Note: On November 9, 2020, Atlassian announced Jira Service Management, the next generation of Jira Service Desk. Jira Service Management is an ITSM solution built on Jira to help IT, operations, development, and business teams collaborate at high velocity. It empowers teams to respond to business changes rapidly and deliver great customer and employee service experiences.

Join Suze Treacy, Praecipio Consulting's Solution Architect, for a look at the ITIL framework and how it can be instrumental to 4 core IT processes, including service request management, incident management, problem management, and change management. One of the best Atlassian tools Suze found to address these 4 core IT processes and help organizations remain competitive is Jira Service Desk, now Jira Service Management. 


Joseph Lane: Welcome everybody! To the 4-core IT processes managed through Jira Service Desk Webinar! Let's go ahead and get started.

Don't miss our next webinar: Integrate :allthethings:! with Brian Robinson. It'll be on July 10th 2019 at 11 a.m. Central.

Let's do some quick housekeeping: no doubt you'll have some questions, and when you do, use the control panel on the side of your screen to ask them. We'll get to your questions as fast as we can. If we can't get to all the questions during the webinar, we'll follow up with answers as soon as possible.

We have hundreds of clients across the United States, ranging from small and medium businesses all the way to the top fortune five. Our clients include the world's largest retailer, the top media company, and the top automotive retailer. This also includes the largest healthcare services company and electronics manufacturer!

Let me first take a moment to tell you about us here at Praecipio Consulting: We're an Atlassian Platinum Solution Partner, and we've been doing this work since 2008. Over 99% of our projects are Atlassian related. This includes work around DevOps, IT ops, Agile and Scaled Agile. We do pretty much everything there is to do in the Atlassian world: everything from implementation and training, to custom development, licenses and upgrades, in managed hosting and services.

Our presenter for today is Suze Tracy. She's a Solutions Architect here at Praecipio Consulting with tons of experience with a variety of different processes and certainly a lot of experience within Jira Service Desk. go ahead and take it away Suze!

Suze Tracy: Thanks Joe and hello everyone! Thank you for joining us today for four core IT processes managed through Jira Service Desk. During this webinar we'll be looking more into these four core processes and how Jira Service Desk can help streamline these processes. We'll take a look at some implementation options too, and we'll take some questions at the end.

Okay so let's get going! The four core IT processes managed through Jira Service Desk: Core processes are business processes that have significant commercial impact for an organization. They represent the ongoing end-to-end practices that deliver the organization's goals and ultimately can drive a firm's continued competitiveness. The four core IT processes which we'll be looking at today are commonly managed through ITIL certified Jira Service Desk.


These are:

  1. Service request management
  2. Incident management
  3. Problem management
  4. Change management

Before we get started, we need to go back to basics and look at the information technology infrastructure library also known as ITIL. ITIL is a world-renowned best practice framework offering detailed practices for ITSM, focused on aligning the needs of the business with those of IT. As the de facto standard for ITSM, ITIL places your organization on the path to deliver the best customer centric service management.

ITIL has its roots in the UK, emerging as a concept when the British government determined that the quality of the IT services being provided to them was simply inadequate. The central computer and telecommunications agency, which merged with the Office of government commerce in 2000, launched the first version of ITIL which was called Government Information Technology Infrastructure Management in the early 1980s. By the 1990s the framework had then spread across Europe.

Version 2 of ITIL was then released in 2001 and it quickly became the most popular IT service management best practice framework recognized throughout the world. Another major version change came in 2007, with ITIL version 3 which emphasizes IT along with business alignment.

Before deciding to implement a framework like ITIL, you should identify your team's pain points and think about what processes are critical for your IT team. Many teams start with the four key ITIL disciplines which we'll be looking at today of incident management, problem management, change management, and service request management, and then decide which are the highest priority for their team.

All four of these core processes utilize ITIL to maximize the efficiency of service and responsiveness to incidents and requests and, importantly, to continually improve the services which they offer over time to react to changing environments and remain competitive.

Service Request Management handles formal requests from users for something to be provided. For example a PTO request: my computer's broken, etc... ITIL classifies these types of requests as a request for service, and identifies the process to handle these service requests as request fulfillment. Many service requests are recurring, and so to achieve the greatest efficiency, a repeatable process of procedure should be defined.

Jira Service Desk offers to enable you to utilize the same issue type behind multiple request types when configuring your customer portal. And this enables you to minimize your Jira configuration, and importantly overhead, whilst giving customers the flexibility of choosing from multiple more personalized request types. Which are then tailored to the most common types of requests that your team receives.

We have clients who are so streamlined with their configuration that they operate their entire Service Desk from one base issue type, whilst still giving their customers a wide variety of request types. Combining issue configuration along with hidden fields' allows you to populate field values according to the type of request which is being raised, without confusing your customer with unnecessary custom fields, and enabling you to proactively fulfill their request whilst continue to make business data-driven decisions, for example, through utilizing your filters, your SLA’s, and your dashboards.

