stresses that in the Agile mindset, effective managers must use the right tools that are purpose-built and customizable to keep critical business functions working effectively. If any project relies on any one person for completion, this potential single point of failure is problematic for the organization and stressful for the employee. When this key person needs rest and relaxation, business stops, and that’s expensive. 

joseph_lane selfieMore specifically, Lane is referring to the Atlassian suite of products: Jira, Confluence, Trello, and others. When used to their fullest potential, team members can work independently if needed and collaborate following a quality assurance process the company developed. Users and managers can almost instantly view the progress on a project and comment. Lane recommends having a clear system for accountability and escalation when challenges arise. If this is clearly defined before a manager goes on vacation, team members can bring in more people, access more resources, or find vendor partners to solve problems. Failure to have these processes in place means that projects could stall and teams lose momentum. Lane summarizes, “Be more process-oriented than person dependent.” 

Christian Lane encourages everyone on software teams to develop a mindset for responsibility. That means if you find a problem, you own it. See it through to a solution. He loves the idea of stress-testing your systems by creating fires. “It keeps people on their toes,” he says. An example might be inserting a snippet of code that wreaks havoc. Engineers must backtrack and see where it was introduced. Also known as chaos engineering, it’s the practice of experimenting on a software system in production to build confidence in the system's capability to withstand turbulent and unexpected conditions.

Still, totally unplugging, although the healthiest option, isn’t always possible. Lane tells a story of when he was conflicted about taking his laptop on an overseas vacation. “On one hand, if I took it, I knew I couldn’t help myself and work. On the other hand, if there was a legitimate emergency and I needed to log in, I wouldn’t be able to.” 

In the end, he decided to travel with his computer and stay disciplined to only look at his Atlassian enabled dashboard when he logs in. If he saw all green lights, he would close the laptop after just 5 minutes or so per day. 

In the end, great leaders are measured by how well the business continues without you. As leaders, our job is about driving continuous improvement. When you take off time, operations may not be improving and optimizing, but they should still continue. 

A recap for a stress-free holiday:

  • Announce your plans, block off your schedule
  • Bust your tail for 3 weeks prior
  • Empower your #2
  • Use the right Atlassian tools 
  • Have process and systems for escalation in place
  • Develop a mindset of responsibility
  • Stress-test your systems

 

Topics: blog holiday atlassian-solution-partner work-life-balance
4 min read

Jira Data Center on Linux vs Windows

By Praecipio Consulting on Oct 14, 2020 12:29:22 PM

Blogpost-display-image

This is a debate as old as the Operating Systems (OS) themselves and a discussion that never seems to end. Being in charge of making the decision between Linux or Windows for your team can be a hard choice. Currently, about 77% of all personal and professional computers around the world run Windows, while only about 1.84% of all computers run a Linux distro. Linux is the current choice of many organizations because of their development machines and servers. JIRA can run on either OS, with only slight differences as to how the software is managed and monitored. Linux offers better ability to write one-off scripts and utilities. It is important to note that Atlassian does developments and testing on Linux systems. Even though windows historically has performance issues compared to Linux, the gap has been reduced in recent years. Potential problems that Windows users face can be getting backups or processing data. Let's dive further into each OS and learn more about them! 

Operating System Overview

Before making any decisions, it is important to know the history, pros, and cons of each OS. 

Linux

LinuxLinux is an open-source, OS created by a Finnish student, Linus Torvalds, in 1991. This free and highly customizable OS is currently the choice of many organizations, large and small, as their development machines' and servers' OS. Most of the different flavors of Linux, called distributions or 'distros,' are built to use fewer hardware resources, making the overall system more efficient. Additionally, Linux is easy to customize and modify to the liking of the user due to the fact that the source code for it is available publicly. 

Because Linux is completely free, there is less traditional "technical support" available with the product. The available support comes in the form of paid support from a third party or from the Linux community through public chat boards and FAQ sites. Not all versions come with long-term support due to a slow rate of change when it comes to OS upgrades. 

