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
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

Why Instructor-led Atlassian Training Is Better Than Online Courses

By Jerry Bolden on May 24, 2021 9:15:00 AM

Blogpost-display-image_Why instructor-led Atlassian training is better than online coursesAs the world transitions to more virtual or remote work and training, it seems that more organizations look to the ability to perform training online. Not with an instructor, but just the class or lab. 

While it is true you can follow along with a course online, you cannot ask the course questions and get answers live, and the question you type in will likely only get a direct answer (if any),  not an in-depth assessment of the question and other considerations that could arise.  Having an instructor-led course makes sense for the same reason there is a Human Resources department in each company: they are in charge of onboarding and touching base with new employees as they transition into a company and its culture.  Sure, the tasks of onboarding can be done online, but who would be there to answer questions or concerns of the employee without a team dedicated to making each employee successful in a company?  Instructors have the same drive, which is to make not only the training successful, but to ensure each person successfully learns the program. 

Personal interaction and adjustments to the class can be very important, and are not easily done through online-only learning.  Instructors are able to give students the experience and anecdotes they have learned while using the product.  They are not only able to clearly answer questions and point the person in the right direction, but they can also teach some of the 'tricks of the trade' they have learned throughout the years. This can help people retain the information as it is a personal story to connect the person and the instructor.  

Interpretation of body language or inflection in a voice is something that once again can only be done with human interactions.  The ability to listen to a person's question and read them or their voice allows for a better set of answers given to questions.  An instructor can not only give the answer to a specific question, but also understand if that answer is what the person was truly looking to understand or is now just accepting that answer and hoping they will learn, later on, what they wanted to know.  This also allows instructors the ability to ensure they have clearly understood the question and, in turn, clearly provided the right answer to the question.  The minimal interaction an instructor allows is for clarity and answering of questions to be focused to each person.  

Finally, when you have instructor-led teaching, the instructor is able to understand the different levels of knowledge/experience in a class at any time.  This allows the instructor to help with "extra" learning by being able to teach different levels of information.  This ability is important not only for the instructor to ensure they are communicating at the correct levels to people, but also it helps to drive the most fulfillment from the training. As instructors adapt to the classes, they can still go over the information, but at times may go a little deeper into a demo if the class is showing they can handle the learning, thus giving them more value to the training and the time they are willing to invest in the class. 

Instructor-led training is not necessarily essential to learning how to use a system, Atlassian or others. Yet without an instructor, the value of the course is minimized and relegated to only the material on the screen.  Instructors are able to not only lend their experiences and learned knowledge, but also allow for different individuals to get more out of the training as they may be able to handle more advanced information.

Interested in getting your teams the tools they need to reach their maximum potential? Contact us, and one of our Atlassian experts can talk you through our training options.

Topics: atlassian blog teams training atlassian-solution-partner remote-work
3 min read

Jira Workflow Tip: Global Transitions

By Morgan Folsom on Apr 5, 2021 11:47:00 AM

Blogpost-display-image_Jira Workflow Tip- Global TransitionsBuilding Jira workflows can be overwhelming. As Atlassian Platinum Solution Partners for over a decade, we at Praecipio Consulting have spent a lot of time building workflows (seriously, A LOT). 

One piece of workflow functionality that we often see either ignored or abused are global transitions. A global transition in Jira is a transition to a workflow status that is able to be triggered regardless of where the issue is in the workflow. These can be very powerful, and we use them in some capacity in almost all of our workflows. However, there are a few things that we put into place to make these transitions easier to use. 

When do I use a global transition?

While these are not appropriate in all situations, we recommend using them in situations where users should be able to move to the status from anywhere else in the workflow. The most common use cases are "On Hold" or "Withdrawn" transitions, where users should be able to place the issue there regardless of where it is in the life cycle. It is understandable that users shy away from global transitions, as without specific configuration they have the potential to be confusing to end users and open up the workflow in ways we may not want. Keep in mind that global transitions should not be overused - using direct transitions allows for processes to be enforced, while global transitions are great options when you need to remove an issue from its normal flow.

With that in mind, we recommend the following configuration on all global transitions:

How to configure a global transition

Transition Properties

Opsbar-sequence is a transition property that allows you to determine the order of all transitions in your workflow. To use it, you assign numbers to each transition, and Jira will numerically order them on the issue view. 

Global transitions generally belong at the end of the list, so we usually give them a high number (100 or  500) so no matter how robust your workflow gets, they're always at the end of the list of available transitions. 

Conditions

Workflow conditions prevent transitions from showing when certain criteria are not met. As a best practice, we always add a condition so the transition is not available from the status it's going to – e.g. if we have a "Withdraw" global transition that goes to Closed, the condition should be "Status != Closed". If this condition isn't present you'll see the global transition available when you're in the status it's going to. 