When a company is trying to make improvements to their processes, Incident Management tends to be the first ITIL process which is targeted implementation or improvement amongst teams seeking to adopt these best practices. So what is Incident Management? Incident Management involves managing unplanned interruptions to an IT service or an unplanned reduction in the service quality. For example: the server is down.

Organizations usually try and make these improvements simply to improve consumerization and service value realization. As incidents are unplanned, the performance and efficiency of the process is especially critical to both the organization and users of the impacted service.

Remember back to our ITIL Service Lifecycle: continual analysis and improvement of this process is critical to ensure that you remain competitive and responsive to your customers.

You may be familiar with the Incident Lifecycle: these are the stages an issue goes through from the point of being detected and raised to the point of incident closure. Alongside the Incident Lifecycle, many companies are tracking the MTTR: the Mean Time To Resolution, which is a service level metric measuring the elapsed time between an incident being detected, through to resolution.

You can see here that we have six clear phases within the instant lifecycle: is anyone able to hazard a guess as to when the most time is spent during the incident? There are four stages to resolving a request problem or incident: identify and communicate, investigate and diagnose, resolve and recover, and finally closure. And going back to those guesses, about 70% of the time is spent in the investigate and diagnosis phase, according to a study by Forrester.

You're not alone if you're wondering why! Why is so much time spent in the investigate and diagnosis phase? The answer is because IT teams find it difficult to collaborate and share valuable insights to quickly find an incident resolution. Whichever of the four core IT processes were working with, we're always looking to lower our MTTR.

So what's keeping your MTTR from being lowered? There's a few common problems which organizations will see when trying to lower their MTTR. Working in multiple systems leads to double work, contact switching, and a higher instance of manual error. Alert overload causes the IT manager and supports engineers to miss the big picture incidents while they're sifting through the noise of tickets and alerts, and communication and visibility can often bottleneck otherwise streamlined processes.

Essential aspects to look at when analyzing ways to improve your MTTR include:

  • Your incident management system in its performance
  • The ability you have to cut alert noise and filter out those non alerts
  • Setting clear expectations and priorities with your team from the start
  • Acknowledging incidents effectively
  • Establishing clear roles amongst your team
  • Encouraging and enabling real-time communication between the team.

Within ITIL, a problem is defined as the underlying cause of one or more incidents. Where Incident Management is focused on a rapid recovery of service, Problem Management deals with identifying and resolving these causes. Ideally we want to eliminate recurring events, as well as minimizing incidents which cannot be prevented.

Problem Management is one of the key ITIL processes that improve customer satisfaction with IT services. Customers can understand things happening once, but when the same outages happen again again, they start thinking IT isn't doing a good job and ultimately it can cause you to lose customers as they lose confidence in your services.

There are two main types of Problem Management: Reactive and Proactive. As you may have guessed, Reactive is in response to an incident, whereas Proactive Problem Management uses trending and historical information to identify potential problem cases. This can be anything from formal continual service improvement, to moderate data analysis or just a good old gut feeling.

Regardless of the source, Problem Management cases should be prioritized based on their value to the business. Pain Value or Business Impact Analysis identify problems whose elimination would have the highest business value.

Jira service desk comes with a default, built in problem management workflow, which can be used with any issue type. But by default it's the problem issue type. The default workflow complements ITIL recommended activities such as Problem Investigation, Identification of Workarounds and Recording of Known Errors, as you can see this workflow, follows a very typical pattern of how you may respond to a problem within your organization.

Firstly, incident trends, vendors, technical support staff: they report problems to the Service Desk, and an agent then reviews and records details of the problem, as well as linking all related requests and categorizing the problem. The issue must also be prioritized usually based on both frequency of the incident and their impact. The team then works to determine the root cause of the problem, as well as documenting workarounds which can help to reduce service interruptions until the problem is fully resolved. Remember that these symptoms and workarounds should be added to the team's knowledge base for the future. Once the root cause has been identified, a changes proposed to resolve the problem and the issue can then be closed change management is a standardized method to control changes to the IT system to minimize the impact it has on services.

Change Management can be directly associated with corporate governance, which is extremely important when managing Atlassian tools, to ensure that changes are fully understood and risks have been accounted for and minimized. Businesses have two main expectations of the services provided by IT: that the services are stable, reliable and predictable, but also that they can change rapidly to meet evolving business requirements.

As you may have already guessed, these expectations are in conflict. The objective of change management is to enable IT Service Management to meet both expectations, to enable them to change rapidly while also minimizing the possibility of disruptions of services.

