Effective change management allows admins to deliver critical updates to products while simultaneously minimizing disruption to user workflow.

As an admin, it’s vital to have a strong change management practice in place, because odds are you’re the captain of change in your organization. Your users look to you for direction on how, when, and why a product change is delivered. Without useful capabilities to aid you in delivering that change, updates roll out without your knowledge, workflows are interrupted, and chaos ensues for your users – and for you. You can’t afford to make any mistakes, because if something goes wrong, no matter how small, it’s costly when scaled across your users. And, if you’re relatively new to Atlassian’s cloud products, you’re likely wondering how you’re going to fully control the cadence of updates.

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We know that managing any change within a large, complex organization is hard, and it’s critical for you to know change is coming, test those changes in a safe environment, trust that they work, and control when and how they’re released to your hundreds (or thousands) of users. So to help you establish your change management practice in cloud, we offer two key features: sandbox and release tracks.

Both features (available in our cloud Premium and Enterprise plans) put you in the driver’s seat when it comes to rolling out new product changes to your organization. With the right application of these enterprise-grade capabilities, you’ll gain a true sense of control of upcoming releases, using sandbox to prepare and test and release tracks to bundle the changes and control when they roll out to production.

Prepare for change with sandbox

When admins can’t prepare for and test product updates, there’s no way to tell how a product change will fully affect the live production instance and your users’ workflows. That’s why we offer sandbox – an isolated environment where you can test and experiment before making changes to your live production environment.

Using a sandbox, you get a realistic understanding of what a new feature might look like or how it will work once fully released in the product for your users. With the ability to test changes in a safe space you can keep projects moving and potentially catch issues before they’re live in production, preventing mass workflow disturbance.

As an organization admin, you can create and delete a sandbox from admin.atlassian.com and copy production data into your sandbox. Once a sandbox is created, you can freely test the product and configuration settings in Jira and Confluence without fear of impacting any of your live Atlassian environments. With the ability to play around with changes, you’ll no longer have to deal with custom issue types, schemes, workflows, or screens in Jira – or not knowing if they’ll break one of the projects in your live instance.

As a bonus, you can also combine this with release tracks and set your sandbox environment to the preview track, enabling you to test Atlassian-initiated changes in a safe manner.

Take control with release tracks

Centralize admin controls to manage users and change at scale

Once you’ve mastered an upcoming change with testing in your sandbox, you’ll want to ensure you have enough time to educate your users on that change before it rolls out to production for widespread use. In the early days of our cloud products, changes were rolled out quickly and sometimes on a release schedule that didn’t quite fit an organization’s needs. Release tracks lets you control how and when changes will release to the users in your organization. With a little bit more power over the cadence of updates, you can educate users on how the changes work, then roll them out using any one of the pre-created options that works best for your business.

With various options for you to choose how and when product changes are finally released to production, you’re able to take the wheel and steer your org in the right direction. There’s the continuous track, where product updates are released as soon as they’re available; the bundled track, where updates are released on a predictable schedule (today every two weeks, coming soon every four weeks); and the preview track, meant specifically for those with sandboxes where changes are bundled two weeks before they’re rolled out to your linked production environment. In addition to the release options, we also offer change logs, which give you advanced awareness of upcoming changes for one bundle.

With various options to control Atlassian cloud releases, your day-to-day management of our cloud products becomes more predictable, helping you plan, prepare, and ensure success.

The challenge we have is that there’s only one person right now supporting all of our Atlassian cloud products. With release tracks, we get a better way to plan for when [product] enhancements are going to come out. It’s enabled us to be more proactive with our teams because we can now tell them in advance about new feature functionality and when it’s coming. From an administrative perspective, this is huge. It’s eliminated a lot of the noise that we were previously getting.

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Working hard to meet your needs

Sandbox and release tracks are strong capabilities, but we know there’s so much more we can do to aid you along the road to effective change management in cloud. Our product team is working diligently to enhance our current offering to ensure we meet your growing need for tracking and managing incremental product changes.

See sandbox and release tracks in action

Ready to take control of upcoming changes in Jira and Confluence? Try sandbox and release tracks in Premium or Enterprise today.

The road to effective change management in cloud