With customizability and freedom to modify as needed comes with a steep learning curve. For example, remote access requires command-line knowledge. This is less intuitive than Windows graphical remote access interface. System changes and customization requires complex operation. 

One of the benefits that comes with an open-source OS is security. With many eyes around the world looking at the source code and improving it everyday, less and less attack vectors are found by malicious parties. Another reason for better security is obscurity. Linux, when compared to Windows, has considerably less market share, making Linux systems less of a target for attacks. 

Linux also offers some additional benefits. It is very easy to write custom scripts, users have full control on updates and changes, and lightweight architecture helps with performance.

Windows

windows

Windows is a for-profit product and was first launched by Microsoft in 1985, gaining popularity with the release of Windows 95 in 1995. This propelled Windows into being the leader of OSs around the world. One of the reasons for this popularity boom is the easy to use graphical interface that Windows is known for. Windows is usually the choice for novice and business users, as well as large companies looking for quick responses and dedicated support. As with all proprietary technologies, individual users experience less customization. Additionally, the OS is not going to be as optimized to hardware as Linux. 

When the OS is purchased, Microsoft provides integrated and online help to all customers. Getting personalized help is usually easier with Windows than with Linux. Due to the market share of Windows, almost all software products are designed with Windows in mind. Some Windows programs are simply not available in Linux. It is important to note that even while many third-party products are free, the majority of Microsoft products are only available at a cost. 

Windows was designed with ease of use in mind. Graphical interfaces are available for making most configurations. For example, to access remote servers, Windows offers a graphical remote desktop software. There is no need to be a command-line expert to customize the server. The learning curve for Windows is not as steep as Linux. This is really important for novice users and more proficient users may be frustrated by the lack of fine-tune control over the system or by the oversimplification of system tasks. 

Due to the popularity of Windows, the OS is a large target for malicious parties. Many security vulnerabilities and system instabilities have been reported throughout the years. To be fair, Microsoft has been able to make security improvements in response to the security leaks. Regular system upgrades and security fixes help protect sensitive data. 

So, should I run my Jira Server/Data Center on Linux or Windows?

As with many hard questions: it depends. Windows is more user friendly. The built-in remote desktop access makes it simple to make changes and update JIRA configurations. Linux servers may have a sharper learning curve and feel more demanding, but they perform better. Linux provides more customization options while working with JIRA and better security.

jira

The decision comes down to one main factor- comfort level. Having prior knowledge of Windows or Linux servers will go a long way in helping make the decision and will make working with JIRA easier. How comfortable is the team with each OS? It is also important to consider the style of the rest of the organization, as OS consistency is incredibly important for productivity and collaboration.

If your organization just wants to focus on development and not worry about managing JIRA, Praecipio Consulting can offer expert support services with our Atlassian Platinum Enterprise expertise and process focus. 

 

Topics: jira best-practices linux windows server
3 min read

ESM Part 2: Three Key Benefits of ESM

By Praecipio Consulting on Aug 4, 2020 3:47:00 PM

ESM Part 2 Header

If one system can do with relative ease what it used to take multiple systems to do, it makes sense to use that one system, right? Following up on our first blog post of this series, we continue to explore the benefits that ESM brings to an organization. 

Historically, the toughest part of this statement had been that one system could not do what multiple systems could, resulting in a need to keep those multiple systems in place. However, the software has advanced to the point where this is not the case anymore. As an example, Jira Software was originally developed for software development teams to track bugs and was not feasible for an HR or Legal team to use. Today, its flexible workflows, security controls, ease of visibility, and several other characteristics have allowed all teams within the organization to use Jira. This has given way to the rise of Enterprise Service Management (ESM) as teams realize that they can simplify their software landscape and reduce the number of systems in play.

