Workflow and Efficiency

Making your organization more efficient can be challenging if your products don’t have the right capabilities. Thankfully, Data Center’s got you covered.


4. Apps and extensibility

As we mentioned in our previous chapter on standardizing your workflows, siloed ways of work have made it difficult for your IT team to support a renewed focus on organization-wide objectives. When teams are only focused on supporting the needs of their own respective business units (BUs), it can be easy to continue using the same products that have always gotten the job done. 

From an IT perspective, support the products that your teams are using without consolidating is challenging. Think about it - you and your IT team have to keep track of user licenses, user access, security, what version of the product you’re running, and, if you have multiple instances of the product, are all of your instances running the same version. Most of us can’t remember what we had for breakfast a week ago, so keeping track of this information isn’t easy. However, if you don’t, you run the risk of costing your organization hundreds of thousands of dollars

Not only are you faced with this administrative problem, but your teams are also negatively impacted because the products used across the organization don’t work together.

LET’S TAKE THIS EXAMPLE:

Your organization has a sales team, which is responsible for selling your products to your customers. Every time they make a sale, they need to get in touch with the accounting team to send an invoice to the customer who just purchased the product. However, the products they are using don’t work together, so they have to manually communicate. 

The sales team communicates the details over email and the accounting team pulls together a spreadsheet that they then send back to the sales team with the information they need.

Yes, the process works, but it isn’t efficient and there are a number of things that can go wrong.

This example is incredibly common in an organization because teams are now aligning to deliver on aggressive business objectives. Much like our example, they are in a position where the products that they’ve grown to rely on don’t work with the products that other teams are using. This scenario leads to a breakdown in collaboration.

While siloed ways of work may be a huge reason why you’re supporting so many products, another reason is that your products lack the capability to be customized. When a product can only work a certain way and only meets the needs of a BU, it’s impossible to roll this out across the entire organization. This lack of flexibility means that your team has to continue to support all of them to reduce any risk to your team’s productivity.

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Create a powerful toolset

The solution to this problem isn’t just to stop supporting products. While reducing your toolset would reduce some of the burden on your IT team, it won’t solve the collaboration problem. The way that you can do both is by ensuring your core set of mission-critical products support integrations that can bridge the gap between different teams. 

These integrations can occur in two ways: apps and APIs. Many products support app integrations or offer APIs that you can use, but these types of integrations need to be built to support your team’s needs at scale. Not just any app or API can do that. Rather, you need enterprise-grade apps and APIs. 

Here are four ways that Data Center’s enterprise-grade apps and APIs can help you become more efficient: 

Git merge

Streamline productivity

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Reduce overhead

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Customize your environment

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Enhance your organization’s strategies


Streamline productivity

As we mentioned above, one of the biggest challenges that your teams face when it comes to focusing on organizational objectives is not having the ability to collaborate with other teams. When teams can’t work together, things can’t get done, or they take way too much time, which leads to a lack of productivity. 

The reason that apps are so powerful is that they make this collaboration possible. For example, let’s say that one of your objectives is to create a new feature and it requires multiple development teams to work together. Without some type of visibility into what each of the teams are working on, it can be challenging for different stakeholders, such as project or product managers, to see the overall status. With Structure for Jira, you can use use grouping and filtering to build project structures that update everyone on the overall progress of the project in real-time. It can also be used by individual teams to build their own hierarchy to understand how far along they are on their portion of the project.

Adding apps like this one can help to streamline the productivity of your teams, without making your IT team support more products that don’t align with your organization’s existing toolset.


Reduce overhead

Most products support some type of integration, but they often weren’t built to handle the increased user traffic that most organizations are experiencing at scale. It’s one thing when your apps have 500 users leveraging the integration. It’s another thing when you now have thousands of team members in multiple locations using these integrations every day. 

