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NewYearsCharlie

In the mad dash for the end of the year it’s easy to forget that after all the lights, drinks, and budgets from 2015 come to a close, your company expects you to know what you’re doing for 2016. To save your bacon, here are the three and a half things big teams have to do in the new year.

Understand and support bimodal IT

Bimodal IT is a concept that explains two different yet supportive modes of IT service management, coined by Gartner. So you know it’s got hella enterprise street cred. Bimodal IT is defined as “the practice of managing two separate, coherent modes of IT delivery, one focused on stability and the other on agility. Mode 1 is traditional and sequential, emphasizing safety and accuracy. Mode 2 is exploratory and nonlinear, emphasizing agility and speed.”

In other words, you don’t have to jeopardize stability for the sake of innovation – you can have your cake and eat it, too. Each mode of bimodal IT has very different, but equally essential, roles in supporting a stable and agile enterprise environment.

Mode 1

  • Involves projects related to core system maintenance (system of record).
  • Focuses on providing stability and efficiency, while adhering to more traditional development cycles.

Mode 2

  • Involves projects that provide innovation and agility to the business.
  • Focus is on providing fast turnaround, while working in frequent development cycles.

Each mode needs the other in order to thrive. Without a reliable core system, innovation-flavored projects can’t be nimble, and may not get off the ground at all. And those fast-moving innovation projects build organizational “muscle memory” that help stability-focused projects to progress in an agile fashion.

Heck, this is almost a 2017 New Year resolution, or at least a jump start – Gartner predicts that “by 2017, 75% of IT organizations will have a bimodal capability”.

Use your tools more efficiently

If you’ve been using Atlassian products for a few years, I’m willing to bet that your instances contain some “cruft”: configs that don’t leverage the slick new features you got with the latests upgrade, crusty old project spaces, agile boards from six projects ago… etc.  (Not that we ourselves would know anything about that… *ahem!*) I mean, we’d love for you to add some more Atlassian products to your collection, but it’s worth optimizing the tools you already have first. For example you could:

  • Simplify your complicated JIRA workflows to the steps that are required now and let the other states/transitions evolve naturally.
  • Archive abandoned spaces in Confluence so that outdated content is less visible but still available.
  • Switch your build plans in Bamboo from repo polling to repo-driven triggers to save on CPU cycles and reduce the time builds spend in the queue.
  • Clean out abandoned and duplicate HipChat rooms to make it easier for your team(s) to find the right rooms when they have questions.

All of the above are small tweaks that will make your teams more efficient and get more value from your Atlassian products in 2016. And if you want some advice on where to start, check out our technical account manager program (shameless plug!).

Focus on fostering a culture of innovation

Building an innovation culture is about more than ping-pong and free pizza: it’s about championing communication between teams. Providing autonomy for teams and visibility across your enterprise organization come into play, too. For 2016, focus on the bright ideas and efforts of your teams that will help you avoid growing stagnant as a company (which tends to happen when you rely only on the ideas of a select and blessed few).

At Atlassian our best ideas come to us when our minds are relaxed (like when you’re in the shower or out walking your dog) and our bodies are healthy. So we also foster a culture of innovation by giving employees the space to have a life outside the office, explore the world, fall in love, fall out of love, play, stumble, get back up, and, well… just live.

For more on innovation culture, check out Dan Garfield’s blog from last month. 

Remember: fear is the path to the dark side

What blog would be complete without a Star Wars tie-in?

Fear ultimately leads to anger, anger leads to hate, and hate leads to suffering. Listen to Yoda and slide into 2016 with an open mind. Change is the only constant these days, so we might as well embrace it. 

Let the force be strong with you, and make sure to watch “The Force Awakens”. You don’t want to be the only one in a meeting who doesn’t understand what a Wookie is… the misinterpretation could be embarrassing. 

So let’s all raise a glass, hug an Ewok, and get ready to kick some butt in 2016!

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