Consider three specific benefits of replacing multiple systems with one:

  1. Eliminate clunky handoffs. The toughest part of the process is to understand and improve the handoff from one system to another. In addition to evolving teams, the work itself tends to change physical form, from an Excel spreadsheet to a Jira issue to a Salesforce ticket and so on. This creates unnecessary steps in the process and requires extra time to convert and understand the work. This behavior is not the result of intelligent design, but rather a factor of history and the way things evolved. Condensing to one system helps eliminate these physical shifts, resulting in cleaner handoffs and reduced process time.
  2. Include a rich history. When an item moves from one system to another, its history can get lost. A classic example is when a developer has a work item without the original business requirements or design thoughts from upstream teams. Cutting down to one system provides the team with the ability to receive the entire history of the work item. This rich history provides valuable context, eliminates confusion, reduces process time by decreasing the time spent understanding the problem, and decreases the possibility of rework due to misunderstood context. 
  3. Reduce Costs. One license paid to one vendor generates economies of scale and minimizes costs related to using multiple licenses. It typically increases bargaining power with the vendor and decreases cost per seat. Additionally, maintenance and training cost both decrease. If an employee works in one system, compared to several, that translates to only one training session versus multiple sessions. Better yet, keeping the training budget the same and committing to several training sessions on one system will further increase people’s proficiency in that system, boosting their productivity and performance. Maintenance then becomes easier as the IT team only has one system to monitor and keep running. Similar to training, when you invest time into only one system, it encourages deeper learning within the team and drives results in better support of the system, further minimizing costs due to less downtime and incident recovery time.  

Not to mention, using one system as opposed to several brings additional benefits of improved communication and data insights. Understanding the workflow and developing patterns is much easier in one system than it is when work transfers through several systems. Furthermore, when teammates only have one system to check instead of several, they are more likely to communicate faster and better understand problems. 

Finally, a benefit not to overlook is the fact that employees like working within a single system. In our experience, employees enjoy seeing workflow through to different teams and appreciate the ease of using a single, connected, and integrated system. Furthermore, with one system to monitor, teammates have improved visibility of work coming up the pipeline and can follow the progression of the work they’ve completed. This leads to a better understanding of upcoming work, as well as a greater sense of accomplishment when they can see their work completed. 

In the next of this series on the topic, we will explore the ROI of ESM based on our experience with a client, demonstrating how implementing ESM best practices can save you money while improving your processes.  

Topics: enterprise process-improvement service-management cost-effective
12 min read

Custom Macro Parameters with JavaScript

By Praecipio Consulting on Mar 12, 2018 11:00:00 AM

Introduction 

Custom macros are a popular, supported, and versatile addition to any confluence page. Confluence users are able to use macros by making their own, searching the macro library, or by getting access to additional macros through add-ons. If you are making your own macro through an add-on, you will know that the parameter types, aka fields, are limited to the following: 

    • boolean - displays a check box.
    • enum - displays a select field.
    • string - displays an input field (this is the default if unknown type).
    • spacekey - displays an autocomplete field for search on space names.
    • attachment - displays an autocomplete field for search on attachment filenames.
    • username - displays an autocomplete field for search on username and full name.
    • confluence-content - displays an autocomplete field for search on page and blog titles.

Using JavaScript and Soy templates, you are able to inject custom parameters into a macro. The following tutorial is an example of a custom field injected into a basic macro form. The goal is to create a multi-select drop down menu comprised of static predetermined menu items. Note- JS functionality to create a multi-select list and the CSS are not included. 

 

Steps for injecting an element into a macro 

Building the macro

Example code of plugin.xml 

<xhtml-macro name="macro-list" key="macro-list" class="your.class.name"  documentation-url="#"
             icon="/path/to/yourPic.jpg">
    <category name="external-content"/>
    <parameters>
        <parameter name="User" type="username"/>
        <parameter name="Page" type="confluence-content"/>
        <parameter name="StatusSelect" type="string"/>
        <parameter name="Status" type="string"/>
        <parameter name="Width" type="percentage" default="100%"/>
        <parameter name="Max Results" type="int" default="30"/>
    </parameters>
</xhtml-macro>

 

Macro prior to injecting content

Edit DocuSign Envelope Screenshot

*Note: The "Status" parameter is not visible in this image. That is because the element is hidden with CSS. More on why the element is hidden in the JavaScript section. 