We know that apps are just as important to your teams as their products. That’s why we’ve created Data Center approved apps to support teams at scale. These apps all go through a rigorous testing process to ensure that they can support higher levels of user traffic than our server apps. They’ve also been tested with clustering enabled so that they can be used with high-availability. 


Customize your environment

Every organization is unique and has their own needs and requirements. While your products should be flexible enough to support the needs of your organization, you may have created your own in-house apps rather than leveraging additional third-parties to solve for some of those needs. 

These apps can be extremely valuable and allow your teams to work together more seamlessly, but it’s important that these apps can also work with your organization’s primary mission-critical products. 

Let’s use the example of the sales and accounting team again:

Rather than using email to communicate between each other, both teams are now using Jira Software to track their work. The sales team can do their thing and assign it to the accounting team when they’re ready. With a customized in-house app that creates accounting invoices, the accounting team can generate the data the sales team needs without creating a security risk by giving them blanket access to their database. 

By creating this custom app rather than adding another product to your toolset, you’ve continued to drive collaboration at scale by integrating the two teams’ workflows. This reduces the asset management burden that can occur when you manage too many products, while also not sacrificing the needs of your organization.

As you’re organization scales, automating different parts of your day-to-day activities allows you to support your teams. Rather than spending time running manual tasks, you can spend your time innovating. For example, you can create leverage an API that kicks off a build at a specific time of the day. Another example would be that you could create projects based off of the specifications of existing projects. In both cases, your teams can continue to use their products in a way that meets the requirements of your organization, without overhead for your IT team.


Enhance your organization’s strategies

Often, when we talk about strategy at the organization level, we’re talking about business strategy. However, you, as an admin, play a critical role in helping your teams build their own strategies to deliver on your organization’s business objectives. These strategies include implementing practices, such as DevOps, IT, or agile methodology. The primary focus of each of these strategies is to deliver quickly and efficiently, without impacting quality. 

From an admin perspective, you’re tasked with supporting products that will empower your teams to leverage these strategies in their day-to-day activities, but you can easily become bogged down if your teams want to use too many products. That’s why having core enterprise products, like Data Center, that are flexible to meet the needs of every team, are so powerful.

To bridge the gap between your product’s capabilities and the needs of your organization’s strategies, integrating apps into your environment is beneficial. With apps, you can extend the capabilities of your products, while also adding additional features to build out your strategies. For example, if you’re building out your IT strategy, you can leverage Jira Service Management as your primary ITSM solution, but use an app to add asset management capabilities to your products. By leveraging apps, you can build out an end-to-end strategy.

Collaboration illustration

Now, let's look at how apps can extend the functionality of each of the Data Center products even further. 


Use case
Jira Software logo

Jira Software helps teams plan, track, and release great software. But in reality, it does a lot more than just that, Jira provides a foundation for team collaboration and helps teams get work done in a scalable manner.  The more that teams collaborate in Jira, the greater the need becomes to future-proof the platform and allow for a seamless scaling experience.

To meet this customer need we created Jira Software Data Center to provide the availability, performance, and stability needed to support organizational growth. As organizations scale the importance of uninterrupted team productivity through consistent application performance is critical, regardless of the organization’s work methodology. 

The ability for organizations to be able to adapt Jira to fit the way they work is critical. As customers grow in multiple dimensions of complexity and scale, they need a platform that will allow them to continually meet their specific needs for years to come. To better understand the value of Jira’s extensibility and see how customers leverage apps and integrations to help them meet their needs, let’s look at a common use case.

Improving workflow management with automation

Many customers leverage Jira as a workflow management tool to improve the overall efficiency and effectiveness of their teams and organization. 

As Jira scales, it becomes a vast and complex network of separate workflows and issues. This can become overwhelming, slowing down the speed of work when it’s not clear what needs to happen, who needs to do what, and when it needs to be done. This typically compounds as organizations scale and Jira becomes more and more mission-critical.