Post Functions

One of the biggest issues that we see with global transitions is around resolution. Jira resolutions are an extremely valuable tool, and if you don't configure your global transitions correctly, they can affect your data integrity. So, 

If the global transition is moving into a "Done" status (e.g. Closed or Withdrawn), add

  1. A post function that automatically sets the Resolution, OR
  2. A transition screen with resolution that prompts users to enter a resolution before the transition

If the global transition is NOT moving into a "Done" status, add

  1. A post function that clears resolution

With the above configuration, your workflows will be more user friendly while also ensuring that your Jira data stays clean. 

Still need more help with your workflows? Praecipio Consulting is an Atlassian Training Partner with a robust catalog of training, including Workflow help!

Topics: jira tips training workflows configuration atlassian-solution-partner
2 min read

Using Jira Service Management's Email Function for Ticket Intake 

By Jerry Bolden on Feb 8, 2021 12:57:03 PM

Blogpost-display-image_Using JSDs email functionality for ticket intake

Setting up an email account within Jira Service Management (JSM) allows different clients to provide extensive information without using the Portal every time they have a question. While this is a great functionality within JSM, and quite easy to set up, there are some key items to remember to ensure all works well: things that can be required, setting up the queue, and email addresses do's and don'ts.

As you set this up, not only will you need an email address tied to an inbox, but it's just as important to have a request type set up in your JSM project. The request type should be hidden from the portal; this way it cannot be selected as an option if someone accesses the portal to create requests. This will give you control and the ability to clearly separate emailed requests from ones created through the portal by other users/customers. Once the request type is set up, you can only require the Summary and/or Description to be set. These two fields will be pulled directly from the email, with the subject becoming the summary and body of the email becoming the description. If you try and require any other fields, the request type will fail and the emails will not be processed into requests automatically.

In conjunction with setting up the request type for the email is setting up the queue for this specific request type. Remember, you are able to reference the name of a request type in JQL searches. This allows your agents to quickly identify which requests were created via email and not just lumped into the other queues. Due to some of your requests being created through email, the communication back to the customers is critical to make them feel like the request is being seen. The queue will alert the team when there are incoming email requests, and coupling them with SLAs correctly, will focus the proper communication and solving of these issues consistently.

Lastly, think critically about the email address you select. First, the email needs to be specifically used to receive issues from customers; this means it should not be used for mass communication where you also get NoReply email addresses, or mass communication that will cause false tickets to be created. While you can add certain automation into JSM to look for specific emails and not respond to them, the point of JSM is to allow for ease of administration of a Service Desk of which customer communication is the most critical item.

Overall, the email request creation for JSM is a great option, which is at times easier for users/customers to use versus going onto a portal. With the proper configuration and use of the recommendations in this article, the email will function and you can maximize the effectiveness of JSM email requests. Always keep in mind it is better to have a purposed email address than to reuse one and wonder why some emails work, some do not, and there are loops of comment(s) being sent due to NoReply.

For any help with this issue, or anything else Atlassian, drop us a line, we live and breathe Atlassian, and would love to help!

Topics: atlassian jira-software email-notifications atlassian-solution-partner jira-service-management
3 min read

Jira Align Jumpstart: What to expect

By Brian Nye on Dec 31, 2020 10:30:00 AM

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Do you want to roll out Jira Align in your organization but are not sure where to start? The answer is simple, use our Jira Align Jumpstart solution. This solution will give you access to a Solutions Architect who will walk you and your core team of Jira Align practitioners on the setup of your first Program in Jira Align. 

As part of a Jumpstart, there are five phases that you will go through:
  1. Discovery
  2. Set-up
  3. Implementation
  4. Training
  5. Launch

Discovery

The first phase of a Jumpstart is Discovery. During the discovery phase, your Jira Align Solutions Architect will get to know your company. The goal of this is to understand where you are in the scaling process and to get your leadership engaged in communicating the reasons that you are implementing Jira Align. A large part of this will be driven through the value drivers exercise. In this exercise, the team identifies common goals for the organization's agile journey. The output of this exercise will give the whole team a better understanding of the functionality that will need to be configured inside Jira Align and identify how your Solutions Architect can help guide you through that journey. 

Set-up

Following discovery is the setup phase. The setup phase will establish all the connections and settings needed to support your business. The Solutions Architect digs into the integration between Jira and Jira Align, making sure the two systems can pass information between one another. During this phase, there will be a lot of toggling on and off the various features and permissions for each of the user roles. This is based on the goals of the value driver exercise and the roles and responsibilities of the various levels of management using the tool. At the end of the set up phase, Jira and Jira Align will be connected.

