Best Practices & Trends / webinar

The epic story of Skyscanner's service desk

Millions of people book trips using Skyscanner's global search engine every day. With thousands of searches every second, its no surprise that Skyscanner takes bugs in it’s software systems seriously.

Bug spray alone can’t do it all

Skyscanner breaks down the typical corporate hierarchy by organizing into tribes and squads. In order to cope with the volume of all the bug reports that came in, they needed a new type of service desk.

In this webinar, learn how Skyscanner:

  • Triages and solves tickets in a tribal organization.
  • Collaborates across IT and development with JIRA + JIRA Service Desk.
  • Rewards employees for reporting bugs with shirts, gift cards and vacation time.

Watch the webinar now

Your questions, answered

Our Q&A team chose the top 6 questions from the audience to answer in this article. Enjoy!

1. Did you implement the solution yourself?

We actually implemented JIRA Service Desk ourselves. The interface was so easy to use, we had very little, if any, user training to get people to start using it. From there, we continually took feedback to improve the tool, process and interface. Tha

2. Can you share some of the specific challenges you ran into while using Cherwell?

The main problem was that the Cherwell interface was quite painful. People weren't sure how to use it. They would spend 15-20 minutes looking at the interface page and would end up exiting and not actually accomplishing what they set out to do. Over time, this led to people not even bothering to submit tickets. They would start tapping on the team's shoulders to ask for help. We missed out on capturing tickets and had no reporting at the end of the month.

3. Do you find that tickets in JIRA Service Desk are isolated from JIRA?

That is a common concern, but we don't have that problem. For the vast majority of tickets, we let anybody in the company have access. You have 3 main roles in JIRA Service Desk. The agent, people who are working on the tickets actively. JIRA users, who can see all the tickets and work on them if they want to. And you get customers, anybody who can submit a ticket to the service desk. Everyone in Skyscanner is a JIRA user and they can see every ticket and collaborate if they need to. We don't get a silo'd environment from using JIRA Service Desk. It's pretty much lke working in standard JIRA for us.

4. If a service desk ticket requires escalation, does it get cloned or moved to a JIRA project?

We realized that cloning would increase overhead for agents because you have to manually update two tickets rather than one. What we decided to do was 'move' the tickets instead. We make sure tickets come through JIRA Service Desk. They are then passed onto the triage team to make sure they are easily replicated and the appropriate information is captured. It's then 'moved' to the appropriate squad, whether they have a service desk or a regular JIRA project. That way, we have one ticket moving through the workflow until it's eventually done. JIRA Service Desk lets you have hidden fields, so we put data in to show that a ticket came through JIRA Service Desk. Even if it's moved to another project, we can still do reporting on the fact that the service desk squad spent time triaging or resolving the ticket. That's how we make sure we capture that effort. 

5. How do developers collaborate with the help desk team?

Here is the lifecycle of a bug at Skyscanner. When it comes in, whether through the product feedback button or going directly through JIRA Service Desk, it will go to the Global Availability and Performance squad. It then goes to triage. The triage team will try and reproduce the bug and direct it to the right development squads. Each of the squads have their own process for how they deal with work. The squads can decide whether it's something they can fit in, or consider adding to their roadmap. The triage team does reporting each month on the bugs. The hidden field we talked about earlier lets us track those tickets as they move to different squads. 

6. What are the different roles you have per service desk?

Within JIRA Service Desk, you get agents, JIRA users and customers. We have about seven service desks in our main JIRA instance. We make sure all agents are agents on all service desks. Everyone in the company is a JIRA user so they are able to collaborate if they need to. Everyone is also classed as a customer. In JIRA Service Desk, customers can add participants as well. If you think someone else would be interested in the bug, you can add them as a participant. Those people will get alerts everytime it changes. If someone comments, it goes through to both people. 

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About the author

Sarah Khogyani

Product Marketing Manager, JIRA Service Desk

I've been championing IT software for three years and honing an expertise in knowledge management because I'm passionate about helping people effectively use knowledge to be more productive. I graduated from Cal Berkeley and am a California native. Go Bears! Find me on Twitter: @sarahzora


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