 

Configuring the Soy template multi-select code

{template .multiSelect}
    <div class="status-container">
        <div class="closed-status-margin status-selected-container macro-input-fields text">
            <span class="aui-icon aui-icon-small aui-iconfont-arrow-down select-icon" onclick="toggleStatuses()"></span>
        </div>
        <ul class="status-list hide-statuses">
            <li value="created" onclick="statusSelect(this)">Created</li>
            <li value="deleted" onclick="statusSelect(this)">Deleted</li>
            <li value="sent" onclick="statusSelect(this)">Sent</li>
            <li value="correct" onclick="statusSelect(this)">Correct</li>
        </ul>
    </div>
{/template}


JavaScript injection

JS code with explanation

//Run function on ajaxComplete to capture edit macro view.
$(document).ajaxComplete(function() {
    //looking for the macro-list macro to start running
    if( AJS.$("table[data-macro-name = 'macro-list']")){
            //must verify that the MacroBrowser is available to prevent errors
            if (AJS.MacroBrowser) {
            //override command that selectes the ds macro and the field/s selected
            AJS.MacroBrowser.setMacroJsOverride("macro-list", {
                fields: {
                    //calls anonymous function on string fields
                    "string": function (param) {
                        //checks specifically for the string input we want to inject to
                        if (param.name == "StatusSelect") {
                            //calls our function with the input's selected string param
                            return handleSpacesLookup(param);
                        }
                    }
                }
            });
        }
    }
});
//globally available but only called if the above criteria is met
function handleSpacesLookup() {
    //grabbing the div that surrounds our selected input/param
    var paramDiv = AJS.$(Confluence.Templates.MacroBrowser.macroParameterSelect());
     
    //create a variable for our desired template
    var docStatus = path.to.your.template.multiSelect();
     
    //setting a variable to the paramDiv that corresponds to our desired input area via ID
    var select = AJS.$("#macro-param-div-StatusSelect", paramDiv);
     
    //adding our docStatus element to the selected div
    paramDiv.append(docStatus);
 
    //return the selected/created element to the macro
    return AJS.MacroBrowser.Field(paramDiv, select);
};
  
//Functional logic for the multiselect not included.
 

Completed front-end example with JavaScript

Edit DocuSign Status Screenshot

Edit DocuSign List Screenshot

Why is the Status Parameter Gone? 

The drop down multi-select captures the user's selection on the front end. When passing the macro form information back to the server via the preview or the save button, the Status Select format is not readable. To make sure that your information is able to be parsed, you may insert relevant information into another macro field. In this case, the user's responses are sent to the hidden Status parameter each time he/she makes a change to the StatusSelect. On save or on preview, only the hidden information is sent to be parsed. 

 

Potential Issues 

  • I only see an empty field when opening the edit macro, I can only see my field when reloading the page with the editable macro, OR I am getting null variable errors. 

    This may be a JS async error, which could explain some inconsistencies. Make sure that this JS file is accessible to the page, that functions are properly nested, and that the initial if clause is triggered as expected. The edit screen and dialog boxes are not connected to a page reload so queries done "on load" of the page will not be caught at this point. Use .ajaxComplete or an event trigger to re-run necessary functions. 

  • My new element works but now I am missing functionality from other parts of my page.

    Make sure that your selectors are unique and as specific as possible. Try to limit using css and JS selectors by the AUI class names as these are repeated through out Confluence. 

  • I am appending my element but only see a blank input box. 

    Your parameter type may limit the content that can be appended to it. For example, select lists cannot have non-option items added to it and will instead render a broken input box. Confirm that your template has the appropriate wrappers if any. You may need to append your template to the container instead of the parameter. 

At Praecipio Consulting, we know that using Javascript can be tricky. Let us help you with any issues you come across while building your macro. Contact us with questions and concerns.