Implementation

Connecting the two systems isn't all you have to do! To have the tool set up for your teams, you need to have some base data present to make sure it's working as expected. During the implementation phase, the Solutions Architect will work with Program Management to configure the initial teams and program data. This includes setting up initial strategic snapshots, goals, themes, epics, and features. The Jumpstart focuses on Program-level implementation, but basic configuration for some high level roll up is also included. Based on this data, we will see the flow from the work in Jira pushed up to Jira Align and changes in Jira Align, pushed down to Jira. Although this sounds like a simple task, it usually involves fine tuning some processes to ensure that reports and structure align to the goals established from the project onset.

Training

As the saying goes, a fool with a tool is still a fool. To avoid this, training is done with the teams who will be using the system. There are various types of training that are done with the team. One is for program management so they know how to use the tool from a day-to-day basis. Other training targets Jira Align Administrators so that they understand how the back end is configured and how to maintain the system following the Jumpstart. Both trainings help establish the fundamentals needed for working in the system.

Launch

Now that everyone is prepped and ready to go, all you need to do is launch the program officially. This is targeted to align to a PI Planning session. Now that your having these "Big Room" meetings virtually, you have a tool that will help facilitate the overall direction for your next Program Increment. 

What's next? 

If you want to know more about Jira Align Jumpstart and how to launch the product successfully, contact us here at Praecipio Consulting. We would love to chat with you about your situation to make sure that you are set up for success. Many clients are looking for better ways of scaling with Atlassian, and we would love to understand your current processes so you make the decision that is best for your business. 

Topics: jira digital-transformation atlassian-solution-partner jira-align
3 min read

How do I migrate to Cloud if my apps aren't compatible?

By Jerry Bolden on Dec 23, 2020 1:06:11 PM

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How many people are ready to move to the new hotness: Atlassian Cloud?  While this is becoming a more focused platform for Atlassian, there are some things that each company/team will need to think about as they move to the cloud:

1. What do I do if my current Server/DC apps are not compatible? 

2. What do I need to understand about my current set up within my workflows?

Apps are used to upgrade the out-of-the-box abilities of Jira, Confluence, and Bitbucket and most people not only become reliant on the apps, but may not even know they're using the apps for their day-to-day work. While there are quite a few apps operating on all three platforms (Cloud, Data Center and Server), some apps may not be available for all three platforms. For example, an app may be supported for Cloud-only or Data Center only.

While trying to migrate to Cloud, you need to understand which Apps are also compatible in Cloud and which ones are not. You can navigate to Atlassian Marketplace and set your first filter for Cloud.  Then, simply search the App name and the marketplace will do a good job giving you other options that have some of the same features as your current Data Center/Server app. Look through the recommendations and compare the current features you use with some of the recommended apps features.  The best thing is to also download a trial version of those apps in Cloud, but also if you are still on Data Center/Server, see if they have an app trial for those platforms as well.  

The other side of this will be having apps that exist on Cloud as well as on Data Center/Server but may affect your workflows.  For example, Automation has come included within the cloud, but JSU Automation Suite for Jira Workflows exists as a separate app on Data Center/Server.  While this app is now integrated into the Cloud,  when importing the data, workflows, etc. during the migration, you currently cannot use the Atlassian Cloud Migration tool and the links to the automation can fail. 

Reach out to those specific App vendors for support and open a ticket to understand what the migration path could be from Data Center/Server to Cloud. For example, In JSU's case, you have to redo all the affected workflows and their validators, conditions and post functions.  While some applications will be compatible, others will either require a little manual reconfiguration or finding ones similar in features to your current Apps.

Migrating to Atlassian Cloud is becoming more and more seamless as Atlassian continues to focus on the Cloud platform. But where apps are concerned, you will need to either find apps that already have a Cloud version or look for the Developer to review similar options and features. 

If you need guidance with your Atlassian Cloud migration, Praecipio Consulting is here to help! Contact us and one of our specialists will contact you shortly, and in the meantime, here are some helpful resources that you can start with

Topics: atlassian blog migrations cloud atlassian-solution-partner marketplace-apps
5 min read

7 Non-Negotiables When Choosing an Atlassian Business Partner

By Corey Swann on Dec 8, 2020 2:25:00 PM

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Ask any project manager what the number one contributor to a successful project result is, and they will tell you that it’s having the right people on the team. That goes for vendors too. Because behind every consulting gig are people making decisions that influence your company’s future. 


The decision to select an Atlassian Business Partner is a big one. The stakes are high, with perhaps millions of dollars and people’s careers hanging in the balance. A bad vendor decision could haunt you for a decade or longer. 