One functionality which Jira Service Desk offers for change management that our clients love is that of approvals. Approvals can be seamlessly built into the workflow to track and enable both control and audit capabilities over the change process, and if you're more comfortable with a predefined workflow than creating your own, there is also the Jira Service Desk Change Management add-on available, which offers a standardized Change Management workflow designed based on ITIL recommendations, which will ensure that agents follow a standardized process, as well as avoiding follow-up incidents and minimizing negative business impact.

So why Jira Service Desk? As we look back at the four core IT processes, you can see that the Jira Service Desk functionality, for example queues, customers, organizations, the portal, SLA’s, approvals, the Knowledgebase, give a lot of flexibility. In fact, the flexibility offered by Jira Service Desk enables you to determine what matters most to your team, and however bust or lean you'd like your processes to be.

Remember through all of this that ITIL is a framework, and the opportunities are truly endless with how Jira Service Desk can mold to fit and improve processes for your organization. Remember that Jira Service Desk is licensed by the agent, which is separate from how your Jira is licensed, so you need to consider that when looking into which license tier works for your team.

So let's take a look at some implementation options: once organizations make the decision to adopt Jira Service Desk they often choose one of two implementation options. They either do it themselves, or engage a consultancy for a custom implementation. Neither of these is ideal for any but the largest of enterprises, and very few organizations have the skillsets to do the work in-house or understand the scope of work involved to successfully implement a Service Desk. A custom implementation can be both pricy and time-consuming. However, luckily, we can provide a third option: introducing the Solution Accelerator!

So what is a Solution Accelerator? It's exactly what it sounds like! Our team can get you up and running with Jira Service Desk in weeks, rather than months. Allowing you to realize a speedy return on your investment and reduce time to value. Instead of reinventing the wheel, we take our baseline best practice implementation and tune it to further to fit your organization's needs.

Instead of building out complex custom workflows, the project provides prescribed configurations based on ITIL best practices we've been discussing earlier in this webinar. We apply our extensive experience to build out industry standard workflows with improvements that we've identified over the past decade, and as a result we can deliver a Jira Service Desk implementation in just three weeks! With workflows that are a step above that of textbook recommendations.

Thanks for listening to the webinar, and now let's take some questions!

Joseph Lane: Thanks for that information Suze! Let's go ahead and start taking some of these questions. Our first question here: can my GR users work on tickets and Service Desk projects even though they won't have an agent license?

Suze Tracy: That's a great question and in fact a very common question as well. Only agents are able to work on tickets within Service Desk projects, however you are able to configure permissions to enable Collaborators to contribute to requests too. Collaborators can view issues and they can also add internal comments and attachments. Collaborators will utilize a Jira license, however they won't take up one of your Jira Service Desk licenses.

Joseph Lane: Great here's another question. I can only get my cues to show for one service desk project. How can I configure queues to include issues from multiple Service Desk projects?

Suze Tracy: You can't natively achieve this using the queues functionality, unless you're wanting to purchase an add-on to achieve this. However, I'd recommend that before that, you look at either using a dashboard or a cam board, and building a filters for bringing issues from both projects.

Joseph Lane: All right here's another one: how many goals can we configure against SLA?

Suze Tracy:  Hmm, within server I actually haven't come across a limit of goals per project before. However, when you're using cloud, there is a limit of 30 goals per project. If you find yourself needing more, I'd recommend either combining goals together, or deleting goals that you no longer need.

Joseph Lane: And here's one that a lot of folks actually get kind of tripped up on: what happens if you edit an SLA?

Suze Tracy: This is a common question, and a common problem that people come across. If you edit an SLA, Jira Service Desk recalculates time for all issues in that project that have ongoing SLA cycles, but it doesn't recalculate time for completed SLA cycles.

Joseph Lane: The last question we've got time for today: how can I get the built-in ITSM workflows for my Service Desk project?

Suze Tracy: Great question! When you go to spin up a new Service Desk project, ensure that you select that you'd like to create an IT Service Desk, as opposed to a basic or customer service project. This will build out your project with those ITIL certified workflows for request fulfillment, incident management, problem management and change management.

Joseph Lane: That's all the time we have for questions today! Thank you so much for submitting those. Any additional questions will be followed back up by our team and we'll get back with you soon.

Don't forget our next webinar: Integrate all the things! with Brian Robeson. Again it's going to be on July 10th 2019 at 11 a.m. Central.

Thank you so much for listening and for joining us to learn more about how core IT processes are managed through Jira Service Desk. Thanks everybody for attending today we'll see you next time! Thank you, goodbye.


Suze Treacy

Written by Suze Treacy

Systems implementation professional with 5+ years experience successfully implementing software solutions across multiple industries, including manufacturing, oil & gas and retail. Outgoing, detail-oriented and a fast learner, I am committed to achieving results which drive client goals and satisfaction.

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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