Topics: blog confluence tips javascript macros bespoke
2 min read

Atlassian Data Center Overview

By Praecipio Consulting on Dec 12, 2016 11:00:00 AM

Data Center Measure ImageOVERVIEW

Atlassian Data Center provides optimal performance and high availability for mission-critical, enterprise applications. Including availability across the most widely used team collaboration tools in the suite, Data Center delivers instant scalability for unphased system performance as your organization grows. With a tightly designed infrastructure of a load balancer and finely tuned nodes for failover, Data Center allows maximum uptime through active-active clustering. Atlassian Data Center is used by businesses who demand the highest level of performance from their software and Atlassian Cloud is not an option (for a myriad of reasons).

HIGH AVAILABILTY

Active-active clustering of nodes means that, should a node go down, the load balancer immediately detects the failure and re-directs operations to other nodes within seconds. Built in redundancy allows you to integrate with industry standard technologies for database clustering and shared file systems to minimize single points of failure. With minimal loss of system availability, mission-critical Atlassian applications provide performance on a continual basis, making Data Center the choice of teams who can't afford any downtime.

INSTANT SCALABILITY 

When your user count grows beyond your current Data Center infrastructure, simply add nodes to your clusters to scale up in an instance. Additional nodes support increased performance for larger teams and can be quickly added without downtime to your system. Existing nodes auto sync indexes and plugins with each new node added. Scaling up also provides predictable costs, as Data Center is licensed per user count (not number of servers or CPUs) without increase in licensing.

DEPLOYMENT OPTIONS
Supported Atlassian Data Center deployment options include:

  • Amazon Web Services (See Atlassian's JIRA Software and Bitbucket AWS Quickstarts)
  • Cumulus (our Atlassian-optimized Data Center cloud managed hosting option) 
  • VMWare
  • Azure
  • Google Cloud
  • Bare metal

DATA CENTER PRODUCTS
Atlassian offers Data Center options for:

  • Jira Software
  • Jira Service Desk
  • Confluence
  • Bitbucket

ADD-ON COMPATIBILITY
The Atlassian Marketplace contains over 130 Data Center compatible plugins (indicated by an Atlassian Data Center certified listing), including popular add-ons like the Tempo suite, Brikit ThemePress, and Atlassian Insight.

GET ATLASSIAN DATA CENTER
For full Data Center services, including: licensing, implementation, migration, and performance tuning, contact us. Our expertise in the Atlassian suite and deep knowledge of partners such as AWS and major plugin vendors allow us to deliver leading Data Center solutions to your organization. Speak with our team and learn how we can get you on Data Center and deliver optimal Atlassian performance.

Download the case study

Topics: data-center hosting white-paper
2 min read

Hipchat: Customize Your Connection

By Praecipio Consulting on Sep 29, 2015 11:00:00 AM

HipChat has long been the beloved messaging application for Atlassian users, developing integrations with Confluence and Jira to increase the seamless nature of the SDLC process with notifications and team and project-specific rooms. With the success of these integrations, Atlassian is raising the bar for HipChat functionality, offering up their API for other software producers to code their own connections to allow even more tools to team with HipChat. Recently, Atlassian held a HipChat Dev event in San Francisco for a handful of popular and innovative tech companies to dev and demo their HipChat plugins, opening the door for an all new level of HipChat functionality. New Relic, Salesforce, Tempo and other Atlassian-inclined software makers came together to tweak the HipChat API to get their products talking for an even more robust integration offering in the messaging system. With many new options becoming available, excited HipChat users can expect to see these plugins available soon, making HipChat a real-time communication hub for all aspects of the software development life cycle.

HipChat, Meet New Relic

New Relic, maker of integral tools to gain insight into the operation of your business processes, becomes a critical component of IT management when paired with HipChat. Using New Relic products like APM, Browser and Synthetics, companies gain real-time analytics for their SaaS applications to ensure that their platforms are running optimally for the best user experience. When integrated with HipChat, New Relic provides teams regular status updates, allowing issues to be addressed efficiently and expediently. Create a HipChat room for New Relic applications and stay up to date with your application performance leveraging the constant monitoring of New Relic with the constant communication of HipChat. 

