Atlassian for Startups - Part 1

Jira Software: from software development tool to multi-industry, one-stop project management tool

07.01.2020

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Startups have a limited set of resources, and one of the major reasons 90% of startups fail within the first five years is because they are unable to manage work properly and timely[1] [2]. Atlassian tools are designed to help teams manage their work efficiently, provide transparency for everyone involved, and promote productive collaboration. These tools are designed with creativity and built with flexibility in mind, so no matter what business vertical you are working in, they have proven to be the best productivity partner for startups around the world.

What is the reality of most startups and small teams? I mean, the honest reality; forget about fresh fruit, espresso machines, and your colleague’s golden retriever running around the office. The hard, cold truth about most startups is that there is a limited budget, there is never enough time, collaboration across teams is difficult and clunky, and scaling to keep up with the business demand is more often painful than joyful.

In this series of blogs we will dig deeper into some of the most common challenges that startups face, and will show you how Atlassian tools help startups around the world to overcome them.

I know you are probably thinking:

“Aren’t the Atlassian apps only for software companies or for techies?”

The answer is simple: NO.

In fact, the Atlassian apps are built with flexibility in mind. This allows teams in any industry to easily configure the applications in a way that adds the most value because their true needs are addressed and their business reality is reflected. That is big talk, we know, so let’s elaborate with an example. Let’s see how Jira Software is used in companies everywhere as a one-stop project management tool.

A little bit about Atlassian

Over the past couple of years Atlassian’s customer base has grown and has expanded beyond its original target market of software development. But what does this ‘customer growth’ exactly look like? For Atlassian it looks like this:

  • 83% of the Fortune 500 companies use Atlassian tools
  • There are +10 million monthly active users using the Atlassian Cloud products
  • There are +150k Atlassian customers in over 190 countries

This means that Atlassian tools not only help teams and companies regardless of their size, but they also help teams move towards their mission regardless of their industry[3].

Jira Software as a one-stop project management tool

All companies, big or small, revolve around projects in one way or another. That might sound simplistic, but it is reality.

Whether you are producing goods, offering services, or saving the world from the terrible climate crisis, you most likely work in a team, and you and your team have a series of tasks to complete in order to reach a goal. Here is where Jira Software comes into play. Jira Software helps teams plan, assign, track, report and manage work. It was originally designed as a bug and issue tracker for the software development industry, but evolved very quickly into a work management tool because non-technical teams started noticing its accessibility, power and flexibility.

It is not a coincidence that more than 65k companies around the world rely on Jira Software to manage their projects and that Jira Software is used by teams of 2 to 2,000 users[4].

Jira Software helps teams across financial services, retail, software, high tech, automotive, non-profit, government, life sciences, and many more verticals stay organized and efficient[4].

Regardless of the type of project or size of the team, Jira Software adapts to your needs. The system will reflect and behave based on what you need and what you define. No more compromises or settling for any “workarounds.” You might want to start with a simple process, a few data fields, and couple of collaborators. Markets and business needs evolve, and they do so very quickly. So you must rely on tools that help you adapt your ways of working quickly. Jira Software helps you to easily scale your project and work management to adapt and respond without any down-time or disruption of anyone’s work. So when we say that Jira Software works with you “from incubator to IPO,” we mean it.

Jira Software for ALL teams

If you can get two things out of this post, please let them be the following: Jira Software is a tool for any industry and Jira Software makes project and work management easier. So far, we’ve explained a bit of what Jira does for so many teams and industries, but what truly matters is what can it do for your team and how. The following list highlights some of the core functionalities of Jira Software and briefly explains how they enable any team to optimize resources and meet all of their project management needs.

Issues, Tasks, or Cards

Each issue or task represents a unit of work. In other words, these are the things that the team has to take care of and complete in order to achieve the project goal. These items contain all relevant information of the task at hand. For example, description, collaborators, attachments, information from other integrated apps, priority level, and due dates among many more. Depending on the company or team, these items are commonly referred to as “cards.”

Once these tasks or cards are created, they are automatically displayed in a project board.

Update-APP-UI

Project Board

The project board is your “command center.” This is where teams can track the progress of the project because it provides a complete and transparent overview. This includes clear guidance on what has been done and what needs to be done. Project boards can be easily adapted to fit the needs of the project team. For example, columns can be added or removed, and cards can be filtered in or out to show only what you need to see. The project board reflects what we call the “issue workflow.” That is because the workflow of a task defines how columns in a board are populated as well as the “transition behaviors” of the tasks in the board.

