When it comes to the teams that work at Pandora, music and human connection are their north star; Jira is the tool that guides them there.
“When you have great tools, it makes it easier to practice your soft teamwork skills.”
Technical Program Manager, Pandora
Music is a human connector, found in every culture, past and present. It’s influenced by and representative of social and economic landscapes, personal experience, and access to technology; as our tech capabilities evolve, so does our relationship to the songs that color our lives. When Pandora came on the scene over a decade ago, its model fundamentally altered the way we listen to and discover music. As we've moved into an age of streaming, Pandora continues to be at the forefront of music innovation. But regardless of how we choose to listen, the human connections that music fosters remain the same.
For the teams that work at Pandora, music and human connection are the North Star, and Jira is a key tool that guides them there. Kelsy, Natalie, Gouri, Amanda, and Josie – members of the Technical Program Management Team at Pandora – use Jira every day to facilitate Pandora’s latest innovations.
The human versions of Jira
Pandora’s Technical Program Management Team manages projects across all of product development, which includes listener-facing products, content products, and advertising products. The team has only been around for a few years, but is growing rapidly. "I like to think I'm a centerpiece to a lot of different puzzle pieces. My role is to communicate what's going on at all times," says Natalie. Her team uses Jira every day to manage projects, and even describes themselves as the human versions of Jira. "We're the glue that holds everything together, partnering with engineering, product, design, and quality," Natalie continues. The tool also allows the team to monitor the status of their projects and pivot as needed. "Jira allows me to see a single source of truth, and to – at a moment's notice – be able to report out on a project's status," says Amanda.
Meet the team (from left to right) Josie, Kelsy, Natalie, Amanda
Jira fosters human connection
As the Technical Program Management team grows, they rely on Jira to foster the project management side of their work so they can focus on the human side. “When I joined the team, I took over a Subscriptions project from Josie.” says Kelsy. “Jira was the source of truth for the project, which made the handoff seamless. Because all of the project details were in one place for me to reference, I got to spend my time getting to know the people and building relationships instead of trying to get historical context on the project tasks.”
Not just the technical teams at Pandora use Jira, though. Teams across the organization, from Creative to Business, use Jira to manage projects and collaborate on their work. "The flexibility of the tool is really instrumental in why different teams use it," Kelsy says. "Having flexibility in working styles is important."
Project management is an art and a science
Once teams are able to flexibly collaborate on their work with Jira, the special sauce of teamwork – human connection – comes into play. "When you have great tools, it makes it easier to practice your soft teamwork skills," says Kelsy. She continues, "I came to Pandora because I had been working at a B2B company and was excited to come into something user facing. But Josie, my boss, is what sold me on the job. The leadership that she provides is really amazing."
"You're going to make me cry!" Josie replies. Kelsy continues, "But seriously. It's the art and science. You say those words, but you live them, too, on a daily basis. You exemplify them, but you also mentor us in terms of how we go about doing that: being human and taking care of people. It's not just about dates and timelines." Josie chimes in, "I do say that a lot. Project management is an art and a science. We're a lot more than scrum masters."
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