The process to choose a vendor usually starts with a referral or by viewing the Atlassian Partner Directory. However, with over 50 Platinum Partners distributed across the globe, it can be overwhelming. After visiting a few of the partner websites, you may be no closer to a decision.

Christian_Lane

Christian Lane, CEO of Praecipio Consulting, an Atlassian Platinum Partner, offers his thoughts on how to approach the partner selection process to ensure your project is delivered on time and within budget. 

 

He starts by sharing his recommended list of “must-haves.” In his opinion, any vendors not having these should be immediately disqualified. 

 

Look for relevant experience

To be approved as an Atlassian Partner, you must have smart people. All companies can easily add up the years experience among their people and come up with an impressive number. But that’s not the differentiator between firms. Don’t accept a general numerical answer. Dig deeper and ask for specific experience in your industry and what the scope of those projects were. 

Executive involvement

There is nothing more frustrating than dealing with a person that isn’t empowered to make decisions. You want top levels of management to be familiar with your project and understand its strategic value. This way they can apply their leadership and senior experience to add value. You want them to ask questions about workflow, reporting, integrations, and how it relates to the overall goal of the project.  

Rate of repeat business

As the saying goes, “The best predictor of future success is past behavior.”  Ask the vendor about their rate of return business. It’s perhaps the clearest indicator of a company's performance and customer satisfaction. Lane adds, “72% of our business last year was from repeat clients. Any competent firm should be able to tell you their number. If they don’t know it, that's a red flag in itself.” 

Percentage of revenue from change orders

Avoid the bait and switch. Managers want to deal in absolutes when it comes to money and time required to get the job done. You don’t want to fall in a trap of working with a vendor only to be told that your request wasn’t included in the original scope. For example, at Praecipio Consulting, we have a defined process to expose any and all needs of a project. By clearly defining the work from the start, you avoid missed expectations and expensive changes. For our team, this process starts with defining the problem in the sales process and includes engineers and other technical people. If there are any limitations or features to add for the solution, they contribute to the conversation. All parties move in lockstep, and a delivery commitment is made. The process has proven to work, as only 2% of our revenue last year came from change orders. Lastly, pay attention to how much value is delivered before the signed contract. 

Listed in the Atlassian Partner Directory

Only choose a partner from the official Atlassian Partner Directory. These companies have demonstrated their expertise and willingness to dedicate themselves to the software. They have to make an investment to be included, and their business model revolves around partner support. Using any other firm not vetted by Atlassian should be approached with extreme caution and is not recommended. 

Platinum Partners have the most experience and have been doing this type of work the longest. They have been recognized as the best and have inside knowledge about new products, features, and beta testing. For example, our leadership team members have participated in panels, councils, and have had an influence in building the software and program itself. 

What do they stand for? 

Commonly referred to as mission, vision, and values, look for what drives the vendor beyond earning revenue. Do they share your same morals and values? Besides words on a website, do they walk the walk on issues like social justice and environmentalism? Lane says he has seen more customers comment recently on their social injustice stance and Praecipio Consulting's commitment to the 1% pledge initiative. “We’ve always been socially aware and decided to build a company that leaves the world better than we found it. I’m proud of our ideals. As part of our hiring process, we want to make sure employees can get behind our causes and work toward the greater good. When clients recognize our efforts, it fuels our fire to want to do more.”  

Net Promoter Score

Ask vendors what their Net Promoter Score (NPS) is. NPS is a commonly accepted simple score of how likely customers are to refer you to their peers.

  • 0-6 are detractors, meaning they will tell people to stay away from your firm and NOT hire you.
  • 7-8 are passive promoters, meaning they will praise you when asked
  • 9-10 are active promoters, meaning they will go out of their way to tell peers about your good work 

Praecipio Consulting holds a lifetime NPS score of 71 (for context, the industry benchmark for software and tech companies is 28). Our team is proud of this score because they put so much heart into every project and seeing their clients' delight with their work is the ultimate payoff. 

Lane adds that the less quantifiable metric is “Ease to do business with.” Entering an agreement to work with an Atlassian Partner is a big commitment in terms of time. Are they responsive and U.S. based? Are they flexible and adaptable? And do you enjoy working with them? There has to be good chemistry to get the best result. Lane concludes, “Business is hard enough as it is sometimes. Don’t spend your valuable time working with difficult people. Control all the variables you can and make the most informed partner choice you can.”

Topics: do-good pledge-1% nps atlassian-solution-partner social-justice
4 min read

How to Have a Stress Free Holiday

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

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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_Lane

 

Christian 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

Praecipio Consulting is an Atlassian Platinum Partner

This means that we have the most experience working with Atlassian tools and have insight into new products, features, and beta testing. Through our profound knowledge of Atlassian environments and their intricacies, we can guide your organization as you navigate these important changes.

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