Build Your Own Add-Ons

Atlassian enables users of Jira, Confluence, and yes- HipChat, with the ability to build customized add-ons for Atlassian tools and corresponding applications. The provided documentation allows the use of any web framework and any programming language to build with Atlassian's REST API to get the applications talking with remote operation over HTTP. With the unlimited possibility of integration, HipChat becomes a true force of functionality as more and more applications are tied into the tool. Give each dev team their own HipChat room built around their products to get the latest updates on their in-flight projects. Create a marketing room to allow your bloggers to see immediately when a new page view or comment comes through. With HipChat customized add-ons, your teams get the information they need, when they need it. 

Video courtesy of Atlassian

It's in the Numbers

Need more reasons to expand your company's collaboration beyond just Confluence and Jira? Atlassian has the stats the make the case for HipChat!

Statistics courtesy of Atlassian

Chatting cuts down on unnecessary, efficiency-draining emails, enhances collaboration between teams and delivers a platform for easy communication. Using Atlassian HipChat, your teams run at the speed of business with application integration, video chatting, and file sharing -- everything they need to work smarter and faster! 

Get Chatting

Revolutionize the way your teams work with HipChat! It's as easy to get as it is to use; simply contact Praecipio Consulting to learn about our extensive HipChat services, including: managed services and hosting, implementation, customization and licensing. HipChat is your central source of better business practices and Praecipio Consulting is your one-stop-shop for all your HipChat needs. Collaboration has never been easier, so get HipChatting today!

Topics: jira atlassian blog best-practices confluence hipchat new-relic rest-api integration
4 min read

How to Customize your Jira Dashboards

By Praecipio Consulting on Jul 12, 2012 11:00:00 AM

About Dashboards and Gadgets

The Jira Dashboards is the first screen you see when you log in to Jira. It can be configured to display many different types of information, depending on your areas of interest.

If you are anywhere else in Jira, you can access your Jira Dashboards view by clicking the ‘Dashboards‘ link in the top left corner of the Jira interface.

The information boxes on the dashboard are called Gadgetsjira-4_1-jira-dashboard-example

If your user account has only one dashboard, the tabs on the left of the browser window will not be available and the dashboard will occupy the full window width.

 

You can easily customise your dashboard by choosing a different layout, adding more gadgets, dragging the gadgets into different positions, and changing the look of individual gadgets.

You can also create more pages for your dashboard, share your pages with other people and choose your favorites pages, as described in Managing Multiple Dashboard Pages. Each page can be configured independently, as per the instructions below.

 See the big list of all Atlassian gadgets for more ideas.

This gadget will only be available if it has been installed by your Jira administrator.

 

  The Firebug add-on for Firefox can significantly degrade the performance of web pages. If Jira is running too slowly (the Jira dashboard, in particular) then we recommend that you disable Firebug. Read this FAQ for instructions.

 

Creating a Dashboard

The dashboard that you see when you first start using Jira is a “default” dashboard that has been configured by your Jira administrator. You cannot edit the default dashboard; but you can easily create your own dashboard, which you can then customize as you wish.

To create your own dashboard:

  1. At the top right of the Dashboard, click the ‘Tools‘ menu.
  2. Select either ‘Create Dashboard‘ to create a blank dashboard, or ‘Copy Dashboard‘ to create a copy of the dashboard you are currently viewing.

You can now customize your dashboard as follows:

 

If you are using multiple dashboard pages, you can only configure dashboard pages that you own.

 

Choosing a Dashboard Layout

To choose a different layout for your dashboard page (e.g. three columns instead of two):

  1. At the top right of the Dashboard, click the ‘Edit Layout‘ link. A selection of layouts will be displayed:
  2. Click your preferred layout.

Adding a Gadget

  1. At the top right of the Dashboard, click the ‘Add Gadget‘ link.
  2. A selection of gadgets will be displayed:

     Select a category on the left to restrict the list of gadgets on the right to that category.
  3. Click the ‘Add it now‘ button beneath your chosen gadget.
  4. Click the ‘Finished‘ button to return to your Dashboard.
  5. If the gadget you have selected requires configuration, you will be presented with the gadget’s configuration page. Configure appropriately and click ‘Save‘.