Customers often turn to the marketplace for help to automate work, customize workflows, and improve efficiency. Automation empowers you to focus on the work that matters, removing the need to perform manual, repetitive tasks by allowing your teams to automate their processes and workflows. Apps such as ScriptRunner are designed to extend the capabilities of Jira providing features like automating bulk actions and creating scripted fields, to building bespoke workflows allowing you to customize Jira to meet your unique needs out of the box. To paint a better picture let’s look at some common use cases where automation can improve the efficiency and effectiveness of your organization.

KEEP IN MIND

As organizations grow, the volume of work that flows through Jira seems to grow exponentially, making it very easy for things to get missed. 

One of the first things that come to mind are unassigned issues, and how they are handled. Teams often defer to their engineers, which can result in unassigned issues slipping between the cracks. This is problematic because it is not something you want to become commonplace, however, it can take a significant amount of time to continuously sift through the different assigned tasks and slow down work. With automation you can combat this by auto-assigning issues to members of your team in a balanced fashion, ensuring that all work is accounted for without the manual overhead.

Another common need is, how do you ensure that you have a synchronized and up-to-date Jira without having to spend hours manually combing through parent issues and sub-tasks? By automating with a script (or use a pre-written one, a nice benefit of ScriptRunner), when you resolve a sub-task, you can set up a rule to automatically transition the parent issue if there are no additional unresolved sub-tasks. Helping you maintain a synchronized, healthy, and update to date Jira instance.

These are only a few examples of how extending Jira’s capabilities with automation can help you optimize your organization’s workflow to become more efficient and effective.

Extensibility protection

Many customers leverage multiple apps and integrations to meet a variety of uses cases. To help protect your instance, Jira Software Data Center, offers rate limiting. Rate limiting for Jira allows companies to add multiple apps to extend their use case without the fear of crashing their instance by controlling how many external REST API calls apps can make, and how often. 


Why does alignment matter?

When you don’t have products that align with the needs of your teams and your IT department, you will have to continue providing support for all of these products. As your organization scales and your tasked with breaking down silos and empowering teams to collaborate, all of these products become a huge barrier, which is why having products that work together is so important. 

Data Center products work together to create an end-to-end experience. Take these examples of comparable workflow:

DEVELOPMENT WORKFLOW EXAMPLE

Teresa is a developer and she has been assigned a ticket in Jira Software Data Center to fix a bug. The ticket includes all the relevant information she needs to start working, including the due date, operating system, and affected version. She’ll then need to get access to a virtual machine (VM) that is configured with the specific requirements that were listed in her ticket to make sure that her fix works correctly. So, she’ll submit an IT request using Jira Service Management Data Center. 

Once she has her VM, she can start working on the bug fix. All of her code is stored in Bitbucket Data Center, which is integrated with Jira Software so that different stakeholders, such as PMs or other developers on her team, have visibility into the branches she’s committing her code to. 

Throughout the process, Teresa is updating her ticket and moving it through the appropriate statuses. After she’s finished fixing the code and it’s been approved, she can close the ticket. 

DOCUMENTATION WORKFLOW EXAMPLE

Don is a content writer creating documentation for a new features that’s going to be released. To start work on the project, he gets assigned a ticket in Jira Software Data Center. Just like Teresa, Don has all the information that he needs in the ticket to start working on it.

He’ll then use Confluence Data Center to write his content. In Confluence, he can refer back to different versions and his reviewers have the flexibility to comment on his work in real-time. Once he has all of his content reviewed, he can close out his ticket.

Building out workflows using a standard set of products makes it easier for your IT team to support the needs of the organization, which making it easier to collaborate across the organization.


Do you want to learn more about Jira Software Data Center?

As our customers continue to push the limits of both scale and use cases, we’re continually bringing new features and capabilities that will help them meet their organizational and end-user demands. We strive to help enterprises achieve their goals by helping teams do meaningful work. See what Jira Software Data Center combined with enterprise-grade applications and integrations can enable your teams to do. Have more questions?

You can contact us today or start a free trial now.