Project-Board

Workflow

The workflow of a project indicates how tasks move along the chain towards completion. For example, some teams only need and use a simple workflow such as “to do - in progress - done.” Other teams, depending on the nature of the project, may require a more complex workflow. Depending on the project needs, some workflows may even include approval steps. The great thing is that Jira Software makes it easy for both scenarios to be implemented.

Workflow

Image: Atlassian[5]

Roadmaps

Some projects depend on timelines and, although many companies and teams are transitioning into Agile methodologies outside of software teams, a project roadmap is a very useful tool to get a bird’s-eye view of the project’s status. Jira Software takes the information that the team has defined in each task or card, and creates an easy-to-use roadmap. The roadmap is not static, you can change and update cards right on the spot! You change due dates, add new cards, or make dependencies without leaving the Roadmap view. So, not only does it display useful data, it is also useful because it makes editing and changing items fast and easy.

Roadmap

Reporting

Based on the issues created and the work done, reports can be generated to track progress, productivity, and ensure important metrics are not missed[6]. Especially in those projects that have several collaborators or those that extend over longer periods of time, the reports help you summarize information and visualize those details that really matter. Jira Software makes reporting easy as well. There are many ready-to-use reports that you can prepare with a few clicks, which doesn’t mean that you cannot customize a report if necessary. For example, here’s a ‘Cumulative Flow Diagram.’ This out-of-the-box report helps teams visualize the consistency of work across the team(s). It also helps to visually detect bottlenecks or shortages within a process, a project, or a team. Cool huh? And just a few clicks away.

Reporting

Image: Atlassian[5]

Permissions

Depending on the context and needs of the team, project administrators may determine who can see certain content or perform certain actions. This topic cannot be showcased with any fancy or sparkling examples as some other cool features, but its value is immeasurable. Some teams, due to the nature of the projects they run, wouldn’t even be able to do their work properly without such capabilities. In a time when information security and visibility has to be closely regulated, Jira Software makes it easy for project administrators to grant access and privileges to the right people. Who said that access and permissions had to be a headache or a ‘techie’ job?

Jira Mobile App

Let’s face it: we’ve all needed (or wanted) to do work outside the office or ‘regular’ working hours. The Jira Software app keeps work moving forward by managing boards, creating and editing tasks, and staying up to speed with push notifications about your most critical items of work. Quick and simple tasks shouldn’t require you to have to log into your computer. The same thing goes for a quick message or request from a colleague: just use the app and save time or even prevent a bottleneck!

Jira Mobile

Image: Atlassian[7]

By the way, did I already mention that these are all out-of-the-box functionalities? Well, they are.

There is so much you can do with Jira Software in combination with the ever-growing universe of add-ons (aka. plugins), but we’ll talk about this in more depth in the upcoming posts in this series. For now, we’ve simply highlighted what you and your team can do with Jira Software out-of-the-box and with a few minutes of setup time. Over the following weeks we will be publishing some of our own success stories with startups here in our beloved Berlin but, in the meantime, click here to see an example of what the Atlassian tools have done for other startups around the world.

For the past number of years, we here at kreuzwerker have helped a wide range of startups improve how they work. We help them achieve goals that may seem wild and crazy. Before providing our best and most transparent assessment of the situation, we work closely with their teams in order to understand their true needs, problems, and limitations. Every project is a unique story, so we strive to provide the guidance and solutions that address our client’s particular situation–without compromise.

We are not just from anywhere. Our heart and spirit is pure Kreuzberg. Digital technology is a real and honest craft for us, and we believe that listening properly can solve more problems than any Ted Talk ever could. We tell it like it is, and we say what we think. That is who we are and what we do.

What’s next

Stay tuned for our next piece in this three-part series which will be focused on Confluence, Atlassian’s collaborative workspace tool. If you are interested to learn more about how Jira Software can help you and your team manage projects and work, just reach out to us.

Don’t forget to block your calendar for June 6th when kreuzwerker is hosting the event: “Atlassian in the Startup World” in Berlin.


Sources

1 Medium
2 Forbes
3 Atlassian Customers
4 Atlassian Use-Case 1
5 Atlassian Jira Features
6 Atlassian Use-Case 2
7 Atlassian Mobile-App


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