Moving a Gadget

To move a gadget to a different position on your dashboard:

  • Click the gadget and drag it into its new position.

Removing a Gadget

To remove a gadget from your dashboard:

  1. Hold your mouse over the top right corner of the gadget, until a down-arrow appears.
  2. Click the down-arrow to display the following menu:       
  3. Click ‘Delete‘.

 

Need some more help navigating Jira Dashboards? Learn more about Jira here, or contact our team of experts and we’ll answer any questions you may have.

Topics: jira atlassian blog implementation issues management optimization process-consulting project tips tricks tracking consulting-services
3 min read

Jira for the Gaming Industry

By Praecipio Consulting on Nov 24, 2010 11:00:00 AM

Altassian’s Jira is perhaps the best issue tracking and software development management platform around. While Jira can be used in many, many ways, it’s found a sweet spot in the gaming industry.

This post assumes the reader has a reasonable understanding of Jira. The post highlights how Jira and Greenhopper – which collectively make up Atlassian’s Agile approach – can streamline game development. Check it out:

Quick-start projects. In Jira, you can start a new project in less than five minutes. That’s great for developers, since new projects can spawn at anytime during the production process.

Attach files for visual reference. Most developers use Adobe software to design game interfaces. During the development stage, there are usually multiple people designing and updating prototypes – so it’s easy to get off track. With Jira, designers can attach the a screenshot of the latest prototype to a project page, so every one involved with the project can see where the interface is at and stay on the same page. And since Jira allows users to attach files to projects, tasks, time log items, and more, it’s easy for designers to offer team members a visual reference of where they’re at – even if they’re not in the office.

Support and ticketing. Jira helps IT support organizations handle hardware and software support more methodically. Support tickets can be submitted by anyone within the company. From there, they’re assigned to a qualified expert, and either resolved or escalated. This obviously benefits all businesses and not just those in the gaming industry. But for game developers on a tight schedule, hardware performance is critical – and a fast ticketing process ensures minimal downtime.

Bug tracking. Bug tracking is critical in the gaming industry. Jira’s organized, intuitive bug tracking system allows game developers to track the details, status, etc of every kink in the development process – ensuring better performance.

Document repository. Jira can also act as a document repository for files of all types. With a powerful search feature and page indexing capabilities, game companies can ensure quick access to important files – so long as they’re organized responsibly.

Crucible. A web based code review tool, Atlassian’s Crucible (a “friend” of Jira and Greenhopper) allows multiple people to review code online instead of having to crowd around a desktop or overhead projector – the “Google Docs” of code-writing. For game developers, that kind of collaboration is worth its weight in gold.

Greenhopper task tracking. Drag-and-drop task management that associates tasks with Jira projects, items, files, etc, etc. Completely intuitive, remarkably fast. We needn’t say more.

Customize to your heart’s content. Jira is easily and extensively customizable. Most of its customizations don’t require technical knowledge – so designers and developers with different skillsets can configure Jira with ease.

Insanely easy workflows. You don’t have to be a programmer to set workflows up in Jira. Develop workflows quickly to automate repetitive tasks.

Integration with non-Atlassian tools. Jira users can develop their own plug-ins to import and export data to and from Jira. This is crucial, since no software can tackle every need within an organization, and since game developers usually need to leverage multiple tools throughout their production.

That’s how game developers are leveraging Atlassian tools to streamline operations and production timelines. Again, it’s worth noting that much of what’s covered above applies to business of all types – not just those in the gaming industry. Check out our Jira blogs to learn more about how Jira (and “friends“)  can boost your operations.

Special note: If you’ll be attending South by Southwest (SXSW) in Austin in March 2011, stop by our booth at the SXSWi Trade Show. We’ll have a Jira demo live, and have our developers behind the table!

Topics: jira atlassian blog crucible show sxsw trade workflows tracking development gaming greenhopper industry integration it bespoke
3 min read

The Cost of Quality

By Praecipio Consulting on Aug 24, 2009 11:00:00 AM

The Cost of Quality (COQ) business model describes a method of increasing profits without increasing revenues.

