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Electric SUV Manufacturer Implements Custom Software Solution to Improve User Experience in Jira

February 22, 2023


On a mission to keep the world adventurous, our client is an electric vehicle (EV) manufacturer and automotive tech company that builds electric sport utility vehicles and develops technology to help other businesses meet their sustainability goals. 

The premium electric vehicle manufacturer manages vehicle testing with Atlassian’s powerful Jira Software, but it wanted to build a specific interface for their engineering team, one that was intuitive, easy-to-use and provided a more seamless experience. They partnered with Praecipio to develop a custom cloud app that extended Jira’s capabilities and delivered the exact user experience they wanted for their team members. 

The Challenges of Finding A Unicorn Solution

The electric SUV manufacturer has a team dedicated to testing vehicles and ensuring that their fleet comply with safety standards and regulations.  Whether requesting a vehicle for a test, reporting a problem with a vehicle, or working on a new feature, engineers associated a vehicle's attributes with Jira issues. 

One problem our customer ran into with how they tested vehicles was that the complex vehicle attribute data was stored in an internal database for security purposes, plus the data in the system needed to be updated in Jira on a regular basis. This resulted in our customer’s team members having the administrative overhead of manually updating the attributes in Jira, which is a cumbersome and error-prone process.

Additionally, there were too many vehicle attributes for any native Jira data type, not to mention that Jira didn’t fully support the engineering team’s unique way of working. The current interface wasn’t intuitive or easy to navigate, and the EV manufacturer wanted a richer, more seamless user experience that included a multi-level cascading select field. 

A typical Jira instance only allowed for a two-level dropdown, and while some available applications may have been able to deliver the multi-dimensional functionality, there wasn’t an app that created the exact user experience our customer wanted for team members testing vehicles. Another issue with the available off-the-shelf solutions was that the customer’s engineering team could not search by vehicle attributes using the standard JQL search functionality and then export that data.

After finding that no apps in the Atlassian marketplace met their specific business requirements, the electric SUV manufacturer turned to Praecipio to build a custom cloud application that checked all the boxes and delivered the exact user experience they wanted for their engineering team.

One of the customer’s team members who had a positive experience while working with Praecipio at their previous employer contacted our team to create their unicorn solution.

An Adventure in Keeping Teams and Tools Connected

Praecipio developed a custom cloud app with Forge, Atlassian’s app development platform, to extend the power of Jira and deliver an improved user experience and enhanced capabilities. Forge enables developers to build secure, reliable and scalable apps that are fully hosted by Atlassian. 

Jira’s built-in dropdown only supports two levels, but with the custom app Praecipio developed, users had access to a multi-level dropdown with as many levels as are needed, creating the exact user experience needed for the engineering team. 

Because the customer handles complex data sets (vehicle make, model, color, and other features) that live in a different system, Praecipio built a CSV import that brought all the data from that system into Jira. Instead of having to manually update attributes in Jira, the CSV import automates this part of the process and frees up the customer’s team members to focus on high-priority tasks.

Praecipio’s custom app also enabled the EV manufacturer to implement a CI/CD-like pipeline (similar to that of pure software) that established an automated and streamlined process for releasing software. Our customer’s developers now have a way to coordinate experiments, test new features on their physical hardware, and ensure a high quality release.

To address the issue of data not being searchable, Praecipio enabled a search capability using the standard JQL features already built-in to Jira and then created custom data structures that were synced to custom fields in Jira. Previously, engineers could not search by color, make, model, etc., and now, they interact with the car configuration data in Jira on a much deeper level.

Praecipio's hands-on, collaborative process ensured that our customer’s unique business challenges were addressed with high-quality custom software and solutions that make an impact. From ideation and strategy to delivery of the final product, our custom app development services empowered the EV company’s engineering team to focus on the work that matters most: testing and ensuring the safety of their vehicles.

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