Atlassian helps Mercy Ships deliver free life-changing healthcare to developing nations


Healthcare & Life Sciences


Garden Valley, Texas



Jira Software

Jira Service Desk


Mercy Ships provides free healthcare to people in developing nations via the world’s largest civilian hospital ship. The organization’s volunteers perform life-changing surgeries such as restoring a person’s sight or ability to walk, impacting not just the patient, but also their family and community as a whole.

This international NGO has 1,200 staff and volunteers working across North America, Europe, Africa, Oceania, and Asia, including 400 people on the 500-foot Africa Mercy, which sails to a different African port every year. Using email, disparate systems, and paper-based processes, teams struggled to manage the complex logistics involved in their mission.

Mercy Ships implemented Confluence for document sharing and team collaboration, Jira Software and Jira Service Desk for managing projects, HipChat for team communication, and Bamboo for automated testing.

Everyone on the ground and ship relies on Confluence, dubbed “Navigator,” as the central hub for activities including:

  • Collaborating on plans for new ships to expand the fleet

  • Tracking new hires  

  • Providing ship policies and resources to doctors, nurses, and other rotating staff

  • Recording notes and next steps from leadership meetings

  • Managing the curriculum for the accredited K-12 school onboard for volunteers’ families

Most importantly, Confluence is used to track medical supplies for upcoming surgeries. Every shipping container and its contents are documented in Confluence, so teams can disperse these to the appropriate medical teams on arrival.

“The coordination to ensure that we have the right supplies to meet the needs of the hospital is a very complicated exercise,” says Chris Gregg, chief information officer at Mercy Ships. “It takes teams from from the U.S. and Europe, working together with the teams on board, to ensure that we get the right pieces, to the right place, at the right time. Atlassian helps make that happen.”

Mercy Ships also implemented Jira Software and Jira Service Desk to manage global operations. Teams use Jira to track everything from ship and hospital maintenance, to the 40-foot containers sailing from warehouses in Texas and the Netherlands each month. Engineering and IT integrate Jira Software, Bamboo, and Confluence to develop applications like onboard banking and badging systems. IT also adopted Hipchat for team communication and notifications.

At Mercy Ships, everyone from captains, surgeons, and cooks to IT, HR, and Engineering is working more effectively with Atlassian. “Atlassian software improves communication and teamwork across our organization, bringing us together to impact communities across the world,” says Gregg. “Atlassian’s community licenses have allowed us to use the money we would have spent on software to provide life-saving surgeries.”


Atlassian software improves communication and teamwork across Mercy Ships, bringing us together to impact communities across the world.

— Chris Gregg, chief information officer, Mercy Ships