Here’s how it works: COQ increases profit by shrinking business costs. If your business has a 5% profit margin, for example – and you decrease costs by 5% – you’ve doubled your profits. That’s simple enough, but how do you decrease costs?

COQ identifies the importance of shrinking costs without taking the usual cost-cutting measures like not buying everyone’s favorite pens or not stocking refreshments in the break room — the “let’s avoid morale buzz-kills to save a few bucks” approach to increasing profit. Instead, COQ promotes lessening mistakes and increasing business process efficiency.

Companies adopt and tweak COQ to reflect their business goals and in turn their profitability. The model applies to not-for-profit businesses too: budgets are tight; grants, revenues, or contributions may not increase, but the same valuable services need to be delivered with less and less money, right?

COQ is made up of three elements: conformance costs, non-conformance costs, and opportunity costs. We’ll explain these before we explain the rest of what the graphic illustrates:

Conformance Costs

  • Communicate
  • Review
  • Report
  • Status-Check
  • Inspect
  • Train
  • Validate
  • Benchmark
  • Test
  • Prevent
  • Plan
  • Preinstall
  • Check
  • Audit
  • Appraise
  • Survey
  • Evaluate
  • Proofread

Non-Conformance Costs

  • Fix
  • Repair
  • Rework
  • Retrofit
  • Revisit
  • Overstock
  • Re-do
  • Refer
  • Reorganize
  • Scrap
  • Error
  • Constraint
  • Incorrect
  • Excessive
  • Late

Opportunity Costs

  • Under-utilize
  • Cancel
  • Downgrade

Notice these three cost categories are not associated with the cost of producing the output. Materials needed to assemble a product (labor, supplies, etc) are not included. The three elements merely reflect the costs associated with the business process. As we always say, “the profit’s in the process.” The efficiency of your business processes determines your efficiency as a business. If you’re going to maximize your efficiency and profitability, you need a sound understanding of the cost of quality.

Think about it: process is where value is added and where profit is made. Consumers don’t squeeze oranges to make juice anymore. Okay, maybe on rare occasion, but who cuts down trees and processes timber as a raw material to make paper?

The cost of quality is associated with the cost incurred to ensure process outputs (products and services) meet customer requirements. For example, let’s say Company A manufactures pens, a process that takes ten steps to complete. About half of the time, the process works effectively, and high-quality pens are made. The other half of the time, however, is plagued by faulty manufacturing— lackluster execution in the assembly process. As a result, Company A has to keep half of its pens in its shop for a bit longer for fixing/repairing, incurring non-conformance costs. This leads to a lack of consistency. Ultimately, this waste is passed onto the customer with an increased price per unit and/or inferior product— making it more and more difficult to compete.

That’s why COQ’s biggest cost adjustment occurs in reducing non-conformance costs— tightening the process and ensuring customer requirements are met. This may require spending extra money to do some work over again.

Now, to run through the graphic:

  • Conformance costs are important and help ensure a business’ success and stability. when optimizing your business, conformance costs should stay the same or in many cases increase.
  • Non-conformance costs, as we’ve mentioned, need to drop significantly— though you can never expect to be without them, strive to get rid of them.
  • Opportunity cost is the value of the next best choice. It’s the “what could have been.” If a business is suffering from non-conformance costs, the “what could have been,” is higher in the left portion of the graphic, where non-conformance costs are much higher. If a business is succeeding financially, there is little “what could have been,” therefore reducing the opportunity cost.
  • Operating costs are constant. They’re the costs of a business’ building, utilities, licenses, etc— which fluctuate, but not enough to factor into this model.
  • Profit looks like this: $$$. Reducing non-conformance generates more $$$.

So, how do you reduce non-conformance? Remember: the $$$’s are in the process.

Would you like more from us? Contact us here.

Topics: blog bpm business efficiency library management practices predicatability process services technology value continuous-improvement information infrastructure-system-admin it itil itsm operations

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